Hello, I’m known as Coco Bee (my actual name is Queenie Wong) and I was born and raised in Canada, currently residing in Montreal, but moving back to Toronto shortly (follow me on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and visit my website!) The calling from my artistic muse came 7 months ago where an experience of prolonged sadness had transformed a dilettante approach to art into a lifeline of needing to create.
Having completed my undergraduate studies in Psychology and Neuroscience (B.Sc.), I am at present completing my Master’s studies (M.Sc.) conducting clinical research under the Department of Medicine in Psychiatry. A period of darkness in graduate school led me to adopt philosophies of ‘mindfulness’ and ‘art therapy’ for personal healing. Painting became my solace and a space in which I always felt an abundance of freedom, optimism, and relaxation.
I attempted to preserve these feelings of painting on film as a gentle reminder of hope if and when I had fallen back into periods of frustration and despair. I decided to share my work publicly, because I felt no one should ever feel this hopeless in the world. Should this make a difference for one person, even for just a moment, then I have left the world a little better than before.
Unexpectedly, I was met with an outpour of kindness and love. By combining painting with cinematography, music, and poetry, I have found art presented in this manner to be an noninvasive yet powerful and compelling medium for storytelling. Artwork that originally stemmed from a place of self-healing became the source in which I was able to inspire and transform the lives of others.
Thank you letters came rushing in. From a 60 year old woman that found the inspiration and courage to pursue painting to a stage 3 cancer patient that could finally relax and sleep from watching me paint. In the span of these 7 months, I have amassed a following of 40,000 individuals across the globe. I could not be more grateful and humbled by this experience. I have also now come to understand that my work resonates with others in a way that can allow me to do much good in the world.
Art and my growing tribe, have given me courage to continue expanding the boundaries of my artistic practice from what began as small watercolour paintings into film and more recently music compositions. Simultaneously, I have begun to use my work to raise awareness and to fundraise for humanitarian and non-profit organizations, including art therapy programs for paediatric cancer patients like PCA and Aga Khan Foundation Canada for awareness of global poverty. It is my greatest hope to use my aspirations of becoming a medical doctor and an artist to not only help transform human pain into triumph but to continue leaving the world a little better than before.
That’s why I was so pleased to hear that the charitable partner for World Watercolor Month is The Dreaming Zebra Foundation, which helps support arts education by getting much needed art supplies for children across the globe. With the #WorldWatercolorMonth challenge, I hope with other artists that the joy and fulfillment we receive from painting watercolors can inspire others to see the importance of arts to the world. And we hope people will help us reach our goal by donating to our Art Room Aid project.