It all began with my grandpa.

From our sixth floor apartment in Beijing, we would sit by the light of the window, lay out our brushes, paints, and a perfect sheet of rice paper. I was 5 years old.

Soon, we’d lose ourselves in creation – as white turned into color, formless into form, and emptiness into imagination. Is there anything better than making art?


But I’ll be honest. It took me a while to get here. 34 years to be exact.

Though I’ve been making art my whole life – yeah, I was that kid in elementary school drawing for 8 hours a day while bored in class – professionally, I’ve always pursued more “practical” and “justifiable” endeavors such as computer science. Art was “just” a side hobby.

But, in 2017, after an intense 5-year hustle to finish my PhD, I was burnt-out. Exhausted. Overwhelmed. I decided it was time to try something different.

To experiment. To create. To play.  I figured – it was good for my soul.


So – for the first time ever, I’m getting brave and putting my art out there into the world. It’s exciting, scary, and I can’t wait to see where this goes.

As Elizabeth Gilbert writes in her book Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear:

“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner—continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you—is a fine art, in and of itself.”

So, onwards, dear friends. Go forth and live your most creative life.

And from the bottom of my heart, thank you for supporting mine.

© 2019 Helen Ai He All Rights Reserved