Welcome to the creepy world of Winya, an illustrator and designer from Thailand who left a career in game design to pursue his own creative path. Winya is hugely dedicated to his art, with each work taking about 20 hours to painstakingly craft by hand. He sat down with me to talk about his passion for all things undead. Be sure to drop by his shop to check out more of his unsettling artworks.
"I believe everything has its own creator. Most symbolism I use stands for death and birth. There is man created from soil, evil from fire, or emptiness turn to be the universe."
How long does each drawing take you, they look incredibly detailed.
Each drawing normally takes me around 20-30 hrs, but then I take another ten hours to paint over the work and finish it off.
How did you get into making artwork?
I quit from being an art director because I was so bored. I was bored of taking people’s orders. I worked for a huge US based company that opened a branch in Thailand which related to multimedia, printing, website creation, and animation. Back then I kept drawing comics as a hobby. I quit when I was at a top position in the company. I had to provide so-called bad taste for the sake of attracting customers. Most of the other artistic people I knew at the time agreed with me, so I decided to move to a new career. I opened small restaurant . I did gardening . I have a great life spending time with my kid, he’s a 1 year-old now. But I never dropped out of what I love doing, which was drawing. I also design and draw for bands and different brands in Thailand, but I’ve just started at RB for 1 year.
What’s been your biggest learning curve?
I don’t have any trouble with designing. I don’t even take an hour for thinking about the idea before I begin. I’m in a happy stage. I don’t do the artwork for anyone else. I just express what I am. I’ve got full-loaded imagination in my head. The only problem I face is I don’t know which picture I’ll take from my head and use.
Where did your interest in the undead come from?
My interest in the undead comes from my fascination with evil. Evil is not the story beyond our life. Evil spirits live around us, but we can’t see them. That’s all. There must be a different layer between us and evil spirits and like humans, animals, objects or trees.
What’s your favorite skull to draw out of all the animals!?
My favorite skull? I love drawing crow skulls. They represents evil spirits. I also love to draw black cats, black dogs, or black snakes as well.
How do you develop your characters? Lots of your subjects look like undead figures who have a lot of stories to tell.
I believe everything has its own creator. Most symbolism I use stands for death and birth. There is man created from soil, evil from fire, or emptiness can turn out to be the universe. I also deal with Thai myths and superstitions. But somehow, I just do it for fun like depicting women’s revenge or I draw my beloved toys like vintage motorbikes.
"I've got full-loaded imagination in my head. The only problem I face is I don't know which picture I'll take from my head and use."
What’s the hardest thing about such detailed line work?
The hardest thing about my detailed line work is keeping it neat. My drawings combine both thin and thickness within one line. I barely breath every time I make a line.
I notice you use a lot of monochromes or black and white works – why do you like this?
I do love black and white. It interests me and it’s very simple. I used to work with black and white line work in comics and tattoos in the past.
Do you see your artworks as a way for the dead to live on symbolically?
Absolutely, this is what I intended to do. In Asia it’s called Yin-Yang. The binary system. Black and white, death and birth. I also symbolically draw from the interpretation of Greek philosophy and reference Gothic style.
I noticed you worked in gaming design before illustration and design – what advice would you give to artists who want to move over into a different career?
Apart from developing drawing skills, you have to make your work interesting. Don’t play with major trends. Customers can pick from anyone in this case. You have to make your work in your own way. Be yourself. I started from zero. I even couldn’t make any sales but I never changed my style. I work under my own conditions, and eventually you’ll be noticed one day.
What are you up to this Halloween? Do you celebrate it very much in Thailand, or what are you up to?
We don’t go trick or treating in Thailand. We only dress up in fancy dress and hang out. We drink for Halloween but don’t formally celebrate.