Who is Lavennz Ooi?

Visual artist, Lavennz Ooi, working on her oil painting, “Icebreaking” in her old studio in 2017.

Hey there, welcome to my blog!!

I’m so excited that you’re reading my writing now, especially this very first post of my new blog.

So, who is Lavennz Ooi?

My name is Lavennz Ooi and I'm an artist who want to make art that could contribute to your life and the world positively. I was born on Penang island, northwest state of Malaysia. I grew up moving a lot within the island before I went south to Kuala Lumpur for my degree study, spent a few months in Malacca, stay another three years back in Penang working as an engineer; and finally, I took a 8000 miles of flight to Maine, the pine tree state I called home since fall of 2013.

Don't count those years in school when I was painting as a hobby, I started making art as a career after the afternoon when my roommate saw my painting. I was a year from graduate with my engineering degree and we were working on our thesis. He said I should be an artist. Of cause I laughed at his idea; but secretly, I was over the rainbow.

I wasn't sure about the idea of being a professional artist because it's never an ideal job in the environment I grew up. Half curious and half anticipated, I looked for anything about artist on the Internet. And I found a bunch of amazing artists who is supporting their life with their creativity -  one of them is my idol a.k.a. favorite artist, Audrey Kawasaki. From that moment, I begun to taste the dream of becoming an artist.

Flash forward to today, I have been making art for eight years, searching for the right medium and style - from digital illustration to acrylic then settled down with oils since 2013.  It took me that much of time to polish my skills and develop my artistic voice into what you see today. With helps from several online courses, demo videos and books, I was finally feeling confident with my works and have an idea of how to start an art business. That's 2017. I registered my art business at the city hall, create a separate bank account just for my art and officially telling everyone I'm an artist when they ask me "what do you do? ".

Swan Queen,    2011 Acrylic & Colored Pencil on Paper

Swan Queen, 2011
Acrylic & Colored Pencil on Paper

The Prediction of Time   , 2018 Oil, Acrylic, Ink & Chalk on Wood

The Prediction of Time, 2018
Oil, Acrylic, Ink & Chalk on Wood

Why I choose oil as my medium?

I had experimented various medium. The very first medium I was exposed to is watercolor. It accompanied me for many years before I tried digital painting and acrylic; then switching to oil completely in the end. What I like about oil are squeezing and mixing the buttery paints, the richness of its colors, the forgiveness it allow (in making mistakes and paint over it) and the drying time because I'm a slow painter.

What is my creative process like?

I usually spent an adequately time in sketching and gathering my references. Then, I will do a pencil study of the figure. Sometimes, I will do a color study just to give me a basic idea of how the painting will look like, even though the end result is very different from the study most of the time. Once I transfer my drawing onto canvas or panel, I’ll start painting in multiple layers to bring out the detail gradually. I don't really know when a painting is finish but I normally stop painting when I lost my interest in refining it.

Who were my early influencers?

To be honest, my earliest influencers are my talented peers in school and other contesters in live painting competition. They were my goals and my inspiration. Taiwanese Illustrator, Jimmy from Jimmy S.P.A is the first artist whose works I fall in love and greatly influenced the early stage of my artistic journey. Then, I learnt about pop-surrealism movement and I was motivated by many awesome female artists such as Audrey Kawasaki, Amy Sol, Stella Im Hultberg etc. Their styles brought my enthusiasm into the world of fine art and oil painting. Then, my chase after perfecting my skill lead me to the teaching of classical atelier; since then, my online teacher, Sadie Valeri, are my biggest influencer. 

Who are my current art inspirations?

Today, I find the works of master artist like Wang Ximeng, Istvan Sandorfi and living artists like Zhao Guojing & Wang Meifang, Jeremy Lipking, Brad Kunkle and Jeremy Geddes are very inspiring.

What do I do when I'm not painting?

Taking out chores and routines, I enjoy having a cup of coffee, write in my journals, playing piano, watch a movie, read a book, take a walk in the park or a trip to small town or big city.

If you have any other question, feel free to comment below or shoot me an email to contact@lavennzooi.com

Thank you and I hope have a very fine day!