Where have I been?

Gouache painting of a night scene in Tokyo by Jenny Xia

This is the last gouache painting I did before my 1 year long hiatus from posting online (and honestly, from doing any art at all).

I have some complicated feelings about Instagram, after experiencing the fast paced rise in my followers during my “paint every day” experiment in 2020.

I’ll probably write more about it later, but the outcome was so predictable, I told friends multiple times that I was waiting for it to happen.

What happened?

In summary:

  1. I started trying to do small gouache paintings daily.
  2. Got a request to film my process, so I posted a few speed-paints with my paintings.
  3. I noticed posting frequently and posting videos => much higher impressions and engagement.
  4. Started posting more picture+video combos.
  5. … months pass
  6. Amassed over 90k IG followers at my peak.
  7. … more months pass
  8. Burn out! From painting and editing videos every day for months.

At the end, I felt more like a “content creator” than an artist, which was not pleasant.

What now?

After painting every day in 2020, I ended up spending 2021 working out (almost) every day instead, which was unexpected. I was never an athletic kid growing up, and discovering weightlifting has been so fun (because you don’t need an ounce of athleticism to do it!) But that’s a story for another time.

I’ve recently revived my gouache paints, and I have a new art desk set up. I’ve finally gone travelling after graduating from university, and I also moved to a new city and started a new job! There’s a lot of exciting things happening for me, and I think my creative spirit has healed from the beating it took.

Once I get more into the swing of things at work, I want to start posting Youtube videos again. That platform doesn’t give me as much of an ick as Instagram does, and I like the idea of exploring longer form videos. I’ve already started painting again, and I’ll post those soon! This time, with this website and my past experience, I’m going to take it slow.

Thanks for reading and following my work – I really appreciate everyone that has left me comments asking me where I’ve gone and if I’m okay. This blog and format might not be as convenient as Instagram, but I hope whenever you remember me you can come and check here. Maybe I’ll set up a newsletter too?

Take care!



  1. Jenny, thanks for sharing your art and the status of your video logging. I am visiting Tokyo now researching how to connect with artists in Japan. I’m investigating moving here and am interested in doing plein air painting and some YouTube video logging. I am also interested in doing more painting with gouache. Right now I mostly paint with oils. It would be great to be able to correspond with you. At the least, do add me to any email list for your work as I would like to follow your art journey.

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