Yay! I get to enjoy a short little fame on The Couch issue 15 this week! Wow! This is so exciting! Hope you enjoy reading it. Thank you for the opportunity RedBubble!
Littlearty – or Yi Wen Seow – is a fantastically talented New Zealand artist whose brightly coloured artworks have captured our imaginations. She is an architecture student who loves balancing her freestyle art with the technical drawings of her profession. And nothing excites her more than a fresh canvas and a free weekend. Today we chat to her on The Couch
Q: You have beautiful, brightly coloured art work. Tell us about the process from inspiration to finished artwork – including details about the materials and methods you use.
A: I love painting with colours and find that they express my ideas and my artwork well. When I think of a new piece of work, I normally have a theme and colour in mind, or just a theme, and the colour might very well be the first tube I pick up from my ‘paint box’. It could be as simple as painting a girl, the colour red, or the more complex ones involving reflections on my personal experiences in life. The process is fairly quick. I love working fast and the worst thing for me is to have to wait for the paints to dry, especially if I’m working with layers. That’s why I like working with acrylic paints or collage.
Q: You mention your love of trees because they are “forgiving”. When did you first realise your appreciation of trees and tell us more about why you enjoy painting them.
A: I didn’t always love trees. When I was younger, my mum, the meticulous art teacher will stress on details on tree barks when I’m sketching and I would have to shade in all the leaves! But later on, I discovered trees are never the same, one tree to another, each have their own characteristic and mood, much like the human body. But the good thing about trees is you can never paint an ugly tree, unlike the human face, which I still find it a challenge to master. In fact, the uglier the tree (more defects, broken branches, etc), the more beautiful and interesting to paint! And if you miss a branch or two, it will still look good. That’s why I think they are the most forgiving subject to paint.
Q: Which of your works on RedBubble is your favourite. Tell us a story about it.
A: Hmm… I have a lot of favourites actually. Each artwork of mine is very personal. It is painted, albeit whimsical sometimes, a reflection on my experience in life, and me. It is very inward looking, and at times I feel vulnerable putting my works out there, but when someone actually likes it, it makes me feel a sense of acceptance. Haha… It’s a little silly I know. But that’s how I feel.
My favourite on RedBubble will have to be ‘Before the Dance’. This piece was done about 2 years ago, and when I painted it, I decided not to use black at all. The darkest colour was a medium blue. As if the challenge of mixing yellow ochre, blue, red and brown was tricky enough, I have to make it look graceful and compliment the pink of the skin. The colour combination was pretty weird; I don’t know what possessed me at that time. It was a real struggle and when I was finally happy with the outcome, I put it up on sale online for more than a month! But no body bought it. It was even exhibited at an art exhibition in Wellington, but the painting did not find its owner. Everyday I look at the painting. It was like a neglected middle child, the more nobody loves it, the more I find things to love about it. So after a year and a half, just when I decided to keep it for myself when out of the blue, a buyer contacted me and wanted to buy it. So finally I departed with my baby, and hope that wherever it has gone, it has found a good home and brought endless joy and happiness to the new owner, like what it has done to me.
Q: Where would you like to be in 10 years?
A: Let’s see. Be a famous architect. Have a gallery of my own. And a loving happy family. I’m a simple girl at heart. :)