Cale Chew - Inspirational and Optimistic

By Patricia Ang

Cale ChewWe should treasure what we have now and live life to the fullest. We all have finite time in this world, not knowing if tomorrow will come. So live life, add value and leave with no regrets.

- Cale Chew

Who knew that art can be self-taught and it can serve as an inspiration?
Ms Cale Chew is one inspiring artist that comes to mind.

Aspire To Inspire

If A Picture Paints A Thousand Words, Then How Many Words Does It Takes To Paint A Picture? Sitting with Cale at her apartment with our iced coffee, it has been an eye-opener admiring the beautiful pictures that Cale has painted.

Cale aspires to live a fulfilling, fun filled life that adds value to the people that she meets. Her life has always been exciting and interesting. Adaptable and optimistic, she is not afraid of new challenges. A visual person, she loves creative and artsy things ranging from art, fashion and theatre.

"I believe that we should always keep an open mind, continue to learn and evolve as we move along in life. I aspire to be true citizen of the world, have an appreciative and open mind, accept diversity and blending the best of east and the west," reveals Cale.

Purpose = Passion + Talent + Faith + Discipline + Perseverance

"One has to have a purpose first to have a reason and driving force in his/her life, this fuels the passion. Passion can wane when there is no specific goal or a cause to go for and whatever one is working towards may end up in wastage. It is a blessing to have talent but I also strongly believe that you can still achieve greatness with hardwork. One can be very talented but if one does not put the talent to good use, it is as good as not having it. Without faith, discipline and perseverance, we cannot achieve what we set out to do especially when faced with challenges and setbacks," shares Cale.

Grooming With Style

Having been in the fashion industry for around 15 years, Cale has trained models, taught grooming and show production. She has also done styling photo shoots, makeup and hairstyling, photoshoots and events. Thereafter, she worked as an artiste manager for three years and handled event management working with clients like Starhub and Osim for their roadshows and lifestyle events.

The Artist

SunflowerA Nichiren Buddhist, Cale started painting after being spiritually inspired. She wanted to design a prayer booklet for her fellow members and chanted about it.

"The vision of a big yellow sunflower appeared before me in December 2008. The sunflower expressed the hope and happiness that people needed. I also saw the picture with smiley little girl lying on a huge sunflower, After spending 5 days, I came up with a successful first piece, which was a surprise to me as I never knew I was able to paint and my paintings could bring a smile to others."

"My first painting is titled: HOPE. Just like the sun rising and shinning on all, the sunflower represents the sun, with its radiance and cheerfulness, bringing joy and hope to all. The little figure represents us all. The message is to share joy and happiness to all. I always pray that each and every of my artwork will be able to encourage and inspire others," said Cale.

A self-taught artist, Cale never had any formal lessons in painting. Her foray into the art world was instinctive when she started painting with water colours. "I just drew the outline of the subject and fill in the colours using a picture as a reference point for colour. Then I let the artwork evolve till I feel it was right. My mind, heart, eyes and hands all worked together to actualise the painting."

Constantly in search of quotes and beautiful pictures on nature is where Cale derives her inspiration to paint. She also visits galleries, reads widely, admires and appreciates life.

Cale believes that all people are attracted to colourful things. Indeed it is colours that brighten one's mood and spirit. Hence her artwork is colourful as she wants her artwork to encourage and inspire people.

"Nature is such a wonder and amazingly beautiful. Take for instance one of my art pieces entitled 100 Years depicts a melancholic autumn with a little girl looking at the fallen leaves. The orange foliage are attractive enough but with the little girl looking at the fallen leaves, the audience is drawn to her," said Cale.

Favourite Quote

"Stay the course, light a star, change the world where ever you are" by Richard le Galienne is Cale's favourite quote. This quote reminds Cale that whenever she gets too busy with things to stay on her course to fulfil her mission in this lifetime.

Cale's Paintings

The theme of Cale's paintings is usually in the form of peace, friendship and love in nature. She has completed 45 paintings in A3 sizes and has recently painted a few A1 size paintings.

"Nowadays, the world is so chaotic and stressful in modern times. Daily, we see and hear negative news. We all could have more peace, friendship and love of nature. Hence I only want to paint positive things to encourage and inspire both myself and others. When people are inspired by positive things within themselves, they will in turn react in a positive manner. This is the Law of Cause and Effect. When you emphasize on the negative, it will only reinforce and expand the negativity. When we have peace within ourselves, we will manifest it our environment. Wisdom arises within us which henceforth creates more positive things and value to all around us," notes Cale.

"When we have peace, we can build friendship and vice versa. Everything is interlinked with its value and purpose. We need each other and everything in this world to survive. As we, the human race explodes in population, we encroach on each other for our own growth. We exploit and destroy nature for our own use without remorse and consideration. We have forgotten the benefits and blessings that nature confers upon us. I want to pay tribute to the beauty and wonder of nature," says Cale.

Serving Community

Last year, Cale was invited by Singapore Soka Association (SSA) to produce SSA 2010 calendars (their first calendar in history). Surprised, Cale felt both very fortunate and honured to be invited by SSA as she was barely into her sixth month of painting. Indeed all sales of the calenders was going to a fund which will be for a new building where the members and people could utilise for activities promoting peace, culture and friendship.

Rebirth"The theme of my artwork is on nature, being positive and colourful. This coincides with the core values of the association's, thereby contributing to my work being selected.

In 2010, Cale, contributed a painting for auction in March to the Marketing Institute of Singapore (MIS) for the Singapore Children's Cancer Foundation (CCF).

"I was told that the organisers liked My Autumn 100 years art piece. They love the colours but the painting was in A3 size, which was rather small. I decided to work on a new original painting based on the same theme and quote. I completed my first A1 size painting in 5 days. I named it Rebirth as I want to inspire hope and dedicate this painting to the children who are suffering from cancer. The quote of the painting was: "Plants and trees are bare in autumn and winter, but when the sun of spring and summer shines on them, they put forth branches and leaves and fruit." - Nichiren Daishonin

The painting fetched an auction price of $1,900. Cale hopes to have more opportunities to use her artwork to contribute to meaningful causes.

What Inspires Cale

Nature, beauty, goodness and kindness, courage and wisdom of the people and inspirational quotes inspire Cale.

Cale hopes to use her artwork to contribute to good causes, like what she did for SSA and CCF. The contribution can either be through auction or merchandising, hence also creating awareness and education through books and exhibitions. Cale always paints with an inspirational quote in mind. She has a Facebook fan page which she posts regularly showcasing her artwork with quotes to encourage friends and fans.

Cale is currently working on having books based on inspirational themes like love, peace, happiness. She plans to publish her works in 2011. It will feature collections of her artwork with inspirational quotes she has done and she hopes that the book will encourage and inspire others when they are facing challenges in their own life.


Draw A DreamOne of the challenges that Cale faces is Time. It has been an extremely busy period for Cale this year. At times it can be a struggle to find time to paint since she needs to sit down and be silent to paint.

Recently she was involved in many voluntary projects this year (2010) like Soka Youth Musical, YOG. Cale will be embarking on the Youth Expedition Program (YEP) in October hence she may not have the luxury to time to paint as much as she could.

"As a new artist, I am not established or known hence I have to find avenues and opportunities to market and promote my artwork. I will be focusing more on this aspect towards the end of the year after I have completed all my projects. It is also difficult to be a full-fledge artist in Singapore so I have to continue working to sustain my art till I established myself and find better avenues financially," said Cale.

People Who Inspire Cale

Daisaku Ikeda, Bruce Lee, Mother Teresa, Audrey Hepburn and Angelina Jolie are some people whom Cale admires for their contributions and humanitarian work towards the world and people.

Daisaku Ikeda, a Buddhist and spiritual leader has advocated peace and disarmament in the world. He has set up universities and schools in both Japan and America. He has written numerous books, accomplished great achievements and received numerous international awards.

Audrey Hepburn, British actress and humanitarian is known for her beauty, style, compassion and humanitarian work in UNICEF.

Future Plans

Cale has no intention to sell her works unless it is for a good cause. She is more inclined towards causes that support preservation of nature, children and education. She plans to showcase her works through merchandising like reprints and books. Plans are in the pipeline to publish several books featuring her artwork with various themes and have her own solo exhibitions in 2011. She also hopes to accomplish her dream of six published books of her works in the next 10 years and also to organise several solo exhibitions.