“In Choice, which shall it be: bankrupt of purse or bankrupt of life?”

After living in the past and feeling confined in her inner world, June took the leap of faith to pursue what she really love – to paint as she lives. With only a single bag of belongings and one month’s rent, June left for San Francisco to pursue art. Her desire to make art part of her life again gave her the courage to break free from the eight years of depression that haunted her, and to find a new lease of life. Today, June continues to inspire more people and also offers art classes to share the joy of painting with the community. Read on to find out more about June‘s story of the unforgotten road in pursuing art!

Hi, June, can you introduce yourself and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?

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Hi! I’m June and painting is my life – it helps to bring across the message that life is about realizing possibilities. I have trained in Visual Art at South China University and in Studio Art at Sonoma State University. Art had always been part of my life when I was growing up. My father was influential in my art journey, he was an artist but never had the chance to pursue his dreams as he had to raise the family. That was when it struck my mind – I was born with a mission to continue my father’s unfinished journey of art.

I teach students the techniques and knowledge that I have in my classes, from abstract paintings to creating art for healing. I also offer Calligraphic and Brush Painting classes that are inspired by the zen meditation. Calligraphy is an abstract focus on the moment. It requires calmness of the mind and the focus on the moment.  Each of my paintings points to an experience, tells a story and expresses its own life. I hope one of them will inspire you.

Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

When I was 21, I moved to Sonoma from Southern China to marry and follow the path my family had chosen for me. While other girls of my age were pursuing their own dreams, I was confined to life of a traditional housewife. Away from my family and with an unhappy marriage isolated in a small town, I felt as though my spirit was empty and depressed even though it was a luxurious lifestyle. My paintings were the sketches of loneliness born of a desire for love. I lived in the past and stuck in my inner world.

Fast forward to today after battling eight years of depression, I decided to leave my marriage and to my beloved city, San Francisco. I relinquished all my property and ran away with a single bag of belongings and one month’s rent. I lost everything but felt I owned everything. A few months later, a new job and an art studio in Potrero Hill allowed me to continue painting.

Amidst these new surroundings, I found my true self. I explored city life, making new friends, exploring neighborhoods like the Tenderloin, visiting homeless shelters, experiencing the darkest and deepest side of humanity. I painted a series of urban cityscapes. My color palette ranged from warm to colder and from broad to more selective hues.

What does your passion mean to you?

Calligraphic is life itself. When the brushes hit the paper, it’s birth. After the brush left the paper, it’s death. It lives in the moment. My brushes are my roots … pushing their way out of the darkness and into the light.

Do what you love to do and never give up. Everyone has a passion but do not have the courage to continue to pursue it.

What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?

I want to share my experience with others, to inspire and encourage them of the endless possibilities that lie ahead. My community around me is creative and supportive, and that’s what I would like to offer in my classes.

How would you describe the link between your classes and the community around you?

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In my classes, I will always make it a point to have my students to share their experiences first. Based on what they have shared, I will encourage them to talk about their personal achievements and why they decided to study art. Everyone has their own journey and painting is a form to express their feelings. My role is to teach students to paint with their feelings, not to draw specific objects. It is not about copying objects and painting them. In abstract art, it is all about painting with emotions and how you perceive your perceptions.

How long have you been living in San Francisco? What would you recommend to someone who just moved to this city?

I have been living in San Francisco since 2007. There’s just so many things to do here! I enjoy being in the outdoors and with nature surrounding me. From outdoor activities like camping and hiking to cultural activities like art openings, my advice would be to just go out there to explore the city. With a lot of creative and exciting energy here, take adventures and discover what you love to do, not what’s expected of you.

Tell us about your favorite moment/ biggest achievement since you started teaching your classes.

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My students became more aware of their desire and confidence expression their inner self. I also have students that are middle-aged and joining the class. They decided to start getting involved in art as they didn’t have the chance to do so when they were younger.
Recently, I  had a student that joined my class who had a high-paying job at Apple. After taking my class, she burst into tears and told me how happy she felt as she’s finally painting again. She then decided to quit her job and start painting full-time.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn more about your passion?

Have the vision, courage, and discipline. Keep doing it until you are good at it and opportunities will find you. Don’t stop even if it’s difficult, and don’t fear that you will make mistakes. it is a journey and learning itself is the most beautiful art. Don’t put all your thoughts to think about making a living out of doing art, it’s a difficult task. Instead, put your thoughts into how you can paint better.

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What are your goals for the future?
I hope to continue to create good art, inspire more people and to see more of the world we live in – to travel more externally and internally. To travel externally is to visit new places to learn more a new culture and meet new people.
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What does Verlocal mean to you?
I think that Verlocal is a really good tool that helps to make my dream come true! I could connect with more people, and meet new friends that share the same interests as me.
Do you have a quote that resonates with you the most? Share it with us and what it means to you!
“Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgment difficult. —Hippocrates (460-400 B.C.)”

Start painting and create your next masterpiece! Share the reason why you want to start painting and/or what painting means to you in your life with us and comment below before March 24, 2017! One lucky commenter will have the chance to meet June and attend a Painting Abstract art class for FREE.

If you are a host on Verlocal and would love to feature on host spotlight, send us an email at karyn@verlocal.com with a short paragraph about why you want to be featured!



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