Meet a Maker: Sheng Vue

  1. What are the three qualities that got you to where you are today?

  • Love - It is the foundation to a holistic and sustainable lifestyle. 

  • Gratitude - It transforms resentment into joy.

  • Compassion - It is so often the solution. 

  • Creative Freedom - Making art is my meditation, prayer, and ritual.

  1. What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?

As a child, I dreamed of becoming an artist. My earliest memories include pencils and a love for paper of any kind, and a strong desire to see what I could create. 

  1. What inspired you to start doing what you do now?       

It all started with a blank notecard.

When I moved to D.C. in the summer of 2017, I had less than $100 in my bank account. My best friends were so kind in letting me stay at their place. I couldn’t afford to treat my friends out for dinner, so I used what I had at that time to thank them: a box of blank note cards, an ink pen, and a strong desire to create. 

This led me to draw Choose Love, the first piece of the CHOOSE series. I drew female-inspired pieces of all the courageous women in my life who continuously radiate in their truths and inspire me to do the same. Through this practice of gratitude, I rediscovered my joy for drawing. 

One day I was walking home from the train station and I spotted a lady wearing a shirt with bold letters: Choose Love. I saw that as a sign to turn my drawings into wearable art. I also knew that if I wanted to share my art with the world, it must be done in a way that didn’t harm myself, all other living beings, or the environment. In February 2019, Thriving on Love launched its first collection of eco-friendly screen printed t-shirts.

  1. Where do you get your inspiration for your work?

My inspiration comes from gratitude. As a maker, there are many ways I bring gratitude to my art:

  • The materials I have available to create with.

  • The people who support and encourage my creativity and artistic endeavors.

  • The time and space I have to create.

  • Other creators/makers who use art to inspire social and environmental changes.

  • The opportunities to further develop my artistic skills.

  • Acknowledgement and appreciation for how far I’ve come (no matter where or who I am now).

  1. Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?

Washington D.C. - What made it the most interesting place was that I didn’t own a car, so I travelled by foot and train only. I really miss the everyday mini adventures I experienced there! 

  1. If you were home on a rainy Sunday afternoon, what movie would you most want to see on television?

Social and environmental documentary films - A Plastic Ocean is the most recent one I watched. 

  1. What’s your favorite time of the day?

I feel my best between 10 AM - 2 PM. 

  1. What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?

I would love to learn how to swim and scuba dive so that I could spend time at all the beaches around the world.

  1. What skill would you like to master?

Right now I would like to master the skill of printmaking. 

  1. What are some small things that make your day better?

Writing in my journal, dancing in front of the mirror, listening to my favorite podcasts, reading in my bed, doing breathworks, being in nature, and having heart-centered conversations with my friends and loved ones. 

  1. If you got a free check for $5,000, how would you use it?

I would use the $5,000 towards my student loans.    

  1. Who inspires you to be better?

Individuals with special needs, women of color, elders, and children.

  1. What’s one thing that you are exceptionally good at?

I find that I’m most creative when I get to work with what I have.

  1. What’s one thing that you are epically bad at?

I’m epically bad at saying good-byes, especially to people, places, and things I’ve grown to love. 

  1. If you could compete in an Olympic sport, what would it be?

Growing up I’ve always been that person who gets chosen last on a sports team, but if I could compete in an Olympic sport, it would be figure skating, artistic swimming, or fencing. 

  1. What’s a favorite book of yours?

Eckhart Tolle is my favorite author, so anything from him! 

  1. What do you like most about where you currently live?

I love how close I live to my family and friends.

  1. If you could live in a foreign place, where would it be?

Sweden - It is the first country in the world to build a secondhand mall. This country also has some of the most beautiful forests and landscapes!

  1. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

On this day, I know this much is true:

“The most important relationship in your life is the one you will have with yourself. All the answers to your questions can be found within you. No one can tell you who you are. Remember that you are worthy of love and belonging. Have the courage to show up as you are, get hurt, own your story, and never stop loving yourself in the process. When times get rough, don’t be afraid to talk about the things that get in the way of your joy. And…nurture your love for art. It will always give you meaning and purpose.”

  1. What changes would you like to see in the Hmong culture?

I would like to see more gender equity and equality. I believe I was born as a Hmong American women to experience discrimination and unfair treatment so that I could understand what it feels like and to transform this pain into love, liberation, and art. 

We must learn to love each other by learning to work with differences in a way that will allow us to address the challenges of everyday living and also thereby deepen the relationship with the world we live in. 

  1. What is your favorite thing about being Hmong?

As I grow older I have developed a deeper appreciation and love for our textile, folklore, and holistic health and healing practices.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 2024 I am financially free. I wake up to a warm cup of tea, writing in my journal, and setting my highest intentions for the day. Then I meditate on the beach and go for a walk with my dog, partner, and two children. I end my morning with a light and nourishing breakfast. Every morning I am making time to practice gratitude before going out into the community.

After grounding myself in the morning, I bike into town to open up my holistic healing arts center, an operation I’m happy to include my kids, friends, and family members. This lovely center houses an organic fair-trade certified tea shop, social and environmental workshops, speaking engagements, family-friendly printmaking workshops, an art gallery featuring a rotation of local artwork by women of color, meditation classes, and sisterhood retreats and circles.       

I am also providing individuals a sacred space to build their own toolbox of healing modalities and assisting them in their personal transformation. I am surrounded in a safe and thriving community and supportive sisterhood. I am building long-lasting, genuine connections with people who want to uplift each other to be their highest and healthiest selves. 




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