For this installment, I had the chance to check out the studio of Redbubble artist EeVien Tan, a graphic design graduate with an incredible body of portraiture work. We chatted about working from your bedroom, the importance of going to life drawing class, and how she sees herself in her characters. We were able to capture the carefully curated studio set up Eevien has developed over time while marveling at her unbelievable collection of art supplies. Eevien has a bright, inspiring space decorated with Klimt posters and notebooks filled with sketches. It was truly inspiring to sit in her sun-filled room and watch her sketch.
"The projected image of expression is incredibly fascinating to me and I find there is an exceptional amount of beauty in portraiture. At times, I certainly see a glimpse of myself in my work. As I progress into my creative process, it is inevitable that my own realizations become a part of the image."
Beth Caird: Where do you get your ideas from for your women, characters, and creatures?
EeVien Tan: For work, or project based pieces, I will draw out some thumbnails to work on the composition and gather references for elements of the illustration. For my own personal pieces there are no rules or guidelines to follow so often I will begin at a point and try best to let the work evolve and take its own form. I find that this is the best way to instigate new ideas and concepts for my drawings.
BC: Do you see any of your works works as self-portraits, or are your subjects characters you’ve created?
ET: The projected image of expression is incredibly fascinating to me and I find there is an exceptional amount of beauty in portraiture. At times, I certainly see a glimpse of myself in my work as I progress into my creative process it is inevitable that my own realizations become a part of the image. I try not to make the concepts of my drawings direct and straightforward in subject matter, but rather to keep an ethereal movement across the work.
BC: You have the most fantastic collection of art supplies and materials. What’s your favorite pencil, pen, or tool to work with?
ET: My favorites are ever changing; it is far too difficult to choose from my traditional art tools. With that being said, I have an undying love for my graphics tablet as the majority of my finished pieces are created entirely with it.
BC: How has your training in drawing and degree in graphic design helped your practice?
ET: Though I have not had any formal training in drawing, I was able to incorporate a lot of illustrations into my graphic design work at university. My studies in graphic design have really helped me elevate my compositional and technical understanding of working in a digital format.
We’d like to thank Eevien Tan for taking the time to share her space, time, and words with us. You can see her more of her work and support her at her Redbubble portfolio.
Do you have a favorite Redbubble artist that you would like to see featured? Let us know in the comments.