No Escape

 

I was raised in southern China, a backward country during the time when I was a child. Countless propaganda posters covered the land of red China, and writing and art were invariably associated with them. Detesting them my parents took a dislike to art in all their forms. Growing up I’d never had the pleasure to show off my work openly. Nevertheless, I drew and wrote in spite of that they were guilty pleasures.

I drew all the time, but I had no desire to be good at it. For me, drawing was the only way to quench the thirst for writing. Writing was my passion, but for my parents, it was a forbidden enterprise. It takes a turn in the path to see a new landscape. Becoming a mother and helping out my children with their art project suddenly made a variety of colours and mediums available to me, so I went for it. For 4-5 years, I juggled between being a new mother and a full-time academic; nevertheless, I tried various mediums, watercolor, acrylic and oil painting and had some local exhibitions.

Writing and Drawing were two immortal lovers of my life. Drawing was quiet, trustable and forbearing, and Writing was charming, smart but fickle.  When I changed my job from full time to part time thinking of spending more time in drawing and painting, a novel workshop that I took in 2012 pulled me over and plunged me head over shoulders into a long, laborious but fascinating journey of writing a novel. ‘Children of Swan, Land of Taron’ trilogy was produced and since released in 2016.

For the long years when I wrote the Swan book, I drew nothing. If it hadn’t been the desire to keep my children entertained, I wouldn’t have ventured illustrations. But once I started, I couldn’t be stopped and produced five picture books in five months.

My current project is a mid-grade book about a small girl and big giants. I am again its writer-illustrator.

I believe things come with a reason, and you can’t escape being who you are.