Ever feel like your mind and body are operating at different frequencies? Like when your body says, “Let’s go work out!“ and your mind says, “OR, Netflix!” We’ve all been there (and in the Netflix scenario, we know who always wins…). And the selected artist of our Surrealism 2 challenge gave us some words to live by whenever this happens: “Our body and soul need each other; our desires need to be in balance.” Artist Azizaninn is no stranger to the dark arts – well, the illustration kind of dark arts – and that spooky style was was the perfect look for this challenge. Read all about how this surreal art piece came together, and may it guide you into finding balance in life.
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Tell us a little bit about yourself! Do you do art for a living?
My name is Azizaninn. I’m 31 years old. I’m currently living in Malaysia with my beloved family. I started drawing when I was in primary school, then I completed my degree in animation and graphic design. After finishing my study, I work as a freelance in illustration and drawing digital portraits.
You’re a self-taught illustrator – how did you teach yourself to create such realistic art?
After I completed my study, I learned a lot on my own from various sources to improve my knowledge and skills in the illustration field by watching tutorial videos on YouTube and drawings from well known or recognized artists. From there, I get inspiration and ideas that I can put forward. Don’t be shy to ask around and share ideas and views with other people.
Tell us a little bit about this surreal art piece! What was the process like?
The idea for this design came in a really short time. Just imagine; one day before the deadline, the idea popped out from my brain. As usual, I started sketching on the computer, looking at other artists’ work on the internet as a reference.
What, to you, is the meaning behind this design?
For me, surrealism is an expression, articulation, or subconscious visualization that can be related to various angles, explicitly or implicitly. What I’m trying to portray in this design is, in a simple manner, our body and soul need each other; our desires need to be in balance. If not, it will destroy our life!
Much of your work has a supernatural and surreal art element to it – what’s your favorite art style and why?
The three artists who I admire with their talent and quality, as well as their patience in producing exceptional work, are Katsuya Terada, Kim Jung Gi, and James Jean. This is because of their extremely detailed drawings and interesting character composition. All I can say is, “Wow! Excellent work!”
Is all of your work hand drawn? What artistic tools do you use?
Not really; sometimes I focus more on digital drawing even though, honestly, I’m more comfortable with traditional drawing. The tools that I use in the digital process are a tablet from Wacom and Adobe Photoshop software. For traditional drawing, the tools that I use are Uni Pin Fineliner and Sakura Pigma Micron Pen. In addition, I also use Strathmore Bristol paper.
What’s your artistic philosophy?
Art is a personal expression of careful observation of the subject and the artist’s visceral and emotional response to what we see and experience. Successful artists think visually, which means seeing the visual in their minds before they draw it. Take a moment to imagine a finished painting in a clear, simple, and beautiful way.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Thank you to my family and friends for their views and support. Not forgetting those who voted for this design and Threadless for giving me this wonderful opportunity to express my artwork to be printed as one of your products. Thank you.
Content & Strategy Manager at Threadless by day, dad joke aficionado, cartoonist, & contributor for sites like HelloGiggles and The Mary Sue by night. When I’m not writing or drawing, you can find me in my cave of a room hanging out with my boyfriend, Netflix.