The Artistic Soldier: A Story of Creativity, Resilience, and Generosity

In the tranquil setting of Bac Giang Province, Northern Vietnam, a former soldier, Ta Van Tiep, has carved out a unique path, captivating audiences with his mesmerizing 3D embossed paintings. His TikTok channel, ‘Tiep Tuc Tien’, which translates to ‘Continue Moving Forward’, is a testament to his unwavering determination and creative spirit.

With over 41,000 followers and counting, Tiep’s videos offer a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of his embossed masterpieces. In one of his most popular clips, he engages in a lighthearted exchange with a homeowner, showcasing his wit and playful personality. This video, boasting nearly two million views, propelled him into the spotlight, and he soon became a beloved figure, affectionately dubbed ‘son-in-law’ by his elderly followers.

Tiep’s journey into the world of art began as a simple pastime, recording videos during breaks from his electrical refrigeration work. However, his unexpected popularity fueled a powerful motivation to create captivating content. Despite the challenges he faced, his determination as a former soldier drove him to persevere and perfect his craft.

Nestled in a valley in Hiep Hoa District is Tiep’s workshop, a spacious haven spanning hundreds of square meters. Here, he not only creates his artworks but also shares his skills with eager apprentices. Through his instruction, plain walls are transformed into vibrant canvases, bringing sketches of peacocks to life with dynamic, three-dimensional detail.

According to Tiep, the creation of embossed paintings is a meticulous art form that demands precision and an innate talent for fine art. “Mastery of basic skills, such as plaster mixing, shaping, and drawing floral motifs, is essential,” he explains. His success is evident in the depth and harmony of his compositions, the sharpness of their details, and the vibrant colors that bring them to life.

Tiep’s dedication to his craft has paid off financially as well. He proudly shares that his artwork commands up to VND8 million per square meter, with a usual rate ranging from VND3 million to VND5 million. Along with his support team, he produces approximately 30 square meters of artwork per month, ensuring a steady and respectable income.

Looking to the future, Tiep envisions using his resources to give back. He hopes to offer free training to fellow former soldiers who share his passion but face financial constraints. In doing so, he embodies the transformative power of creativity and a generous spirit, inspiring others to uphold resilience and pursue their dreams.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Trieu Van Thang, political officer at the Military Command of Hiep Hoa District, has proudly shared Tiep’s story, glorifying the soldier’s indomitable spirit and work ethic. In his view, Tiep exemplifies the positive impact that soldiers can have on their community, radiating energy and inspiring future generations.

Through his art and his unwavering dedication to sharing his knowledge, Tiep Tuc Tien has not only crafted beautiful paintings but also shaped a legacy of resilience and service that will endure for years to come.

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