Features

Connecting with Strangers Through My Art: An Artist's Experience of LASALLE x Illustration Arts Fest

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LASALLE's Puttnam School of Film & Animation and the Organisation of Illustrators Council teamed up once again for another stellar edition of Illustration Arts Festival (IAF) on 22 and 23 September 2018!

With a focus on original content and narratives by independent illustrators in Singapore who work in styles and art forms not commonly seen in Asia, distinct from prevalent trends of superheroes, manga and anime styles, IAF has expanded over the years to include overseas visiting artists from France, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

IAF poster
Photo: Jason Leing for OICsingapore

IAF 2018 featured workshops on making webcomics, networking for artists, and special screenings by Cartoons Underground, as well as the return of the ever-popular Artists Market. Influential illustrators across the region converged at LASALLE over the weekend, from Singaporean duo Ink&Clog who have lent their graffiti stylings to the likes of Mercedes Benz and Apple, to cult favourite Indonesian artist Elfandiary, and illustrator Li Chi-Tak who is fondly known as Hong Kong's indie comics godfather.

Marina Chaw, a second year BA(Hons) Animation Art student at LASALLE, was one of the artists displaying her original works and selling prints in the Artists Market this year. Marina has been creating watercolor paintings under the name Yumu Arts since 2017.

Marina and sister
Marina's friends and family came down in full force to help her. Pictured: Marina's sister taking the photo, with Marina behind her booth. Photo: Marina Chaw

"Last year, our class got to be involved behind the scenes as student volunteers. The dedication and energy of the organisers together with the high quality of work left a huge impression on me, and motivated me to become good enough to participate in the next edition of the festival," said Marina.

Marina's artworks are inspired by her personal experiences and memories as well as the medium of watercolor itself. As a first-time participant in the Artists' Market, she was delighted by the response. One customer even put her print in his phone case immediately after buying it. "I was really touched! I was surprised that many people seemed to be able to enjoy and relate to my images. I am definitely very happy and grateful for that."

 
Marina's artwork
Some of Marina's artwork, for sale at her booth. Photos: Marina Chaw

Marina added that her last customer on Sunday made a comment that moved her deeply. "She said that it seemed like time stood still in my pictures, and she spent some time to tell me about the feelings she had from seeing them. It always seemed like a wild hope previously, but at that moment, I felt I was able to connect honestly with strangers through my art."

Marina hopes that in the future, she will still be drawing and making artworks that people enjoy. All the best Marina and we hope to see you at the next edition of IAF!

Cover image: The impressive crowd at IAF 2018. Photo: Jason Leing for OICsingapore