IAF Poster Highlights #01 : Interview with Adeline Tan

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The Singapore Illustration Arts Fest is coming up in about a week – get your tickets ! Leading up to the event, we will interview a lineup of awesome Illustrators who will be present at the event – Featuring the posters they have done ! (We are really proud of these )

First up, is local-based kick-ass Super Illustrator and Ultra Mom Adeline Tan | Mightyellow ! Instantly recognised by her crazy colourful and deadly plant illustrations, the la Salle college of the arts Graduate continues to wow us with flora and fauna depictions, her poster is just pure madness. She’s worked with clients like Adidas, Facebook, Uniqlo and many more ! We sit down and talk about how she comes up with all this craziness.

OIC : Hi Adeline ! What first got you interested in Illustration and Graphic Design ? Any source of inspiration that still pushes you till this day?

Hello ! I just liked drawing as a child and it became an alternative choice when i was forbidden from taking up fine art in school. My parents were worried i wont be able to make a living from that. Drawing is always therapeutic for me so that’s probably a good reason for me to still continue with it.

OIC : You go by Mightyellow as well, how did that come about ? And who is the little yellow fella sometimes found in your artworks ?

I came up with Mightyellow while I was working as a young designer, making corporate work, generally feeling bored and needed an outlet. Yellow is a tiny, naked little character with no eyelids and stubs for limbs. Often vulnerable and disrespected, he should be a rather miserable person. However due to his small size, in most events that we deem unfortunate, from the perspective of a tiny man the situation looks very positive indeed. He is mighty because he can see the good in everything. Below is an example of a day in his life:

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Over the course of making the comics I started to apply this method of looking at negative things differently. It became a kind of strength to deal with anything that was challenging or difficult. At this time I was also freelancing as an illustrator so I put him into my client’s work. This one was for the FB HQ office launch here in 2011, where Yellow enjoys a candlelit dinner under Chuck Norris mer-man:

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OIC : The plants in your works are beautiful yet they always have a crazy dangerous element to them, one might say its Ernst Haeckel on steroids. How do you come up with these wonderful creatures ?

3 years ago I quit my full-time job to look after my newborn and to become a full-time illustrator. We moved near to a park and I had to walk through it all the time while buying groceries or walking the dog. Walking through the park at odd hours of the day when there were less people, I began to notice the flora and fauna there. Soon enough I started to observe these things everywhere. I found out the names and origins of plants, the feeding habits of birds. The environment around me became like a live treasure hunt for knowledge of the natural world. It was fun. I got into contact with people documenting all these things and soon found out that our urban city is filled with strange and beautiful creatures, if only we bothered to look. I also looked at how plants and animals were traditionally depicted by craftsmen and scientists, e.g Haeckel. After having a baby I started to think about his future, you know, THE future, a lot. So then I created my own version of highly evolved plant and animals of the future, while experimenting with traditional styles of documenting (examples below):

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OIC : Wow, these are stunning –  do you have any favourite plants/flowers ? Do you use actual plants as reference or are you able to create fictional plants on the fly ?

It is really hard to pick one to be my favourite! For now I am most fascinated by the Tacca Chantrieri (common name Bat lily). These vulnerable flowers thrive under shade and decaying matter in the jungle and need very precise conditions to bloom. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing one in full bloom and the experience is really quite something. I look to actual plants for inspiration, and am slowly collecting information about them so that one day I can create fictional ones completely on the fly.

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OIC : What is your preferred medium now, for creating personal work – and is there something you would like to explore given the time ?

I like paint and ink and would absolutely love to explore ceramics and textile if there is a possibility. The thought of making something that is usable on a daily basis is very appealing.

OIC : We look forward to that very much – Thanks Adeline !

Adeline (& Mighty Yellow )

See more of Adeline at :
www.mightyellow.com | instagram @yell0w | Facebook