22.7.20

Q&A with Creative Clay Artist Alice Lee

Alice Lee, Clay Artist & Sculptor from The Craft Brewers MY

We are a work in progress. Apart from the colorful paints, tools and supplies, one of the things I love most about arts and crafts is that it teaches us life lessons about ourselves and how we see the world. In creative mindfulness, it reminds me of our uniqueness as human beings- we are authentic in our own shape, size, form and personality - no two are alike (even identical twins are different in their own way). Just like clay making, we can sculpt, knead and create the result that we want, but first, we must be able to embrace the imperfections and with that in mind then we are able to see the true inner beauty. - Shia Lynn


Hi Alice! Let's get to know you.
I am a freelance sculptor & a creativity education teacher. I’ve only fully pursued arts and crafts 5 years ago when I started working in a craft supply store Craft Haven. Since then, I have dabbled in many arts and crafts materials and settled on sculpting using polymer clay and silver metal clay. My hobbies include, Sculpting and Netflix binge-watching. Love Food, Art, Kids & Kitty Moo (my cat). My dislikes would be, when there’s not enough room in the cupboard for craft stuff, haha!


How did you start your craft passion?
I’ve always been interested in art, but I didn’t pursue it until after university. I started with making 3D items out of paper, UHU glue and good old PVA glue. I custom-made them for friend’s birthdays and other events. After 4 years working in corporate, I was contemplating either a career change or further study when I stumbled onto Craft Haven store who were hiring at the time. I got the job and journeyed into the world of arts and crafts. 5 years down the road, I’m still in the art industry, enjoying the journey and learning as I go.

Exposed to many types of crafts during the years in the retail store, I finally set my eyes on sculpting. I’ve started with simple polymer clay jewelry and small scale polymer clay figurines. With the support of colleagues, friends and family (more like a big nudge), I challenged myself to make larger 12 inch sculptures and had the opportunity to work with a team of volunteers on 2 metre art installations for SPACE conference organized by Collective in 2019. 

Looking back, I couldn’t believe I did all those sculptures. I could remember how fearful I was making a design from scratch for the first time ! But I am grateful, taking the risks led me to who I am today. I’m still learning, but I’m glad I took the leap of faith.

What’s the favorite thing you love most about the art of polymer clay making?

Two parts of the process that I love most. The beginning when I’m planning the physics, getting materials and building the structure. During that part I get to let off some steam knocking crumpled aluminium foil into shape. You should try it!

…and the final touches, adding on the details, baking and painting it. I especially enjoy that part. For me it is the therapeutic part of the process. 

Honestly, the whole clay sculpting process is like a roller coaster ride and I accept that. It’s not all happy at times; there is the fear and other kinds of work-stress that can get to you. But what I realize is the power of visualization. As I imagine my end product and my client looking real happy at the sculpture, it gives me the push forward. When I look back after completing the sculpture, I am amazed at the result. This became my own form of encouragement, to boost me up when I am feeling down by looking back at my work. 

How did you evolve overtime as a Clay Artist?

I may seem like a talkative person, I am actually quite timid. Others had to push me to take the challenge. I would say over the years, friends and family gave me a nudge now and then to try new designs and sculptures. I would not have been where I am if not for them. They recognize my ability better than myself. Slowly, I became more confident with my work and I am grateful.

When I take a project that I have never done before, it's scary and thrilling at the same time. In the early days, I’d take a long time to plan and search for materials to get the “perfect” sculpture. I’d sit and “brew” the idea for a long time before starting. Funnily enough, it became the name of my business, “The Craft Brewers”, haha!

These days, I have accepted that no matter how much I plan, mistakes can happen. You can do your best and your best doesn’t have to be perfect, because we are not perfect people. Mistakes mean that there is room for improvement, and being honest about it will not get you into trouble but to show others that you are open to be better. I have also learnt to accept that even unintended mistakes makes a sculpture more beautiful and authentic. I’ve learnt to be mindful and be content with myself.

What inspires you as a creative person?

People.

I like to listen to people, especially those who are in their industry- arts or others. As I listen to friends in various industries talk about their struggles and success stories, I am inspired by their life stories and how creative they are in solving problems, although some may not have realised it that time. This made me realize that creativity is beyond art. It is about different perspectives, and innovative solutions.

It’s also fulfilling to see how my sculpture can change others’ life. Some of the sculptures are very personal and can be emotional. Each sculpture is tailor-made for the person and personalized. I get to hear snippets of people’s lives and their purpose behind the sculpture. It is an honor to be able to turn their vision into reality and it is such a joy to see the happiness in my client’s eyes when they receive their sculpture. This inspires me to keep on doing what I am doing.

Three Artful Advice by Alice
1. Try everything! Don’t stop experimenting even if you are familiar with something.

2. If you’re going to be a hoarder- hoard on good tools than materials. (I speak from personal experience, haha!)

3. Sometimes hard to do, but try not to be a perfectionist. Learn to let go and accept the little imperfections.


Follow The Craft Brewers MY on Instagram for Alice's polymer clay ideas and creations. Learn polymer clay tutorials from Alice on How to Make Veneer Style Polymer Clay Earrings here

and How to DIY a Mini Teddy Bear Polymer Clay here

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Q&A with Creatives is an interview topic by The Artsy Craftsy to empower fellow artists, crafters and makers with artful life and business tips and advice.

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For creative content such as sponsored posts & reviews, collaborations & partnerships and creative lifestyle event invites, or to hire us for craft activities and creative services, email theartsycraftsy@gmail.com
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