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Rebecca Kwan

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Rebecca Kwan

Visual Arts

I am a Chinese Canadian aspiring artist. My most often used art medium is mixed media, where I use pencil to sketch, watercolor to fill in with colored pencils on top. I was born in BC, grew up in Hong Kong, and finished my university education in accounting in Ontario. As I was growing up, I have always had an interest in visual art. I loved to draw and paint, but my parents would ask me to focus on learning piano when I asked for art classes.

Soon after my graduation from university, I was working full time in Toronto on my own as an accountant in a financial services company. In 2016, about 1.5 years into my career in finance, I started to get very sick from a rare autoimmune disease, Dermatomyositis. I could not sit up from bed or get up easily, and could barely walk straight. My fingers had countless ulcers filled with pus that took months to heal. The illness results in a lung disease, which led to several major air leaks that required medical procedures and a surgery to resolve. Moreover, my mother was diagnosed in the same year with a highly malignant cancer, and passed away within a year of her diagnosis. It was the toughest time of my life and I cannot express how I felt in words.

During this time, my childhood friend gave me a box of watercolor as a gift. She wanted me to spend my time wisely through finding and developing an interest. This is when I started to sketch and paint whenever I had free time. It was like an art therapy where I felt relaxed whenever I paint and accomplished whenever I finished a piece. It helped me to focus on art instead of my disability, sorrow, and frustrations. I was even painting inside my hospital room last year as I asked my family to bring me some watercolors – one of which was sold at the market as a print.

If you ask me how I still have a smile on my face, I would tell you it is because of Jesus Christ my savior, who unconditionally loves me, fills my heart with joy, and picked me up from the lowest point of my life. Undoubtedly, it is also because of the loving support of my dear family and friends, as well as the dedicated medical staff that I have encountered.
A few words to describe my art would be “Christian-themed”, “happiness”, “nature”, “love”, “relationships” and “perseverance”. I love to express my art with a lot of details. Though my art is not perfect, I hope people can see a lot of life yet with gentleness in my art. I love to use pastel color with delicate strokes. Going forward, I would love to pursue my career as a visual artist with these values in mind. It makes me overjoyed when my art makes a person happy and inspired along with the strength to carry on with the hurdles in life.

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