Meet a NYFA Artist: JP Chan

Meet a NYFA Artist: JP Chan

NYFA speaks with 2008 Video Fellow JP Chan.

NYFA: Hi J.P, can you tell us what are you working on and/or what’s coming up for you?

JC: I finished a short science-fiction film that’s part of the Futurestates online series from ITVS. My film is called DIGITAL ANTIQUITIES and it’s about two lost young people who meet in a data recovery shop. The film will screen online at and at film festivals.

NYFA: What kinds of resources are you most in need of right now as an artist?

JC: As a filmmaker working exclusively in digital media, I find myself constantly struggling to finance the hardware and software upgrades that my workflow requires. Because of budget limitations, I’m always at least two generations behind (and usually more) on most of my editing and shooting gear. I wish there were some kind of grant program or co-op that could facilitate financing and advise artists with regards to their technology purchases and strategy.

NYFA: What project or idea is on the edge of your horizon right now?

JC: I’m working on a microbudget feature film that I hope to shoot this summer if we can raise the funds.

NYFA: How do you balance your work and your life?

JC: I’m still struggling with this balance. I work full-time at a public agency and can only work on my artistic projects during nights, weekends, and holidays. I also try to have some semblance of a life outside both of these pursuits.

The nice part of having a day job is that the salary pays the rent and allows the art I produce to stay free from commercial considerations. The bad part is that the art then competes with the personal life for time.

I actually teach an occasional workshop called DON’T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB where I talk about how I made my short films while working full-time. The workshop changes a little each time I give it because I’m still learning how to balance it all.

NYFA: Do you have a dedicated workspace? If so, what is it like?

JC: I have a spare bedroom that I use as a film editing suite. I edit standing up at an Ikea computer desk that I’ve modified for upright working. It gets tiring standing up for long hours, but supposedly it’s healthier than sitting.

NYFA: How has The NYFA Fellowship impacted you?

JC: Getting the NYFA was a huge boost in so many ways. Aside from the much-needed funds, it was a big vote of confidence in my work. It was the first time I felt connected to the larger community of artists, and it encouraged me to keep going.

For more information about JP Chan, visit his website.

Amy Aronoff
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