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Get creative with Ness Lee

April 4th, 2019

Image courtesy of the artist

From house-dancing to skateboarding, our FREE After Three workshops are the place to be for 14 to 25-year-olds. And did we mention that they’re free?! Yup. Zero dollars. And many of the workshops are facilitated by up-and-coming local artists, like illustrator and artist Ness Lee, whose eye-catching murals can be seen all over downtown Toronto.

A multimedia artist, Lee also works extensively in ceramics. Beginning April 18, she’ll facilitate the Clay and Ceramics Workshop, helping young people learn pottery techniques to make pinch pot piggy banks, geometric vessels, brooches and much more.

We spoke with Lee while she was in India working on one of her signature public murals to talk about her art and what advice she has for young artists.

AGO: Can you give us a brief description of your art practice?

Lee: I would usually describe it as autobiographical, but lately, it’s felt like it has a life of its own. It all started from dealing with a loss of a sense of self, and in some ways, I think it continues to be an exploration of getting to know myself better, bit by bit.

AGO: What age did you start making art, and when did you start calling yourself an artist?

Lee: Art always felt like an exploration of sorts, and at times I wasn’t quite sure what to call it. But I’ve been studying art and digesting it in every way I can ever since I was young. It still feels unreal to call myself an artist every time I do, but I’m so grateful to be able to.

AGO: Do you have any advice for young artists looking to start their careers?

Lee: Everyone’s path is so different. I always try to express to creatives to be kind to themselves- something that I have trouble with, especially when it comes to self-expectations and ideas about where one should be versus where they are now, which are thoughts you can’t entirely control. I’d also say, do what you can for yourself now, follow your feelings and continue to be curious and explore when you can.

AGO: What other projects are you working on?

Lee: I’ve been blessed to take part in more group shows and festivals in and outside of Toronto. I’ll be involved in more curatorial collaborations and workshops, as well as my solo show coming later this year!

Want to know more about FREE After Three? Find the full list of courses and workshops here.

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