1. Tell us how you came to be interested and involved in art.

When I was young, my dad would draw me pictures of my favourite cartoons for me to fill in with colour. After going through a lot of colouring books and line drawings from my dad, I began wanting to make my own drawings to colour in. The possibility of art as a form of direction to take in life came when I was accepted into an art programme in secondary school where I was allowed to pursue it as an academic subject. 


In his personal works, he draws inspiration from the women in his life; having grown up with two emotionally strong female influences. Naturally, his paintings revolves around the emotional capacity and roles of these women as a form of tribute and respect.

2. You have prior experience working in an art gallery. What was it like?

I was very fortunate to work in a gallery that was very transparent in their dealings with art. The majority of its clients are expatriates and businessmen. Their motivation from purchasing art mainly stems from an investor’s mindset rather than a genuine liking towards the pieces.

3. What are your personal thoughts on the phenomenon of art being purchased as a means of investment?

The art world has become extremely predictable, pretentious and just plain boring, really. There are so many people focused on mass producing pieces and looking for shortcuts. The trend has shifted from creating beauty to generating shock value even with students. We are encouraged in school to “evolve” from traditional painting to take up forms of new media even if it is not where our interest lies. It often doesn’t even include the need to draw, which I believe is the fundamental inspiration for people who take up art.

Many artists who graduate from school don't know their way around a pencil. To the layman, an artist who can't draw is completely unfathomable. It is sad that this is slowly becoming a norm. A lot of art pieces nowadays stem from a very conceptual basis and it seems to me that the process of many of these conceptual artists is to:



  • Skim through intellectual texts of any topic of interests before drafting out a pretentious artist statement.

  • Create a vague form of visual representation that could very often be easily tied in to any other explanations and derivatives.

  • Market it with notions such as “for the audience’s interpretation” or around a topic most common folk are not exposed to.

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I thought this industry was bred upon passion, not evolution or conformity.

Art by Leslie Low

"Grace Kelly" by Leslie Low

The art world has become extremely predictable, pretentious and just plain boring, really. There are so many people focused on mass producing pieces and looking for shortcuts.

4. You graduated from LASALLE, an art school. What was your experience like in your course of study, working with fellow art students as well as your lecturers?

Art school was really an eye-opener. The many different kinds of artists and people that exist in society, you will be able to find in your classmates. It was the most enriching form of education I have received, though not in the form of academics but from what I got to experience and observe.

I went through a couple of phases during my time in school; from only being concerned about my own work and beliefs, to complying with their expectations, then back to not giving a damn.

There was a huge range of personalities in my cohort that were often frustrating, mostly amusing and no doubt very interesting. Their individuality is very often translated into the kind of work they produce as well.

As for lecturers, I got a good mix of those who try really hard to make me conform to institutional standards and those who strongly encouraged me to pursue my interests and beliefs. To be fair, I wasn’t the easiest student to deal with while in school due to my stubbornness. 


Knowing that customers appreciate my art, and are willing to offer decent compensation in exchange for it makes me feel very grateful and somewhat hopeful for the future.

5. Can you describe your process of working on art commissions?

Upon understanding what the client wants to achieve, my first thought would be, how can I express the client’s vision in my own style. I’ve had a very positive experience so far as my clients have been understanding and patient.

While my clients have been very clear in what they expect of the final product, they have not been overly restrictive towards my approach, which makes the process a lot smoother.

It usually comes down to working out some minor details after my initial proposal and sketch, before starting on the artwork proper. This is followed by a final approval and touching up on the piece. 


Family by Leslie Low "Family", a recently completed commissioned work by Leslie Low

6. What do you enjoy most about working on commissioned art?

Knowing that customers appreciate my art, and are willing to offer decent compensation in exchange for it makes me feel very grateful and somewhat hopeful for the future.

7. Do you think commissioned art has a place in today's art world?

Definitely. It was how the art industry developed initially and it is evident that the appreciation of what it offers has not died out.

8. How did you find out about The Commissioned?

Through social media.

9. What do you think of it?

The platform has been very helpful in connecting buyers to artists, especially with its art concierge service that helps match the two together. I haven’t utilized it personally to know how it actually works, but being at the receiving end has been pretty rewarding. Many of my peers are looking out for commissions so I will definitely ask them to join.

10. What do you think is a problem we face in the art industry today?

The industry is overly fast-paced. Skill takes time to develop and good work takes time to create. I hope that more opportunities can be made available to new, younger artists so that they can grow and make a difference in this industry.

11. What's your experience in selling your art through galleries?

I have to constantly remind myself that at the end of the day, it is a business and this is an actual job; not a hobby or subject to take in school. In the midst of supply and demand is an industry that might stump progress for the sake of higher returns.

Being young, I do not wish to be identified with any form of art since there is so much more to learn and try. You would not want to be stuck labelled as a portrait painter or associated with a certain style of painting, which is what selling through galleries might do to you. Trying out other ways of painting resulted in my being dropped by a gallery since I wasn’t delivering what they expected of me after an initial cooperation.

The best and most depressing advice I have ever received has to be to get a proper job so that my needs will not compromise the integrity of my art. It speaks volumes of the industry through no fault of any party involved but it is what it is.

For more of Leslie or to chat with him, visit his artist page.