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Mui-Ling Teh

Art and Words from the Heart



Fine Arts and Mixed Media/Collages







Medieval Norman Farmhouse by Mui-Ling TehMy passion for art began during my eighth grade; I enjoyed drawing and painting, but what I enjoyed most was building models by hand. As a result I kept a lot of scrap material, including cardboard boxes, popsicle sticks, shish kabob sticks, old containers, old cloth and more.


"Pussycats" by Mui-Ling TehDuring high school, art courses focused more on two-dimensional art, and my drawing and painting skills progressed. The period in which I progressed the most however was during the summer following my 11th grade; when my father bought me two books of artworks by a Chinese Australian artist, Jiawei Shen, who drew and painted realistic portraits. One day, I decided to give realism a try, and even surprised myself when I completed Pussycats. That summer I continued to draw realistic drawings to include in my portfolio, including Young Mother. As a result, my final year in high school was the one I was most proud of.


"Sunset with Blue Trees" by Mui-Ling TehBut I was not only interested in realistic artworks. Another artist I was interested in around the time was Hiroshi Senju, and I did a few paintings inspired by his style; my first and most popular being Sunset with Blue Trees. Senju limits his colours; often painting his foregrounds and backgrounds in contrasting complimentary colours. His style is simple yet intense. "Lanscape in a Ball" by Mui-Ling TehI have also been a big fan of Japanese anime and manga, and sometimes drew pictures in an anime style. Sometimes I incorporated mathematical strategies into my artwork; I drew spherical grids by hand to draw fisheye images, and also used math to construct complicated geometry in three-dimensional form. All my drawings, paintings, and sculptures/crafted models vary in style.


"Mediterranean Kitchen" by Mui-Ling TehDuring my final years in high school I became more active with my art; I took part in more extra-curricular activities, had my work selected to be part of an exhibition, won a few places in art competitions, and was even offered a commission for the summer following my graduation. I was keen to pursue a career in art, but knew it was not easy to make a living in the field. So I chose to study architecture in university, which seemed like a good compromise; especially since I was also good in math and enjoyed working in 3D.


A hand drafted site plan of Arthur Erikson's Smith House by Mui-Ling Teh, for an outbuilding design project, done during her second year in architecture school.While I had a few opportunities to be artistic during university, I wasn't always fully satisfied with the finished result of my drawings or models due to the tight deadlines. The deadlines also often forced me to work digitally rather by hand; and meanwhile other complications on top of school stress occurred in my life. I did have a few free hand drawing assignments, but those were done as quick sketches. One way or another it just wasn't the same; I don't know if it was because of the tight deadlines, lack of motivation, or because I felt too gloomy in the school environment - or a combination of everything; but I was barely ever content with the drawings or models I created for school. During internships however, which were usually four months long, I was often satisfied when there were opportunities to do something artistic.


"Sweet Angel Eyes" by Mui-Ling TehIn 2008 I began an eight month internship. It was a nice break from school, and I decided to start doing my own art again. In February I found Redbubble, and re-discovered my desire to follow my true passion. I enjoyed showcasing my artwork online, but at the same time I was amazed by the skill and talent of other artists in the community. Back when I began to draw realistically during high school, I thought I was good; but as I saw the artistic talent of some of the other artists, I realized I had a long way to go. Despite that, those other artists gave me nice comments on my art; and as I explored more artworks and began drawing again, my drawing skills took another step.


Just as the works by Shen boosted my skills vastly, artists on Redbubble have done the same. Based on my own journey, I have concluded that the greatest way for me to evolve as an artist was to explore the works of other artists. This also happened during my internship in Japan; in the beginning, everyone I worked with was better at model-making than I was, but in a day's training I improved vastly. "Inside my little heart" by Mui-Ling TehAdditionally, in an interactive community like Redbubble where one could communicate with other artists directly, members are able to ask each other questions or receive feedback from their peers. Prior to joining Redbubble, I thought my technical skills were already high. But after spending some time on Redbubble, not only did my technique improve, but I also learned a valuable lesson.


I learned that art is not only about representation, but also about communication. Meanwhile, I realised, more than ever, that sometimes a work is more successful if simpler or more abstract. I also began getting a better hang of drawing realistically without a direct photo reference (I would still look at various photos for studies as I draw, but the drawing would not be a direct copy of one single image - such was the case in Inside my little heart).


"Golden Clover Dreams" by Mui-Ling Teh

I have also been experimenting more with collages and mixed media, often using my scanner in ways I have never done before beyond creating a two-dimensional art piece.  Sometimes I arrange objects on my scanner, and the let it run without closing the lid, while holding a background over the objects to get interesting effects; often leading viewers to believe the work was done digitally.

Although my skills have improved, I still do not get the chance to draw as frequently as I have in my teen years; largely owed to the busy-ness of life, along with new growing interests in photography, digital art and poetry. But every opportunity I get to pick up a pencil or a pen to draw with always brings me much joy; and in recent times my drawings have also been bringing many other people joy, which makes the moment all the more fulfilling.









3-dimensional Models and Crafts by Mui-Ling Teh 
A showcase of my passion for making models by hand.



Origami by Mui-Ling Teh 
Miniature origami models that I folded, along with a few larger models made out of plastics, metals and more.



Architectural Drawings and Material Studies by Mui-Ling Teh 
Most of my works are done with paper based material, but once in a while I work with plastics, metals and more.



Architectural Drawings and Material Studies by Mui-Ling Teh 
Some of my architectural drawings, perspectives, and materials studies, that I drafted and rendered by hand.



Drawings, Paintings and Collages by Mui-Ling Teh 
See more of my artwork here.



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