Hi! My name is Shelly Lui, the artist behind Abstract Affirmations. I am a self-taught Asian-American artist who was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. My abstract art is inspired by mental health advocacy through a visually stimulating and thought-provoking presentation. Since childhood I’ve always doodled abstract forms of creatures and patterns that people most often described as “odd” or “weird.” I embraced that my creativity is different than the norm, however, I took a break from creating art as I focused my career path in healthcare, specifically as an occupational therapist. Throughout my time working for a psychiatric hospital, I led group therapy sessions focused on arts and crafts, meditation, movement, and other mindfulness-based activities.
It was here that I was reminded about the impact and healing powers of art and creativity. During group therapy, there was always at least one of my patients who felt discouraged, insecure, or hesitant to create, make, and explore. I would hear this over and over again across patients of all ages – “I can’t make art, I’m not an artist, I’m not creative.”
I challenged their mindset by stating that creativity can be found throughout all meaningful activities. Creativity is not limited by just a paintbrush or coloring tool. Creativity and art is found in cooking, dancing, organizing, writing, singing - anything you can think of!
With that in mind, I decided to doodle again, despite my lack of knowledge in artistic history and art education. I just drew whatever came to my head… and wow! I am so humbled by my supporters who love and appreciate my art.
Through my art, you may find animals, patterns, swirls, lines, curves, people, anything you can think of. Each artwork is paired with an affirmative quote and/or poem that is related to mental health, specifically in areas of self-care, healthy relationships, codependency, breaking and forming patterns, coping skills, and more. Thank you for visiting my profile, and I do hope that my art takes you on a journey to see a different perspective, embody affirmations, and enjoy this visual and cognitive experience.