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INTERVIEW WITH Tarin Yuangtrakul

17: Quote Unquote

September 3rd, 2011


Saad Moosajee
Congratulations on being our featured artist for Exhibition 17, Tarin! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you ended up joining slashTHREE.

Tarin Yuangtrakul
I'm Tarin Yuangtrakul, 19, a young artist and currently studying Graphic Design at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. I’m proud to say that I was born into a creative family; my mother is an interior designer and my father and brother are both architects, which explains why I am pursuing art now. Before I learned what slashTHREE was, I saw pieces with slashTHREE’s logo everywhere. The one thing I noticed was that all of the works I saw with the logo on them were fantastic! Soon enough, I found slashTHREE’s website and joined up.

Saad Moosajee
You are the first primarily traditional artist to be featured at slashTHREE; what was the main reason behind wanting to join a collective of mainly digital artists?

Tarin Yuangtrakul
I must say, right now I think I’m better at drawing than purely digital art, but I am still learning. When I saw the pieces in slashTHREE’s exhibitions, I thought that the group didn’t have anybody doing a 50-50 mixture of digital and traditional art and so I wanted to apply this style, to make the exhibitions a little more interesting.

Saad Moosajee
What about the theme 'Quote Unqote' inspired the way you created your two submissions?

Tarin Yuangtrakul
I really liked this theme, since it feels like a “freestyle” exhibition, except you need to choose a message to inspire the piece. Personally, I love quotes from other people that help to generate ideas. I mainly chose quotes about people’s lives; like my first submission, “Encyclopedic Ignorance”, tells us that sometimes ignorance can being forth genius ideas, and the second one, “Enemies Still Stay” explores something that we all face in our lives, and the quote, “friends maybe come and go, but enemies accumulate”, is so simple but so true. I use my style, mixing traditional and digital art to explain the quotes in my own way, making them more impressive with my visual art.

Saad Moosajee
What is the design scene like in Thailand? Have your surroundings influenced your art?

Tarin Yuangtrakul
Nowadays, design in Thailand is still not great; there are some great artists here, but there are more bad ones. That is because many people don’t pay attention to art and design, and so there are only small groups running the creative field. Modern Thai art is really influenced by the old style of Thai art, focusing on lines and how to move your hand with your pencil or brush, as well as the colours. My work is strongly influenced by these things as well, even though I don’t draw Thai characters.

Saad Moosajee
'Enemies Still Stay' s a stunning piece of work. Please briefly take our readers through the process of creation for this piece and any trouble you might have encountered along the way.

Tarin Yuangtrakul
First of all, I found the quote for this piece. It's really interesting and I know that it really fits my style too. The quote talks about a normal thing in our lives, friends and people who don't like us. After that, I tried to find elements that could be mixed up to say something from the quote. I chose a large, evil figure to represent the enemies, making the ‘evil’ the focal point with its large scale, and then chose little fragments to represent friends, in keeping with the quote. To make it more interesting, I added a whole lot of details to bring movement and obvious meaning to the piece. This being a hand-drawn piece really made it difficult to make it perfect, since whenever I saw a mistake I had to erase it and re-draw it, over and over until I got a final product. Next, when I brought the piece into the digital world, I tried hard to make it look better and better from my drawing with my style, through the colors and complements I used. The way I see it, I have to spend so much time mixing the drawing and digital parts to make it an exceptional piece. In my point of view, how to create work like this, drawing and digital, I've to spend so much time to finish the drawing part and the digital part, mixing up and make it to be an exceptional artwork.

Saad Moosajee
Outside of your own work, what was your favorite contribution to the exhibition?

Tarin Yuangtrakul
Visible World by Rob Shields is my favorite work from the exhibition because of the style the piece has and the way Rob used negative space in the composition.

Saad Moosajee
In addition to being the youngest member to ever be featured at slashTHREE, you are also completely self taught. How difficult was it teaching yourself art at such a young age?

Tarin Yuangtrakul
I have been surrounded by art and design since I was a child. I would see everyone in my family drawing and creating art, and see how good they were; that was my first motivation to learn to draw, and I loved drawing from that moment onward. I gained so much motivation from other peoples’ artwork as well; a question that always comes to my mind is “why can I only create this?”, and that motivates me to improve and make every piece of work I create better than the last. My own thoughts motivate me the most; if I were to think negatively, or give up on something, you might not have seen me produce work of the quality that I do today.

Saad Moosajee
Where are you currently studying? How have you managed to balance your art work with your school work?

Tarin Yuangtrakul
Right now, I am studying Graphic Design at Chulalongkorn University. Graphic design is so different from art. Many people say that my university if the best one in Thailand; yes, I think it’s the best at making me tired! I get a lot of assignments from my classes. In my spare time, I always draw pictures, listen to music and also play the guitar, and so my spare time is dedicated to my art. Nowadays, I tend to sleep less than I used to so that I can do more homework and personal work and continue to improve myself.

Saad Moosajee
After you graduate from university, do you see yourself becoming a professional graphic designer or illustrator?

Tarin Yuangtrakul
I never really had a plan for my future until about two years ago, when I decided that I wanted to be a graphic designer, but I didn’t know much about the field. Now that I’ve been studying it, though, I know a lot more than I did back then; I know that I like many fields of art, illustration and even typography. I think that with my ideas and the help and support of the people around me, I could be a good designer and artist in the future.

Saad Moosajee
Who is the most inspiring individual to you? What impact have they had on your art?

Tarin Yuangtrakul
Salvador Dali is, in my opinion, the greatest artist who has ever lived. I think that surrealism has only become what it is thanks to him. The style of surrealism is always in my head and imagination, giving me numerous ideas until I catch one and use it for a piece of art.

Saad Moosajee
Well, Tarin, thank you for sharing so much about yourself in this interview! Do you have any last words for our readers?

Tarin Yuangtrakul
Keep on trying to do the things you love, and you will improve yourself.