We had the good fortune of connecting with Yengiang Nguyen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yengiang, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Life is all about taking risks. Whether it is big or small. I like to live by a very famous quote, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” When an opportunity arises, and I am not sure whether or not to move forward. I ask myself why? If it is because of a fear of failure, what people might think, or if I know it is a limiting belief that I am telling myself, then I take the risk and do it. I find that taking action and just going for it eliminates self-doubt.
I did not always think this way. Growing up in an Asian household, I was told that being an artist was not going to give me the money I needed to survive in this world and I neglected my calling for most of my life. Needless to say, risk was not something that was approved of in my household, but…I was a bit of a rebel 🙂
I engaged in the arts and music since I was 8 years old and it was always a fluctuation of off and on, until now. Whenever I deviated from the path I was supposed to be on, I would always gravitate back to it, one way or another. I remember it took me about 7 years to graduate college with a BA in Arts Education because I did not know what to major in at the time. In the back of my mind I was always telling myself to just major in Art and see where it goes. The other voice was telling me “What about supporting your loved ones? What about the money?” I found later on that those were the wrong questions to ask myself. If anything, those questions stalled me, until I found my way back.
My first entrepreneurial experience opened my eyes to a whole new world; a world full of risks! In 2019, I started a company called Fizzcology. My mission at the time was to create CBD infused products that helped people with chronic pain, stress, anxiety and any other ailments. I learned so much about business all at once. It was an incredible experience to network with people, to help people, and to work alongside others who believed in me. There was also the struggle of understanding who to work with, how to find your niche, how to adjust my mistakes and all these things I hadn’t known before. I am grateful for the experience and am still on the journey of understanding the entrepreneurial path, but have shifted to my true calling: An Artist/Creator.
Since I’ve re-established my journey as a professional artist, I have applied for many grants, various art shows, and for the chance to paint murals all over the U.S. The more time I put into showing up for these projects, I know I have a higher probability of someone saying YES to me. The most important thing I have learned so far in my process of taking risks, is taking the action needed to move forward. Take the shots…you never know what will come of them 🙂
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Self awareness, spirituality, nature, music, culture and community.
These are the topics that inspire me to do what I love most…make art 🙂
As human beings, we strive for connection and love. Through creating meaningful and symbolic works of art, I help others find a sense of self. With each thoughtful and intentional application of color, portrayal of animals, people, flowers and other inspirations; I am able to provide a connection and sense of belonging to those who seek it.
In 2018, I began my journey of looking within. Discovering that there was so much more to who I am, what I am capable of and what I could do to help others.
I used to thrive on negative thoughts and put those emotions into my art, but as time went on and I did the self work…my art began to shift and change.
My art progressed as I progressed.
Remember to enjoy the journey and learn as you grow <3
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are so many fun and great places to visit in Orange County. One of my favorite spots to go to is Laguna Beach. It is one of the most active and creative places in OC with so many options for great food, art galleries, cute shops and plus we have the beach! Who doesn’t love that? A tradition I have in Laguna is to go to Gelato Paradiso every time I visit there. When I was younger, my dad would take me there to get one of my favorite desserts, strawberry or mint gelato 🙂 I also had the opportunity to paint a 16ft banner for the City of Laguna Beach, which will be displayed on Main Beach for the next 7 years to come. It is amazing how supportive the community is there. They help local artists expand their reach within the city and around the world by presenting opportunities almost on a daily basis.
Another place people love to travel to is Los Angeles. It has plenty of fun places to go. Because I am a child at heart, I love going to Disneyland. It takes me to a fantastical place where nothing like it exists outside of its castle walls. I also enjoy the Getty Museum. You get to see so many different types of artwork throughout history and learn about a variety of artists, their era, and what motivated them to create the art they did. The Getty also has a vast and beautiful garden area where you can take long walks and get in touch with nature. There’s also Santa Monica 3rd St promenade. If you like to shop, eat, and spoil yourself, then I would go here. So many great clothing stores, amazing restaurants and again we are right next to the beach. There are also many street performers that are talented and can bring in a crowd!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people I want to thank on my journey of becoming a full-time artist. First and foremost, my mom. She has been my crutch throughout the process and is always looking for ways to provide support, no matter what it is. Right now, she is commissioning me to paint a piece for her and has been spreading the word about my talents to her friends and family. I love my mom! I would also like to thank my cousin Jen Wong for the Shoutout LA interview. She is not only my cousin, but one of my best friends. I know that I can always count on her to help me with anything I need and I make sure to give back to her as well. She is also running her own business called Tangled Collective Nails. She makes beautiful press on nails and she had custom made me a pair. I love them! Since we are both on the entrepreneurial path, we bounce ideas off of one other to gain insight and provide support whenever we need it. This is super helpful because we can learn from each other and help one another succeed 🙂
My siblings have been an amazing support throughout my whole life and are always there no matter what. My big brother, Phan, older sister Huong and little sister Vitran have been there to encourage me, boost my self-esteem, and to find ways to help me get to the next level in life. I would not be where I am at without them <3
My boyfriend Max has been by my side through the ups and downs of my endeavor as a professional artist. When I am having a tough day, he would be there to provide advice, hugs, and lots of love to comfort me. All we need is a hug and some sound advice to feel better right? haha.
Next up, my friends. I have a whole list of them so I’m just going to say: You know who you are 🙂
Thank you everyone for being my foundation towards success!