1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
My real name is Trà and I’m from Hanoi, Vietnam. Currently, I’m studying graphic design in Italy while being a freelance illustrator. I’ve been drawing since the dawn of time, from depicting animals to copying Pokemon and Sailor Moon’s characters. Therefore my initial style was influenced heavily by the Japanese manga/anime, then suddenly it just magically switched
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
It constantly changes really. The current one is consisted of shoving a bunch of softly contrast colors together, center placed character, some basic shapes to accentuate certain elements. My main subject is human. The idea of all those perfect curves and impeccable design of a human body being distorted, misplaced and recreated by my hand, in a way to express my opinions and sensations, is exhilarated… I sound like a psychopath don’t I?
3. What is your favorite medium and why?
A tablet and Photoshop. Yes, I know the sound of a pencil scratching on a piece of paper, leaving crumbs of graphite and a dark gray mark is quite aroused. But to truly fulfill my satisfaction is a complete drawing with colors and textures, and Photoshop grants me absolute freedom to experiment new things.
4. What is your artistic process like?
It started with an idea then followed by a battle of preserving it in my head, without replacing with what I want for dinner, till I’m able to sketch it down somewhere. After that, I could just go home and unload it to my computer and voilà!
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
I’d be cliche and say almost everything and anything that provokes my feelings. It can come from a ridiculous conversation with a friend or a board of fancy collages from the 50s on Pinterest. The fact that being in a whole different culture stimulates my muse every day by discovering new things, but the melancholy and nostalgia also help me a lot on composing new works.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
I’m very fortunate to have my life covered in art. It’s my savior, literally. It balanced my final score in the middle school. It was my ticket to meet all these weird and amazing people and emerge myself in the creative industries. It’s my most loyal friend who never makes me feel bored and lonely. If it wasn’t for it I would have to actually listen and take serious note at school. Who does that?
7. Where did you study?
the Academy of Fine Art in Frosinone, Italy
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?
Ideally, I’d like to have my own studio in a busy city and work as a full-time illustrator. Not working at home can finally helps me to concentrate on illustrating throughout the day without constantly making trips to the kitchen for snacks.
9. What about in ten?
Well, I can’t really plan that far ahead but maybe I’d win a lottery so that I don’t have to put any financial pressure on illustration. Then start traveling and probably settle down in Southern Europe, get a red bike, have a small potato garden and not having to deal with middle life crisis. I’d probably still operate my own studio, one with a lovely view and has a balcony large enough to put a table to work outside, just for the fun of it. Seriously though, I really hope to still be able to draw every day, with the company of a cup of cinnamon and anise tea for the rest of my life.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I simply want to successfully communicate my point of view through image, at which I failed miserably through verbalization, and to capture my current mood or event in life. In a way, it’s like a subtle visual diary. Occasionally, there’re those adorable human beings who tell me that they actually understand and related to my art. Now that’s triumphant!
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
This question is a bit redundant, don’t you think? I’m in Italy! I can’t say no to anything, especially if it’s home-cooked. Although I can’t enjoy those made by my mother, I’m blessed with an Italian fairy godmother and fantastic roommates and neighbors who are all incredible cooks.
12. Favourite book?
Honestly, I’m quite ignorant, I don’t read that many books to be indecisive. My recent favorite one is The unbearable lightness of being by Milan Kundera and currently The design of everyday things by Don Norman
13. Favourite genre of music?
It depends on what I’m doing and my mood. Mostly, it could jump from indie rock when I have to do chores, to Olafur Arnalds’s ambient and Korzeniowski’s soundtrack when I need to concentrate. Recently, I prefer putting on 60s blues on train and 30s jazz and swing for drawing.
14. What are your hobbies?
Apart from drawing and eating? Traveling, writing diary and single handedly binge-watching TV series at the weekends.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Probably I’d be frying fries in Mcdonald after failing business school