Interview with Artist and Author Patrick Ching

Patrick-ChingPop­u­lar Hawaiʻi artist, author and design­er Patrick Ching is known as “Hawaiʻiʻs Nature Artist,” and with good rea­son. His beau­ti­ful paint­ings and designs reflect a hap­py child­hood roam­ing the upland forests of Pauoa Val­ley on Oʻahu. Patrick counts his time as a ranger at Kīlauea light­house on Kauaʻi and liv­ing among sea tur­tles and monk seals as some of his most trea­sured memories. 

In addi­tion to being a work­ing artist, Patrick is a suc­cess­ful entre­pre­neur. He runs art schools and gal­leries under his com­pa­ny name, Nat­u­ral­ly Hawai­ian

We are pleased to share our inter­view with Patrick with you.

For those who haven’t met you yet, tell us a lit­tle about yourself?

I was born in 1962 at Queen’s hos­pi­tal. I became a teenaged punk and went to Out­ward Bound (Hawaii Bound) pro­gram for juve­nile delin­quent kids at age 16. It was there I decid­ed to be a wildlife artist, and the direc­tion for my life work was set. I became an artist and author and now host a tv show called Paint­ing in Par­adise on Spec­trum oc16tv.

Where did you grow up? What high school did you grad? 

I grew up in Pauoa Val­ley through 6th grade, then Moanalua Val­ley and grad­u­at­ed Moanalua High School 1980.

Kalalau Val­ley @ Patrick Ching

Go Mene­hune! Why did you become an artist? Did you always knew you could cre­ate art?

I always drew and paint­ed but nev­er con­sid­ered it a career until my Hawaii Bound instruc­tor ask me if that could be my call­ing. Then, I said to myself that I will make my liv­ing as an artist, or die trying.

We are so glad this is work­ing out! What do you enjoy most about cre­at­ing art? What are some of your great­est challenges?

I am now liv­ing the artistʻs dream I had when I was a young artist. There were many hard years between then and now. The finan­cial chal­lenges of pay­ing bills bur­dened me heav­i­ly, espe­cial­ly when I owned art galleries.

In addi­tion to being an artist, you have done illus­tra­tions for children’s books.

Do you have any plans to illus­trate more books for kids?

Yes, I love mak­ing books, and that is a big part of plans for the future.

Spread from Honu and Hina @ Patrick Ching

Many read­ers might rec­og­nize you from your pop­u­lar series on tv and stream­ing. What do you like best about teaching?

I love if I can help mul­ti-gen­er­a­tion fam­i­lies do art together.

What are your hopes and dreams for the year and beyond in terms of your artis­tic career and what you would like to see in the future?

I’d like to bring art to those who will feel bet­ter when they see my art, or feel bet­ter when they cre­ate their own art.

Besides your web­site and your YouTube chan­nel, are you active on social media? 

I’m most­ly on face­book: Patrick Ching, Patrick Ching Art Instruc­tion and on Insta­gram: Patrick Ching Artist.

Light­house @ Patrick Ching

Your art is so expres­sive and vibrant. If you had to choose a favorite project, which would it be and why?

I love teach­ing art through TV. Paint­ing in Paradise.

What beliefs is your work challenging?

I chal­lenge the belief that I should focus or spe­cial­ize. I DO focus…on everything.

In addi­tion to books, what oth­er kinds of art do you do?

I make ceram­ic, comics, and murals.

Whalers Vil­lage Com­mu­ni­ty Mur­al @ Patrick Ching

Can you share a bit about what you’re work­ing on next?

A wide vari­ety of projects keeps it fun for me.

What advice would you give an aspir­ing artist?

Decide: do you want to be a recre­ation­al artist or a pro­fes­sion­al or both?

What do you enjoy doing in your down time?

I go surf­ing ear­ly morn­ings. Then work day and night. I love working.

Maha­lo nui loa for shar­ing your work with us, Patrick!

To learn more about Patrick Ching and to see a gallery of his art and pho­tos of his stu­dents, vis­it his web­site at Patrick

Images cour­tesy of Patrick Ching.

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