Calvin Lai would be the first to admit that the evolution of his art has taken many machinations. His painting process has matured into a mixture of seeing, distorting, and reinterpreting with the threads of realism weaving the backdrop of today's artistic style. As a child, drawing was something Calvin loved, and making a picture appear lifelike became his goal. Calvin's art began to breathe through constantly working, and his fascination with value and perspective blossomed. Eventually, he moved from where he grew up in Los Angeles to San Francisco. There he studied drawing and printmaking at San Francisco State University. In 2008, he enrolled in the Academy of Art for illustration but began painting instead. He found that he preferred the fine arts over commercial illustration and now works as a full-time oil painter.
Since then, he has continued to develop and refine his oil painting skills. Lai's work has been shown nationally in galleries, group exhibitions, and juried shows. He has executed many commissioned portraits over the past several years, and his paintings have appeared in national and international publications. His recent work has returned to study of the figure, which has always been the anchor for his creative drive. His goal has gone beyond mere technical interpretations to a deeper sense of the figure's energy. This goal has also carried over into his recent still lifes. In his ongoing series, "In the Land of Giants," Calvin seeks to make a viewer feel as if they are immersed within the still life, witnessing a world that is both fantastical and humorous. But the borders for what he chooses to paint have expanded to various subjects, including cityscapes, and ultimately he is driven to capture everything around him through his paints, brushes, and determination.