"Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere; you just have to be aware of it. "
Where are you studying and why did you choose to study in Rhode Island?
I'm majoring in Illustration at Rhode Island School of Design and I chose to study here because I desperately wanted and needed more exposure in order for me to grow in my art, and I had heard the RISD was one of the best places to study and grow artistically. I've been here for one and a half years and I’ve really enjoyed my time so far. The teachers, environment and classes offered are amazing!
What were you doing in Singapore before going over to Rhode Island?
Before I transferred over to RISD, I was studying Fine Arts in LaSalle College of Design and got my diploma, I loved the idea of Fine Arts and had a wonderful time learning about myself but I felt like it just wasn't practical for me as an artist, I needed to train myself to be more flexible, clever and innovative in my art so I decided that Illustration would be the best route for me to take in order for me to be the most prepared for the working world.
What do you usually find yourself drawing?
Anything organic really, I started out by trying to copy the anime style characters but as I grew, I created my own identity and style, I love drawing the human form, botanical subjects and animals. I've never been strong at environments and architecture but I've been trying to cross that line and been working to be more well rounded. But if I'm just drawing on my own free time, I love to just drawing from my head and I usually gravitate to pretty, nude flower infested ladies.
Where do you get your inspiration from when you have a project to tackle?
Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere; you just have to be aware of it. When I have a new project to tackle, I just keep thinking about it day and night, I look out for things around me, I think about it before I sleep, I refer to the Internet, I doodle at star bucks and usually something will eventually surface. There really isn't a solid method but one thing that remains very consistent is that I often pray about it and commit the project to God, I feel like I come up with better and stronger projects with His help, but that's just my personal opinion.
Who is your favourite illustrator and why?
There are way too many illustrators to choose from but I have to say that the greatest influence in my work is Alphonse Mucha. His works have continued to inspire me to this day and even now, I can't help but look at his drawings and paintings to learn more about color, type, motifs, the way he handles the human form and cloth. He really was the master of the Art Nouveau period and has made a great impact in my works.
What do you intend to do in the future (eg. children's book illustration, concept artist etc, or anything else)?
I have a great love and passion for children books, comics, and any form of story telling. I love to telling stories that are simple and honest and hopefully inspiring to people of all ages. I would one day love to publish my own book and be an established illustrator. I'm also very attracted to the idea of freelancing as it gives me a range of things to work with so that every project would be a new challenge that would keep me on my toes.
This interview with Malisa was originally published in WOOP ZINE #2 in early 2013.