How would you describe your art - in one sentence, or a short phrase.
A cocktail of desperation and longing.

Photo of you in your studio; or beside an art piece that you like.

One sentence to describe your studio / the place you work.
Cramped and messy, though I kind of enjoy the sense of confinement and being surrounded by my own work.

Photos of your 3 best artworks, the title and a short description.

Loneliness begs to be felt and I find myself a regular patron - an audience to the sublime. Won't you grab a seat right next to me?

"You were the most beautiful thing I'd ever felt. And I was convinced you'd remain the most beautiful thing I'd ever feel. Do you know how limiting that is? To think that at such a ripe young age I'd experienced the most exhilarating person I'd ever meet. And I'd spend the rest of my life just settling. To think i'd tasted the most natural, rawest form of sugar and everything else would be refined and synthetic. That nothing beyond this moment would add up. That all the years beyond me could not combine themselves to be sweeter than you."

If I pretended these tight fabrics were your arms, this place becomes so cozy, almost loving. Almost. Just kidding. I guess I might be a little crazy...

Most memorable art commission - what was the piece about, who commissioned the art, what was the experience like.
The most memorable commission I've ever received would have to be the first full sized family painting from Melissa. I felt really flattered that she would pick me to memorialize the scene. Although to be honest, I feel a lot of pressure and stress to deliver on that painting.

It would be the first oil painting that I'd be attempting after a nearly 6 months hiatus. This would be the piece that brought me right back in to it and remind me of the value in doing what I do. It heavily solidified my belief that art should never be purely self-serving and we, as artists have to create works that can be appreciated by the general public - not just catered to our exclusive and elitist industry.

The painting brought about a great sense of satisfaction upon completion especially after gaining feedback for it. There was so much more value in being able to make something that could end up meaning so much to others and ever since then I've been chasing after that worth even in my personal works.

I am still amazed at how stumbling upon this opportunity could affect the direction of my art in such a great way. There was definitely a lot of frustration as well as backaches along the way but I'd do it all over again.

How you work with your clients - a short description of how you develop concepts and ideas, and collaborate with your clients.
I always make it a point to lay out my own limitations while finding out their wants and expectations. After all, it is quite impossible to be able to cater to every kind of style although I do my best to be versatile enough through lots of practice. Since the bulk of my work revolves around portraiture, I leave it up to the clients to pick out the moment(s) they'd like to be captured and I'd advise them on which I feel would work best and why.

There are times when they would only want a particular image and it is always nice to be able to hear the reason and stories behind them. This could be 1 of my favourite perks while doing commissions - when getting to hear some stories. After awhile you gain a tiny little collection of them that could really help broaden your perspective and it also helps me get more invested in the work. It becomes almost routine and quite a chore when making works you don't feel for.

Ultimately it is this constant pushing and pulling that happens within the conversation that helps in coming up with something both parties could be proud of. It is important to develop some form of understanding and trust in one another; me, in their choice of image and expectations, and them, in that I will do my best to realize their expectations while adding my own input.

What/who inspires you?
I am most inspired by our sense of empathy as I feel it is the quality that defines our humanity. I work around that idea in various situations and narratives to create certain statements through my own work.

Browse Leslie Low's artworks on The Commissioned.