Welcome to Humans of Hong Kong, a brand-new story series on Localiiz that takes a deeper look at the many colourful characters and unique personalities that call our beloved city home. Charlotte Mui is an artist that draws inspiration from literature, mythology, and nature. Listen as Charlotte walks us through her journey towards self-acceptance as an artist and, more importantly, as a person.
“My family’s stories inspire a lot of my artwork. My family is also the reason I got into tarot. My aunt used to dabble in the dark arts and did tarot readings. I found her old stash in the storage and that’s how I got started. Since my families stories are so visual in my head, I tend to gravitate towards illustrating it.”
“I don’t like constraining myself to a certain word or phrase to describe myself. I am who I am. I have evolved through so many personalities over the years—some values stay constant while some change due to circumstances.
“One unchanging value would be family. My family values are very strong—I come from a single-mother family and my maternal side is very close-knit. They helped to instil one of my anchoring values—caring about people you love and keeping that circle protected.”
“My eight-year-old self would be very happy with where I am, but because the goals are constantly changing, I don’t think I am completely happy with who I am right now, although I do have parts of me that I am happy with, like figuring what I like and what I want to do, so that’s where I’m heading.
“My advice would be not to say ‘yes’ to everything just because someone asks you to. It was my lesson to learn to say no—I realised that I don’t have all the time in the world and I need to prioritise.”
“My appearance has to do with my acceptance of myself. It’s taken me a long time to say that I like what I like and that’s okay. Now, I’m moving on to trying to accept other things.
“You can see other people’s illustration and artwork and see the beauty in their squiggly lines, but you cannot see it with your own work. I try to hold on to some of them by remembering the feeling I had at that moment. For example with my tarot cards, it was a moment where I felt this amazing feeling that something I have spent two years on has become something real.”
“I think everything is art. I think if it’s a mode of expression that helps you put your emotions into, then it is art. My art is breathing—it’s something I have to do and has become a necessity in my life. For example, one of my artworks was my way of helping me come to terms with my inability to lose weight. I don’t want to lose it, but I know I do and I would make those thoughts into mushrooms. I treat each line and stroke as a meditation—it’s a chance for me to slow down.
“I am learning to think of my art as stamps in time, that is what happened during then. Instead of constantly trying to fix things from the past, I am trying to move forward.”