Connie Norman
Connie Norman

Cheeming Boey–Artist Interview


Today’s interview is a little bit different than what I have been presenting. When I first saw Cheeming Boey’s work I was floored, thinking wow look at those amazing drawings on porcelain. Then I found out they are Styrofoam cups! They are incredible!!! If you would like to see more go to Boey’s website.  He also keeps an on-line journal, which is very interesting. 

Cheeming Boey’s website:

Boey’s shop:

Tell us a little about yourself!

 I’m Malaysian and I spent a good part of my childhood in Singapore. I enjoy hackysack and camping. I can run pretty fast.


How did you become an artist?

When I failed math constantly and couldn’t become a doctor. Those drawings of action figures I did as a kid came in handy as an alternate career path. Looking back, it probably wouldn’t be the best thing for me personally to go into medicine, but it was the hopes of every Asian parent, and i guess that’s why i wanted to be a doctor.


How long does each cup take and how often do you sit down to draw them?

Boey responded with this image detailing his process (click for larger version):


What keeps you motivated?

Drawing is like gambling for me. there’s always that chance that you can create the most perfect piece of art work. i have yet to draw something that makes me feel i “did everything PERFECT”. so that keeps me going. All the encouraging feedback from people who check out my work certainly helps as well.


Are you a full-time artist? How do you come up with your creations? Can you walk us through your creative process when dreaming up new pieces?

I work 9-5 as an animator. My creations stem from my everyday adventures. Usually I picture how the cup will look like – the composite of the drawing etc. then I draw. Sometimes I just let my hands go free and the result can be pleasantly unexpected.


What or who inspires you?

That’s hard to say, movies, music, loved ones, depression sometimes.


How do you maintain a healthy work and life balance?

it is all time management. what can i do while i am on the treadmill. when i am driving, i think about ideas. i’m often multitasking. its hard to find time to dedicate for just one thing.


You, like most people enjoy the process of making and didn’t get into it for the sake of “business”. But eventually you found yourself having to make the transition from artists to a businessperson. What have you learned so far and what advice can you give others in the same situation?

i think alot of artists are so caught up on making art, that they forget the marketing aspect of it. This is why some guys who are great artists find it hard to make a living with their art. i believe the marketing aspect is far more important than the art, AFTER you have established a style.  an example would be “the iron giant” by WB. Great animated film, bt so little emphasis was placed on the marketing aspect of it. so not many people know about it. It could’ve done so much better at the theaters.



What advice can you give aspiring artists struggling to find their own voice and look?
i like to remind them of one of nike’s ad campaign many years back. “impossible is nothing”


Thank you!!  I hope you found more fans in the ceramic world!

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One Response to “Cheeming Boey–Artist Interview”

  1. ang Says:

    brilliant i love this one!! such a great interview connie…thanks…last fringe in adelaide i took some pictures of a styrofoam cup sculpture at the uni gallery its pretty amazing..of course i’ve deleted those images durr