Hello, I'm Krystal Kenney, a small-town dreamer turned Paris local. I love reading, adventures, and working with my little dog Coco at my side. My goal? To help others own their dreams and live a more creative life. Join me on this journey as we unlock your potential and turn your dreams into a reality. 

la vie creative stories

Business, Creative, Paris, Stories

Interview with Abstract Painter Chen Sands

Listen to Chen’s Story


Krystal starts the conversation by expressing her passion for all things artistic. She shares her journey from America to Paris, France, driven by her love for creativity. But the focus of the podcast is the fascinating life of the abstract painter Chen Sanz. She lives in Paris but has traveled and lived all over the world. The discussion centers around abstract painting, how it changed her life, and how her rare illness played a part in her creative journey.

Conversation with Chen Sanz

During the first part of their conversation, Chen shares her experiences of moving to Paris and how her life has evolved in the past year, including adjustments to the pandemic. She shares the story of her shift in a professional career from photography in Singapore to abstract painting in Paris following her battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of blood cancer.

Creativity amidst Difficulties

Chen reflects on her transition from photography to painting, the challenges she faced, and how it helped her during her recovery. The adversity she encountered opened a fresh creative outlet that not only helped her recover but led her down a new artistic path.

Nourishing the Creative Soul

Towards the middle of the podcast, Chen discusses the importance of nurturing the creative soul and learning to balance business with creativity. She emphasizes the need to guard one’s creative energy, a lesson she learned after facing creative depletion.

Krystal probes deeper and asks Chen about how she maintains and protects her creative energy, to which Chen admits she is still learning. She openly shares her process of creating abstract art and how it helped her see her photography differently.

Arte: Crafting Beautiful Memories

Towards the later part of the podcast, they delve into Chen’s brand, Arte, and how it emerged from her desire to thank all the women in her life who helped her during her illness. Arte features ‘message prints’- fine art prints with personal messages at the back, making it a beautiful and thoughtful gift that goes beyond ordinary greeting cards.

Chen talks about how her artistry has evolved, from initially creating for her friends to founding Arte, and now, making bespoke pieces based on customers’ personal descriptions.


In the concluding segment of the podcast, Chen offers advice for people struggling to find their creative passions. She suggests not putting too much pressure, not forcing creativity, staying open to new experiences, and maintaining an uncalculated approach to creative pursuits.

At the end of the discussion, Chen eulogizes the people in life who energize and inspire her. This powerful conversation underlines the importance of using creativity as a therapeutic tool, the transmutability of art, and crucially, the inherent human ability to find joy and inspiration even in the thickest of trials.

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