Charlotte Qin

Love Letter from 2022

My future-self asked me to read this when I am feeling weak

I admire you whole-heartedly how you were trembling with fear but still surrendering yourself to the unknown.

Courage

First, acknowledge that you are a freaking courageous, brilliant young woman. Despite your Chinese families feel responsible for your risks and were furiously in disagreement with the reckless pursuit of your art career, you had to rebel hard this time and lived the consequences for long enough to feel at peace every day. When your bank account fell below CHF 3000, below 1000, then 500, and finally 50… your threshold to freak out was tested over and over that you finally learned that feeling secure is the inner work, and that it is perfectly okay to ask for help. I admire you whole-heartedly how you were trembling with fear but still surrendering yourself to the unknown. You unconsciously did not leave any room for Plan B because then you would have no choice but to keep going. You still inspire me every time today when I have to step out of my comfort zone again and again. None of what I am doing today would have existed if you didn’t make the first step to post your first artwork on Instagram, to start branding your art as a business, to hand over your business card to the art exhibiter, to send that application two minutes before the deadline… even though all you wanted to do sometimes is stay in your bed and hide from the rest of the world. Thank you for not giving up on yourself.

Thank you, thank you for taking care of your temple of creativity, your vehicle of magic.

Intuition

We are never taught in school, not even in art school: to be in connection with our intuition, but you earned your self-knowledge the hard way this year. As we all have memories that we try to forget, parts of ourselves we want to exclude from our self-identity, and of course, people we want to delete from our lives for good… These inescapable shadows all seemed to have swallowed you during the confinement last spring. No surprise, you turned to art and let your tears blend into the ink on your canvas. Your art practice became the physical cleansing that allowed the heavy emotions to pass through and left you more in peace with yourself each time. Through this practice, you had learned to listen what your body had to say — another thing we were never taught in our mind-driven society. You were taking longer to get out of bed. You were cleaning your room before you rushed to finish a project. You were taking the evening to make yourself a hearty meal and a warm cup of tea next to your journal before bed. You were resting in bed with a book on your period, instead of checking off your next to-do-list. You were finally doing nothing but sleeping when you were sick. Thank you, thank you for taking care of your temple of creativity, your vehicle of magic.

It is going to be a big surprise. Trust me.

Authenticity

The Universe must have reassured you: as long as you stay authentic to yourself, the right doors will open to you. In your early 20s, you had a restless life alternating from study to internship back to back year after year. You were a sponge that wanted to soak up all the experiences that the Universe had to offer, a child who was curious to learn everything about this world. Finally, it left you feeling lost professionally like you could be doing anything and nothing. One day, you stopped chasing… You said no to the job which could have killed you by stress. You let go of the client who was not willing to pay you for how much you value yourself. You quitted in the middle of a virtual hackathon that you signed up to but no longer interested you. Each of them made a decisive impression on you because you had broken the year-long patterns of catching every opportunity out there. That showed that you had no longer needed to seek approvals from others to value yourself. When you filter out what no longer serves you, you are holding a clear space to receive what you truly deserve. It is going to be a big surprise. Trust me.

Water always gets to where she needs to be, without worries, even though at times, she had to go through the fallen banks and bumpy rocks.

As I am writing to you from the future, a place in space-time that you cannot yet perceive with your eyes. Nevertheless, space is not as static as it seems, neither is time as linear as you experienced. Be like water — water always gets to where she needs to be, without worries, even though at times, she had to go through the fallen banks and bumpy rocks.

You feel safe, so safe. You have more than enough money in your bank account that you could even plan for your holidays a year ahead. You could buy carefully chosen presents for your mom, dad, grandmother, grandpa, cousins, and bring home lots of Swiss chocolate on your visit.

You feel supported. You are constantly held and encouraged by the artistic community locally and globally. They are not only vibrant, inspiring, but also make you feel like you are leading the love revolution together. Moreover, this community only seems to grow bigger and stronger.

You are seen. You have an audience who are fascinated by the presence of you and your art in their life. You bring mysteries and femininity to the ones who seemed to have lost touch with the art of living. Having a piece of your artwork around reminds them of how luxuriously beautiful life can be by just being still.

You are valued. Your clients need your talents to bring their ambition to the next level. The touch of your design has added the magic of seduction to their work, and thus all the funders and stakeholders start falling with their visions.

You are so loved. You generously give love, spend quality time with people. You value each relationship, because they are the building blocks to this life and you hold one another with genuine care as we are in the web of life together.

I hope these visions have brought waves of joy to you tonight. Please remember to open this letter, read it again from time to time. The sky can be sunny or cloudy, but the Northstar is always there when you need the guidance.

Chinese-Canadian artist based in Geneva, Switzerland. I share intimate stories behind my work at the QinTheory 秦 論 Studio. (https://qintheory.studio/)