A lot has happened these past few weeks–the most important being, I’ve changed the direction of my upcoming exhibit–opting for a more cohesive and refined theme over what I’d originally envisioned. What you see here is about 90% of the first piece. I don’t think I want to touch this further for now; it’s a habit of mine to let the piece grow on me and see what I might tweak along the way.
The last couple of months have been difficult for me, and I’ve learned some things about myself and doing art in general. First, painting always comes with (a lot of) pain–be it internal conflict or dissatisfaction or endless revisions (birthing pains indeed!). Second, between others’ opinions and your own instincts, it’s always best to trust the latter (otherwise, you might end up ruining your own work and regretting it).
Finally, I’ve come to realize that my greatest enemy isn’t fear–it’s self-doubt. And I learned that the only way around this is to keep creating, creating, and creating. It’s the reason why I sincerely salute all talented AND successful artists out there. It’s not just skill that matters. It’s NOT giving up that counts!
If this girl resembles someone you know, that’s probably ’cause she’s your typical, next-door Asian girl. Chinese, Japanese, Korean… Yeah, she’s a little of everything–except she doesn’t really exist in real life (to all you guys out there, sorry to disappoint, hehe!).
I’ve been trying (actually, forcing myself) to draw and paint more regularly. Not just for my next exhibit, but for personal practice and growth. I have a long way to go when it comes to figure drawing, paint layering, and applying shadows. Though I can say I’ve found my style this past year, I also want to experiment further and see where it takes me. So I’m a bit surprised by how this turned out–Asian women (and younger girls, to boot) aren’t my usual subjects, and even the warmer palette is something I’ve tried for the first time (I played around with five paint colors to get the skin tone right).
So where exactly did she come from? Flipping through a recent issue of Vogue Girl Korea, I chanced upon this absolutely dreamy fashion editorial featuring a girly-girl with frothy pink hair, and I knew I wanted to paint her (or should I say, re-imagine her in portrait form).
New artwork! Which isn’t entirely new, but I’ve failed to post earlier. I have to say, this is something I’m quite fond of, because it allowed me to venture into fresh territory–specifically, the military, and… K-Pop! A few months back, Sparkling Magazine asked me to create an illustration for an article on how to cope when one’s Korean pop idol gets enlisted in the army (if you didn’t know yet, Korean men do need to join the army for a while–no exceptions for pop stars!).
What I loved about this project? I was able to revisit line art, wild color blocking, and (in a way), portraiture. It was fun and challenging at the same time. I was given a list of names and the only one I clearly knew was Rain. (I had to Google the rest of them!) I also loved how the elements and colors came together, and produced something pop-art-ish. Doesn’t this remind you of a vintage Chinese propaganda poster, somehow? (This would be perfect blown up, and hung on a blank wall!)
This piece came out in Sparkling‘s April 2011 issue. Still available in newsstands and bookstores!
P.S. It’s been a while since I last updated. My bad, I know. The truth is… B and I got engaged last month, and that threw me a bit off course (heheh). And while I don’t intend to become Bridezilla, we’ve already started prepping for our big day–supplier meetings, reservations, the whole package. Wish us luck!!
If you’ve been following my work for some time now, you already know how much I love doing portraits of beautiful women–and how I love referencing foreign models. I’ve always wanted to do a portrait of Russian model Sasha Pivovarova, because of how young and innocent she looks, and how she stands out in the sea of anonymous-looking models. (Plus, I just only recently discovered that she’s an artist/illustrator herself! How cool is that?)
As with most of my portrait work, capturing Sasha’s likeness alone took me hours of sketching, erasing, and tweaking! There comes a point when I feel like I’ll never get the subject’s face right–that crucial five-second pause where I decide to either keep going or start from scratch. But most of the time, I find myself facing the enemy head-on, and persevering to finish what I’d started. I hope I get better over time!
I was surprised this piece took a slightly haunting, gothic turn. It still has that romantic feel, but darker. This is officially the first piece I’ve finished for my upcoming exhibit, and I’m so excited to see how everything turns out!
Over the past couple of days, I’ve made good progress preparing for my upcoming second exhibit. With some commissions finally out of the way, I made space in my room for a second work area–while literally battling with the sweltering summer heat–and set up my first rough watercolor piece. As of now it still looks this way, as I’m not quite sure where to go from here, but we’ll find out soon enough!
For this project, I hope to do things a little differently by incorporating a bit of texture via mixed media. I am currently thinking of paper and fabric cut-outs, as well as some found objects, like this bunch of ribbons I’ve been collecting for some months now…
And here’s a shot of my little “studio” space (a.k.a. this little corner of my very tiny bedroom). Ever since getting new curtains, donating old items, and doing major spring cleaning (I can’t believe the amount of junk I’ve accumulated over the years!!), the room feels cleaner, airier and more spacious!