Zhang Mengying, journalist

I have had a special passion for painting since I was young, but I did not learn to paint formally. I started painting with oil pastels by chance, around March and April 2020. By then, I was thinking of picking up an easy hobby to make lockdown life a bit easier.

One day, I was looking through the video website and noticed a vlogger painting with oil pastels. I followed her step-by-step approach, gradually finishing paintings based on a photo or a picture.

One painting usually takes me an hour, so I tend to immerse myself during the weekends.

I was touched by different moments in my friends’ lives and wanted to paint for them

What I find most surprising is that there really is a way, which is not very difficult, to explore a new world and enjoy the happiness in that moment. That’s the main reason I continue to paint.

I was touched by different moments in my friends’ lives and wanted to paint for them. I did a painting of a cat for a former leader who loves cats as her farewell present when she left our company.

Another gift was for a friend who had just had a baby. Once she sent me a picture, I was immediately inspired to paint a baby on the Moon. My painting does not actually resemble the baby, but my friend really cherishes it.

My hobby has also influenced my friends. Once, after I posted a picture in a WeChat group, one of my friends saw it and also picked up painting.

I was afraid that my hobby would not last long, but it turns out that I really enjoy it and I have already started to learn to draw.

As an accountant, I am really busy during workdays, so it is soothing to paint and reduce the stress from work.