Instagram: @thanharts

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

Hi guys! My name is Thanh and I was born and raised in Germany as a full-blooded Vietnamese. Art has not always played such a big role in my life as it does now. I was always creative and drew a lot, but puberty wasn’t easy for me and it made me lose sight of art during that time. Both family problems and my own attitude towards myself took me a lot of time to figure some things out. I was more preoccupied with myself at that time, which put art in the shadow. At that time, I met an artist and he became a good friend of mine. Through him, I rediscovered my love for art. At that time, art not only served me as a hobby but also somehow as a therapy. Today, it has become something completely self-evident and commonplace for me. Art has woven itself into every fibre of my body and is simply a part of me that I no longer want to miss! 

2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

I illustrate feminine female portraits from any perspective. Abstract shapes, different textures as well as plants characterise my artwork. I also like to work with earthy tones and striking eye makeup. Sometimes the hair, clothes or backgrounds are detailed, sometimes more minimalistic. Eye-catching hairstyles and fashion are also part of my speciality. In summary, my artistic aesthetic is very feminine! 

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

For a few years now, I’ve been illustrating only digitally on my iPad with Procreate. It’s so much easier to correct mistakes digitally! You have the possibility to try endless things, like different color palettes, shapes, figures…. you name it!

Unfortunately, you can’t do it the traditional way without ruining your sketches. Plus, an iPad is lightweight, you have it at hand, and you can get it in and out quickly. 

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t be averse to working with watercolors or oil paint again. You should always try to expand your horizons… maybe I will do that soon? 

4. What is your artistic process like?

Honestly, I never had to do many sketches to find a concept. In the beginning, I got a lot of inspiration from other artists on Instagram to figure out what “my direction” was and what I should focus on.

Today, I do what I feel like doing. I have a folder of references that I use. With each drawing, I try to pay more attention to this or that. Sometimes it’s the hair, sometimes it’s the objects in the background, and sometimes it’s the clothes. I just keep trying until I like the sketch, and then I start coloring. 

It’s not the perfect approach, especially because I also create some artwork that I don’t end up liking very much. But it’s an approach that works for me. I still learn from this process, but in my own way, you know? 

5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

I am inspired by women and everything that is feminine. Nature, organic architecture, different patterns, color palettes but also minimalism.

Instagram is a great platform to be inspired by other artists. Somehow, it’s a mix of all the artworks I’ve ever seen. I think my head throws together everything I see and then my artistic direction comes from that. At least that’s what I think… It’s hard to explain. 

They always say that the wheel doesn’t have to be reinvented, that it’s a composition of all the things you already know. 

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

Art is something that was there for me when I needed it. It helped me to show my feelings when I didn’t know how to deal with them. It is a part of me and is my way of communicating with the world. I want to contribute something to the world with my art and give people beautiful moments through it, as I did with it. It’s nice to know that through my own artwork I have the opportunity to shape and form the world. 

And through art, I see and appreciate the little things in life so much more. I don’t even know what my world would look like without art. 

7. Where did you study?

I never studied art but taught myself everything in this direction. Through experimenting, YouTube videos and tutorials. But most of all by trial and error… not without reason there is the saying “learning by doing”. You just have to start and keep going and not give up. This way it always works out, even if it is a hard way. 

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Five years from now, I hope to still be enjoying creating illustrations (for sure!). I want to still be active and motivated and also to evolve and get better at what I do. Spread my art and open a small online shop because I love to package things. I want to try so much more and learn.
I just want to do what makes me happy! 

9. What about in ten?

Uhhh… I’ve learned over time not to plan ahead quite so much as far as the future is concerned because many things end up going differently. But what I hope is that ten years from now I’m still happy and content! That I can continue to love the people I love and share beautiful moments with them. 

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

I want to contribute something to the world. Give people something from me that they love. My art should reach and touch people. To have my art be the reason why people come together, to have a topic they can talk about and what connects them. This would be very nice and lovely! 

11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

Because I am Vietnamese, I love Asian food! Banh Bot Loc, Com Tam, actually everything with fish sauce, Ha Cau, Sushi, Tteokbokki, Budae Jjigae…. thinking about it makes me hungry again! 

12. Favourite book?

I don’t really have any favorite books at all! I love reading and am open to new books, so I always go to the sale section and see what blurb appeals to me. Then I buy these books without expectations and every time I am pleasantly surprised by the story and the emotions in it! I especially like books that have to do with “life”. I have found books like “by the time you read this”, “what the heart knows”, “how the trouble started”, “what Milo saw”, “we are all made of stars”… 

I don’t really have any favorite books at all! I love to read and I am open to new books, so I always go to the sale section and see which blurb appeals to me. Then I buy those books with no expectations and every time I’m pleasantly surprised by the story and the emotions in it! I especially like books which have to do with “life”. I have found books like “by the time you read this”, “what the heart knows”, “how the trouble started”, “what Milo saw”, “we are all made of stars”, … 

13. Favourite genre of music? 

When I’m working, I can’t listen to music with lyrics because it totally distracts me from my work. That’s why I enjoy listening to instrumental lofi beats or a bit of classical piano songs when I have to concentrate on my work. Otherwise, I like to listen to rock, pop, R&B, soul, a bit of rap and modern Vietnamese songs to sing along and switch off. 

14. What are your hobbies? 

You know, I love everything creative! Besides drawing, I like to craft and design things. I like writing letters and texts, but I also like reading books! When I have time, I make little stars or sew little stuffed animals. I love giving people homemade things and then I always look forward to those crafts!

Right now, I’m learning to animate and edit videos, which is absolutely fun and is now one of my hobbies too. I love to cook and try new things. And I also love watching movies and series! Who doesn’t? 

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

If I weren’t an artist, I’d probably be kind of lost. I don’t know, honestly. I’d be doing uncreative stuff. Like watching Netflix and playing Sims.