The Different Folk x Somewan
7th February 2022
We interview the brilliant Singapore based artist Somewan about life as an illustrator - past, present and future
How and when did you get into illustration?
I have been drawing since I was 3 years old and illustration has always been a recurring theme in my life. After dabbling from print, graphic and digital product design, I always find myself happier when I am illustrating. I did some illustration projects over the last 10 years and only decided to go full-time into illustration at the end of 2020.
When you’re briefed on a project, how do you begin with the creative process?
I usually jot down requirements and first few ideas in my sketchbook. Then, I often reference icon libraries to find the most succinct method to represent an idea. From there, I build on it and expand with different postures and compositions.
Describe your style in three words.
Whimsical, vibrant and charming.
What tools/ programmes do you work with?
Good old pencil and paper, Procreate app, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
What would be your dream commission?
TED-Ed lessons. They pass on valuable and timeless knowledge in an effortless way. I have learnt so much and hope to be part of it.
Which artwork of yours do you think sums you up the most?
Cheating a bit, I have picked 2 artworks. From the outside, this sums me up most of the time. At least on a first impression. I might look too calm or quiet, sitting alone at one corner. But internally, the second artwork represents what is actually going on in my mind, thinking about a ton of stuff and having quirky ideas everywhere.
What one piece of advice do you have for aspiring illustrators?
I thought this quote might resonate with aspiring illustrators:
“Viewed closely, however, style is not a virtue, it is an inevitability— the inescapable result of doing anything more than a few times. The habitual gestures of the artist appear throughout any body of work developed enough to be called a body of work. Style is not an aspect of good work, it is an aspect of all work. Style is the natural consequence of habit.”
― Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland
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