This is an interview with Dawn Tan ( now based in Melbourne, Australia ) by Kaiyee ( ( now based in London/UK ) organised by Fei ( now based in Lausanne, Switzerland )! All graduates from Temasek Poly too! Looking forward to more interviews like this!
As part of our “OIC share what you love” effort, we encourage illustrators / artists to share not just their own work but also conduct interviews, and introduce the work of other illustrators they admire or like!
Kaiyee’s Interview with Dawn Tan
Melbourne artist and crafter Dawn Tan is a self-confessed foodie with a penchant for all things yummy and beautifully packaged. Her work embraces her inspiration with home-cooking, packaging and grocery shopping. Some of which have been translated into large over-sized sculptures, art prints and accessories such as tea towels, aprons, and market tote bags.
In her spare time, Dawn authors a blog called Handmadelove. She also runs adult and children art workshops in a number of schools and private art studios around Melbourne.
Dawn and her work have been featured in various publications including Frankie Magazine, Uppercase Magazine, Gourmet Traveller and The Age Newspaper.
Ky: Hi Dawn! What are your favorite subjects to draw? Why? Do they represent you as a person?
I LOVE drawing food! Well, I love food, I love cooking and all that comes with it. The recipes, the grocery shopping… So I think it’s only logical to combine such passion into drawing!
Ky: I know you teach alot of children art and painting, which is an awesome job, do you find teaching helpful in personal development ?
I really enjoy teaching. I find it helps me to relax actually. Whenever I am tired or need a new inspiration, I find myself turning to teaching. Working with children helps me to generate lots of crazy wild ideas. I’m often inspired by them and their creativity and their willingness to make ‘crazy art’.
Ky:How is the illustration scene like in Australia? Having lived there for a few years, you must have a few opinions and how is it different from Singapore?
I love it here in Melbourne, where I live. It’s vibrant and inspiring every different day. You get weather changes, nature changes happening all year round. Not so much like Singapore where it’s just summer all year round. Here you get all 4 seasons. It even snows up in the mountains!
I guess because of these differences, the culture, nature bits..somehow the style is just totally different? Not sure how to describe it. You’ve got to see it for yourself. But yup, both countries’ illustration scenes have their own goodness! I’m in love with both!
Ky: Talk about a piece of recent work you are proud of, and why?
I recently did a burger and French fry illustration. It’s fairly simple, nothing too crazy but it’s been made into a melamine cup and plate! To be able to see my art on nice dinnerware makes me smile like a girl in a candy store!
Ky: Looking through your portfolio there are many drawings of food, any tips when it comes to illustrating foodstuffs?
D: Just enjoy! Take it easy and paint while you’re eating the item itself! Makes it more fun this way. Not only will you get to draw and smell it. You’ll also get to taste it! Haha!
Ky: Any good tips for new illustrators who are starting their career?
I’d say..Stick with your gut, and just go with what you like best and try to convince the client! Don’t just do souless stuff to please others. You need to love what you’re doing, in order to keep the whole illustrating thing sustainable!! No one stays long if they do what they hate all the time.