Artist Spotlight: Jen Fong Shares How to Build Confidence as an Artist

Where are you from / currently live?

San Diego, CA

Could you give us a brief overview of your art background? Do you know when you first became interested in art? 

“When I was 5 years old, I would hang out at the restaurant my Mom worked at and her customer, Joe, would draw portraits on a napkin.  He would let me sit with him and watch. I was fascinated at what he could do and I started drawing excessively since that day.”

“In my adolescence I got into comic books (X-Men and WildC.A.T.S.) which has greatly influenced my style of illustrating. I attended the Art Institute of CA where I got a degree in Media Arts and Animation and was hired as a Concept Artist Intern at Sony Online Entertainment, working on Free Realms. Since then I’ve done mostly freelance projects including children’s games and books, and work full time as a Graphic Designer.” 

“Frida Blooming,” by Jen Fong

Describe some of the jobs you have done professionally how they have helped develop your artistic skills.

“I learned so much at Sony Online Entertainment where I interned for a few months. It was awesome to be part of team and work so closely with the concept artists!”

“Drawing environments and perspective was not my strong point, it definitely helped sharpen those skills. When I worked  children’s books and games as a freelancer, I got to be more playful and creative with designing monsters and creatures, it was really fun and allowed me to experiment with my imagination.”

What artist influences your style the most?

“Joe Madureira”

What do you find is your biggest struggle as an artist?

“The biggest struggle I experienced was setting a price when I bid on freelance projects. It took me a while to really assert my worth and build my confidence as an artist.”

Where do you find your inspiration for your art?

“My art is greatly inspired by human anatomy and music.”

“Escape,” by Jen Fong

Have you ever experienced self doubt or lack of confidence as an artist?  If so, how do you overcome it?

“Sure I did. I still have those moments, and when I am caught in it, I pause and let all the things I am telling myself out… and then I pick up my pencil and remind myself that I don’t have to be perfect…”

“I just have to keep practicing at those parts I am not confident about. I like to surround myself with art that inspires me and gets me motivated to be better.”

Have you always wanted to be an artist?

“I knew that creating art, whatever form that may be, was something that will always be a part of my  life.”

Is there a type of art that you‘ve always wanted to learn?

“I’ve always wanted to learn watercolor. I find it incredibly intriguing and beautiful.”

“Mermaid,” by Jen Fong

Who is the most influential woman artist for you?

“Claire Wendling, hands down.”

Based on your professional experiences, do you have any advice for aspiring young women artists?

“To aspiring women artists out there, my advice would be to learn and grow your art as much as as possible.”

“The learning never stops.  To stand your ground in confidence, yet allow yourself to be humbled by constructive criticism… it will only make you better. Above all, follow your heart and allow yourself to experiment with your expression and imagination!”