“I am tired of myself tonight. I should like to be somebody else.”
- Oscar Wilde, Picture of Dorian Gray
Throughout my life I've always been intrigued by others, how we adapt ourselves physically and mentally to tread lightly between slipping firmly into societal norms and and flipping it all on our heads. I'm blessed to have people around me patient enough to lend me their time and patience, as well as creatives who gift me their work to play with. Sometimes, I'm ashamed to say, I just go ahead and create my own version of people.
From working on digital illustrations at Verve Portraits, to taking dirty old crayons to fashion magazines, I've always been drawn to portrait. How do you capture a spirit on a page? I'm still searching for the answer.
Digital Portrait Illustration
Starting with the amazing portrait photography at Verve Portraits, I create bespoke illustration work that takes inspiration from the client's own life and desires for how they would like to see themselves.
Growing up half-asian in a completely anglo-saxon, high traditional, liberal-voting town created a longing to understand my place - my identity. I never felt that I could understand where I sat amongst others - it was more often a question of - who should I be for you? I remember tearing pages out of magazines, defacing faces and distorting the identity of those on the pages. It was less about anger around loss of identity, but more exploration. I continued doing this, here with crayons and oil pastels and typically, high-end fashion magazines.
Various illustrations from 2010 - 2014.
Left to right: Gat Tholbok, Hannah, Jase Aceman - dancehall artist, Jukeboxx - Chicago based dancer, Albert - fitness instructor, Lerato - dancer, audience at NiteArt 2016, Sadiva - producer, Killerbirds - 2016 tour.