Good morning, everyone! I'm here to bring to you all this month's Illustrators Arise feature. Unfamiliar with it? Well, basically, it's a feature on this blog where I'll be interviewing one of my favourite illustrators from anywhere in the world once every month. This month I will be introducing to you Teekatas Suwannakrua a.k.a. Raindropmemory. Please welcome him to the stage!
T: My name is Teekatas, artist name Raindropmemory. I was born and live in Bangkok, Thailand. Right now I'm in the final phase of my Masters degree in Creative Arts studying, which will finished very soon. I also works as freelance Illustrator and Graphic designer (mostly print design, like publication, poster, etc.)
A: What first got you into illustration?
T: I began drawing when I was 5, well, if you can call it 'illustration' I took several art course since I was young till high school and entered several national art competition. I was young back then, both body and mind, so I don't even know if I 'love' art or not, I just...draw. My mother and my art teacher that I learnt from are the most important people who encourage me to keep drawing. Without them, I wouldn't be here today.
A: What are your most prized works so far?
T: All artworks that I've drawn/painted/created especially for my friends in special occasions, such as birthdays and graduations. The feeling that I poured all my heart into it cannot be found in other type of my work like commissions, which is a job to do, or work that I create to satisfy only myself. It didn't have to be a masterpiece, sometimes it's just a simple painting on a small piece of paper.
A: Do you usually work digitally or traditionally? What kind of tools do you usually use?
T: I have a background in traditional media, drawing and painting watercolor and poster color, and the reason is back then there is no Photoshop or any digital painting available. I began the transition to digital tools around 10 years ago and continued to keep going further because I see the vast possibility it can create that traditional media can't or hard to do. But since I practice in traditional media since I was young, it become my nature eventually. When I want to create something quickly, traditional media is always my choice and you can't beat the sensation of pencil drawing on real paper, the ability to control your hand as precisely as you wish, that pen tablet cannot give you, the friction between pencil and paper, nothing can replace it. My tools for traditional work are : pencil, watercolor, sometimes acrylic.My tools for digital work are : pen tablet, Photoshop, and my crown jewels of all digital art painting tools, PaintoolSAI, No softwares can beat its lightning fast speed and silky smooth blending
A: I've been following your deviantART for a while and noticed that you've transitioned from 2D illustrations to 3D ones. What made you decide to go forth with this transition?
T: 1.) I love experimenting. It's my nature. I can't keep doing the same old style for long, even if it can't guarantee the effectiveness of the artwork I can produce. I'd rather try something different than stay the same in my old footsteps. But then again, I always revisit my old technique for nostalgia's sake once in a while. Part of reason is, 2D still cannot fulfill my need. I love nature, sunlight, photorealism, family photo and the warmth that you can get from it, and the only tool that you can imitate nature to the closest is 3D. Of course, I saw a lot of super-realistic acrylic painting from great artists in the past, they proved that you can create photorealistic with 2D techniques, but you can't deny that
2.) It takes a lot of time to master. Everything you paint in 2D is not modular, which means it finishes on its own, you cannot use any part of it again even if you want to. You have to paint the thing you need again, even if it is the same object, and it takes time. Now you might argue that you can use 'layers' to separate each objects or use recycleable art technique like vector art. It may be true, but there are several factor that limit its usefulness, like, what will you do if you want to change the 'camera angle' of the illustration? (paint a new one, of course).
A: Which is your personal favourite, 2D or 3D artworks? Why?
T: 2D - My favourite is the calendar I designed about a year ago (2012) because I created it for my beloved friend, and like I said above, I prized this kind of 'gift' work above everything else. In the aspect of art, it is the project that I experiment on using muted, more mature and 'classic' colors (as opposed to being colorful all the time in the past) and I found that really like it to this day.
3D - My first 'serious' 3D artwork (Meeting at Bookstore x Chubby Kitty) I don't know why, but I found that other 3D works that come after this piece feel pale in comparison to it, even if I could produce a better textured, model and lighting. Maybe it's because I put everything and a lot of time into creating this work. It's my first time of almost everything, rigging human charater, model a cat, create a complete scene, etc.
T: Too many to lists here, really. I admire both new, contemporary artist with funky and exotic style, and also the artists in the past, like Russian war painter or Victorian painting, which is absolutely brilliant. They are all the foundation of the world of art we lived today. It doesn't have to be artist or painter who inspired me, photographer, movie director, computer programmer, videogames, comedian or even ordinary people can inspire me equally. There are so many fantastic inspiration from fantastic people everywhere I look. I wouldn't be where I am without them.
A: What does the future look like for Raindropmemory?
T: I would like to make Raindropmemory into the source of serene, quiet space of art for people to relax their mind, raise awareness of themselves. We live in the world of constant distractions and loud, stimulating noise for so long that we all get accustomed to it, and forget the importance of peaceful mind. Exciting music or videogames make us jump with joy for a while, but it'll quickly be gone, and we crave for something new. Peaceful mind last, though, because it doesn't depend on external source, it comes from the inside.
A: Thanks for the time, Teekatas! One last thing: What kind of advice would you give novice illustrators out there?
T: You're welcome!
T: You're welcome!
1) The more you read, listen, watch, the more things you can connect together, and enable you to see what others can't, and often leads to experiment and innovation. I think this is really important part of developing unique style of your own. Preferably, consume only the signal, though, leave the noises alone - like all the 'social'-thingy.
2) Respect the practice. Just practice isn't enough, you have to practice with quality too. From my experience, drawing fifty of 5 minutes sketchy doodles doesn't increase your drawing skill much, compare to painting an artwork with elaborate details. Sometimes we have a habit of just drawing what we feel fine with. My suggestion, if you want to improve in anything, get out of your comfort zone first. That's the reason of practicing after all.
What I admire incredibly from Teekatas's style: First off, of course the warm feel to all his artworks. It almost doesn't matter where I physically am when I see them, I feel instantly at home. All the perfect little moments he usually portrays are also very down-to-earth and you can stumble upon them on a daily basis. That is not to say that his works are mundane, though. If anything, it just shows how much appeal they have. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of 3D artworks but his works give me a different perspective to 3D illustrations. I just swoon.
Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check out his website! Also, check out last month's feature here.