16.07.14 by Jeff

Drawing On The Past: Interview with Artist Mandy Tsung

mandytsung-drawingonthepast

My friends at Herschel Supply and I launched an art project a few weeks ago called “Drawing On The Past”. We want you to draw a person, place, or thing, that’s had a positive impact on your life. It’s open to anyone to join, so do it! As a little extra incentive we’ll be giving away Herschel products to some random lucky people just for submitting to the project! Get the full instructions HERE.

This drawing above is a submission to our project by Vancouver-based artist, Mandy Tsung. If you’re in town she will be painting at SNAG tonight.

She wrote: “Russell Alton changed my life. He moved to be with me in Vancouver shortly after we became a couple 5 years ago and, since then, I’ve become a better person. Because of him, I’m more socially conscious and politically minded, more outspoken about my beliefs, more confident in myself. Our life together seems nearly effortless as we both follow our dreams of making a life out of our art. He reminds me to be less serious and helps me to enjoy every day.”

Interview with Mandy Tsung

Jeff Hamada: I read that you were born in Banff and then grew up in Calgary, does Vancouver feel like home now?

Mandy Tsung: Vancouver has been more of a home than anywhere else in that I feel like I fit in here. The people here and the community of artists have been very welcoming. Having spent the majority of my life in Calgary, I was always dreaming about escaping, for a variety of reasons. Whereas Vancouver is always a pleasure to come back to.

JH: What’s your favourite part about living in Vancouver?

MS: I love Vancouver because it’s so lush and green all year round. I can go out and enjoy nature whenever I want. Living here has enabled me to live more frugally because simple pleasures are everywhere.

JH: That’s my favourite part too; I think I’ll always need to live in a city where I can get outside and into nature really easily. Do you have any pets?

MS: I don’t own any pets myself, but I foster cats. It’s really wonderful to watch an animal gain trust in you and to help it socialize so that it can be a good pet to someone else. I definitely get attached to every cat but I think it’s important to learn how to let them go. It helps me to appreciate the time I have with them and not take them for granted.

JH: If you could go back in time, to when you were just fresh out of school, and give advice to yourself what would it be?

MS: I guess I would tell myself to enjoy a few years of unadulterated freedom and not worry too much about getting into a career. I spent a lot of time after school trying to find a “thing” that would make me money – fashion design, wearable crafts, kaleidoscopes, etc. My family are all entrepreneurs so that mindset came naturally. In the end, it was when I wasn’t thinking about how to monetize my skills that I found my calling. I was recovering from knee surgery and began doing big figurative drawings. I was so enthralled with them that I couldn’t stop, and that was when I knew I’d found it.

JH: What people or things are inspiring you these days? Can you talk a little bit about one or two specific things, and how they’re directly or indirectly influencing your work?

MS: I’ve been feeling the need to grow lately, so I went to some demos at Opus by Cori Creed and Justin Ogilvie. Getting to watch them working was incredibly beneficial, more so than just reading about techniques and looking at art online. Things really clicked right after I watched them.

JH: When I was younger I never used to draw real things because I didn’t like it when people told me that wasn’t how they were supposed to look. Do you ever feel any extra pressure when you’re painting a portrait of a real person as opposed to a mythical creature?

MS: I think I use realism as a safety net. I have a hard time being objective about my work, so if it at least looks realistic I can hold into that, otherwise I don’t know what is good or bad. As I’ve begun to move away from realism by using unusual colours and animals, it has been very freeing and I spend much less time worrying about getting things to look “perfect”.

JH: Do you make sculptures anymore?

MS: I do sculpt now and then. It’s not traditional sculpture, but I’ve been working on a ball-jointed doll for a long time and a lot of ideas that I have revolve around it. I’ve had ideas to incorporate sculpture into my paintings as well but my home studio doesn’t allow for power tools or anything too big. It’s hard to find time when painting is paying the bills and the limited income means I can’t be frivolous with materials.

JH: Has making a living off of the thing you love taken any of the fun out of it? How do you keep a balance?

MS: I would be making art regardless of whether it made me any money, and a big part of creating, for me, is showing other people – it’s how I communicate. I keep it from feeling like a job by always giving myself room to experiment and learn. It’s vital that my work doesn’t become an enactment of a routine. As soon as I feel like my paintings are becoming mechanical; like I am simply a robot, I switch things up. Sometimes I worry that my work looks inconsistent or unfocused because of this, but I’d rather feel passionate about what I’m doing every day.

JH: I can really identify with that. It’s a lot harder to develop a recognizable style if you keep changing things up, but it’s easy to get bored doing the same thing over and over. I think a person can slowly trap themselves in a style and one day realize it’s not actually fun anymore. I usually end interviews by asking what’s something you wanna do by the end of the year, and what’s something you wanna do by the end of your life?

MS: By the end of the year I would like to have a show/work schedule nailed down so I can move to Berlin in the next few years! By the end of my life I’d like be able to say that I made a real difference in the world, however that may come about. Perhaps that I’ve influenced public policy on the environment, or gender equality, or racial politics. Something like that.

Mandy Tsung on Tumblr

Mandy Tsung on Instagram

If you would like to participate in the “Drawing On The Past” project it’s open to anyone and we’d love to have you. Full project instructions HERE.

15.07.14 by Jeff

Drawing On The Past: Mallory Lucille Rose

mallory-lucille1

Here’s another great submission to our “Drawing On The Past” project with Herschel Supply. Thank you to Mallory Lucille Rose!

She writes: “There’s a large age gap between my sisters and I; this print is the bedding from their childhood, and then of course, mine. I’ve always seen my sisters in a golden light – wanting to be more grown up and cool like them. When I moved to San Francisco (grew up), I borrowed this bedding from our parents. I’ve always been a “nostalgic hoarder” for my family and this print reminds me of home, being a child, and wanting to grow up too fast. It more specifically reminds me that I am still a child and the desire to be ‘cool’ like my sisters is the reality I’m living! Life’s funny that way.”

 

Mallory Lucille Rose on Tumblr

Mallory Lucille Rose on Instagram

 
 
I’ve been hooking up people with Herschel Supply goods (backpacks, duffels, etc) just for joining in on the fun. 3 lucky people will also receive our very special Booooooom and Herschel Supply bag. If you wanna join the project the instructions are below!

 

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13.07.14 by Jeff

Drawing On The Past: Eben Haines

eben-for-Booooooom

Here’s another terrific submission to our “Drawing On The Past” project with Herschel Supply. Thank you to Eben Haines!

He writes: “It’s hard to write something like this without sounding overly sentimental or hackneyed but my younger brother has always been a model for me. Despite being diagnosed with dyslexia when he was six, by twenty he maintains a fluency in three foreign languages and can read and write in several others. I doubt he knows, but his resiliency and determination have fed my efforts since we were kids, and his support and inspiration have been a driving force in forming the artist I am today.

 

Eben Haines’ Website

Eben Haines on Instagram

 
 
All this month I will be hooking up people with Herschel Supply goods (backpacks, duffels, etc) just for joining in on the fun. I’ll be picking a couple more this week. 3 lucky people will receive our very special Booooooom and Herschel Supply bag. If you wanna join the project the instructions are below!

 

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10.07.14 by Jeff

Drawing On The Past: Maria Nguyen

maria-nguyen

Here’s another gorgeous submission to our “Drawing On The Past” project with Herschel Supply. Thank you to Maria Nguyen! I featured her work (see here) after she submitted back in April.

She writes: “This is Linh Nguyen, my sister. Growing up with Linh was not the easiest thing in the world because of her illness. She would constantly follow me around and did everything I did. I constantly got annoyed but looking back I realized her willingness to learn and explore was like no other. I am still trying to learn how to be like her every day. Thanks to her I see the tremendous value of human life and the importance of not taking people for granted.”

 

Maria Nguyen’s Website

Maria Nguyen on Instagram

Maria Nguyen on Tumblr

 
 
All this month I will be hooking up people with Herschel Supply goods (backpacks, duffels, etc) just for joining in on the fun. I’ll be picking a couple more this week. 3 lucky people will receive our very special Booooooom and Herschel Supply bag. If you wanna join the project the instructions are below!

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06.07.14 by Jeff

Drawing On The Past: Lavennz Ooi

drawingonthepast

Getting some beautiful submissions to our “Drawing On The Past” project with Herschel Supply. Thank you to Lavennz Ooi for this one, you’ve just snagged yourself some Herschel Supply product just for submitting!

All this month I will be hooking up people with Herschel Supply goods (backpacks, duffels, etc) just for joining in on the fun. 3 lucky people will receive our very special Booooooom and Herschel Supply bag.

Get full project instructions here.

30.06.14 by Jeff

“Drawing On The Past”: Interview with Director Andrew Thomas Huang

andrewthomashuang1

My friends at Herschel Supply and I have launched an art project called “Drawing On The Past”, and we want you to draw a person, place, or thing, that’s had a positive impact on your life. It’s open to anyone to join, and I’d be thrilled if you took part! As a little extra incentive we’ll be giving away Herschel products to some random lucky people just for submitting to the project! Get the full instructions HERE.

This drawing above is a submission to our project by one of my favourite directors, Andrew Thomas Huang (I’ve featured his work many times).

He wrote: “This is one of the first creatures I invented when I was about 8 years old. It doesn’t have a name, but runs in the desert with the body of a kiwi, a honking nose and ram horns. This was special because it was one of the first characters that felt very real to me, and gave me confidence to keep drawing. This is my first re-imagining of the creature in 21 years.”

 

Interview with Andrew Thomas Huang

 

Jeff Hamada: Let’s start off with maybe the most important question of all, we get to eat one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner in L.A., where do we go?

Andrew Thomas Huang: Breakfast: Bea Bea’s in Burbank – hands down best french toast on Earth. No joke. Lunch: Larchmont Wine & Cheese sandwich shop. Dinner: Korean BBQ place in Koreatown called Soot Bull Jeep.

 

 

JH: I was trying to explain to someone the unique look that has sorta become your signature. You’re able to use computer generated images but have them still feel very tactile, very real. Is it fair to call this your style? Do you feel like you’re speaking with your own voice now?

ATH: I’m very cautious not to pin myself to a particular style, as that can stagnate a director’s career very quickly. Though I suppose I have married myself to certain ideas and philosophies about how I want things to move in my films, and I am more interested in advancing various thematic threads in my work but with different techniques, including more straight live action as well. Short answer is yes, I am speaking with my own voice now but that voice is constantly changing as I change.

JH: Did J.J. Abrams want you to come work for him right out of school?

ATH: He encouraged me to direct and welcomed me to become part of the Bad Robot family, which involved pitching to him and/or working as a PA at the company. This was back in 2007.

JH:  I read that it was your short film Doll Face that got him (and many people on the Internet) excited about your work. Will we see any long form work any time soon or are you still mostly interested in shorts?

ATH: Long form work yes, but not any time soon. I am booked some big jobs for the next year which are very exciting but still in short form world. I am currently outlining a feature which is more of a long term project.

JH: I’m guessing a lot of these big jobs will be secret at this point, but is there anything you’ve already been working on that we should look out for in the future?

ATH: For 2 years now I’ve been meaning to make a sort of sequel to my short film Solipsist, but something much darker and metallic. I’m done with colorful psychedelic rocks and sandy stuff. That project will realistically take another two years, but I have some other exciting stuff brewing that unfortunately I have to keep quiet about, but I’ll just say keep an eye out for March 2015.

 

 

JH: Solipsist was actually the first thing I’d seen of yours and it blew my mind. I’d love to see a sequel. Who are some other filmmakers that people should be watching that are perhaps flying a little under the radar?

ATH: (Some not necessarily under the radar, but I am just a huge fan of these artists) Kahlil Joseph, Michael Langan, Mikey Please, Aoife McArdle, Julie Faure-Brac, Geoffrey Lillemon, Lucy McRae, Jon Rafman.

JH: Never seen Julie Faure-Brac’s work before! Very cool. I usually end interviews by asking what’s one thing you’d like to accomplish this year? And also, what’s something you’d like to accomplish in your lifetime?

ATH: I hope to actually begin shooting (or be ready to shoot) my next short film by end of the year. Lifetime – I want to direct the next Dark Crystal.

 

Andrew Thomas Huang’s Website

Andrew Thomas Huang on Twitter

 

If you would like to participate in the “Drawing On The Past” project it’s open to anyone and we’d love to have you. Full project instructions HERE.

We are releasing our very limited edition Herschel Supply and Booooooom bag to the public on July 7th at 9am. It will be for sale online HERE.

27.06.14 by Jeff

“Drawing On The Past”: Drawing by Zach Tutor

zach-tutor-drawingonthepast

In case you somehow missed it, we’ve officially launched our latest project, “Drawing On The Past”. I produced a special bag with my friends at Herschel Supply and we’re releasing it as part of an art project open to anyone!

This drawing above is from Zach Tutor, the talented guy behind Supersonic ArtThe person, place, or thing that’s positively affected his life is the city of San Francisco. Not only was it the catalyst for starting his blog in the first place, it gave him a best friend, and a girl friend! So what is it for you? I wanna know who or what has helped shape who you are today.

If you’d like to submit a drawing to this project, I’d love that! We’ll be giving away some Herschel products to people who submit and three of our favourite submissions will receieve the very limited Herschel Supply x Booooooom bag.

 

THE INSTRUCTIONS

1. Download THIS TEMPLATE, print it off on any 8.5″ x 11″ paper.

2. Draw your picture, write a few sentences below it.

3. Scan the entire page and email it to: projects@booooooom.com with the subject “DRAWING ON THE PAST”. Deadline: August 4th, 2014. Works submitted digitally will be displayed on Booooooom.

4. To be eligible to be for the gallery show, you must physically mail in your original drawing. We must receive all entries by August 4th, 2014, leave enough time for shipping. Due to the number of potential submissions, drawings will not be returned. Mail your drawings to:

Booooooom
Suite 357 – 2416 Main St.
Vancouver, BC, V5T3E2

5. Share your work on Instagram and use the hashtag #drawingonthepast

 

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22.06.14 by Jeff

“Drawing On The Past”: Interview with Tran Nguyen

tran-nguyen-boom

Last week was the official launch of our latest project, “Drawing On The Past”. I’ve produced a special bag with my friends at Herschel Supply and we’re releasing it as part of an art project open to anyone. I would love it if you joined in on the fun; full instructions HERE.

I asked a few people to help me get things started. This gorgeous drawing above is a submission to our project by one of my favourite artists, Tran Nguyen. Enjoy a short interview with her below!

 
 

Interview with Tran Nguyen

 
 

Jeff Hamada: Maybe you could start off by describing where you are as you answer these questions! I’m sitting in my apartment here in Vancouver, listening to Brad Mehldau’s piano cover of Radiohead’s “Exit Music” and the sun is just starting to go down.

Tran Nguyen: I’m relaxing in my studio here in Atlanta, enjoying a nice cup of Yogi green tea and listening to those insanely addictive songs from Disney’s Frozen.

JH: If you wrote your own Disney movie what would the plot be?

TN: The story would revolve around two tiny nymphs, a brother and a sister, who inhabits a floating island the size of human hand.  The island is actually a flowering plant in a pot, cared for by a little boy.  The boy planted the magical seed and watered the sprouting island for many weeks, but one day, as the house cat scuttled by the window, he accidentally knocks over the plant pot tossing the brother from the island, out the window and into the backyard.  The plot will focus on the sister’s journey to find her lost little brother in an unknown world of singing songbirds, sinister garden snakes, and unexpected, unyielding courage.

JH: That sounds amazing! Maybe someone from Disney will read this and hire you. I read that you were born in Vietnam, but raised in Georgia, could you get good Vietnamese food there? When I went to Vietnam recently I was surprised by how much variety there is food-wise; so much more than just pho.

TN: Honestly, if I’m in the mood for Vietnamese food, I make a trip to my parent’s kitchen.  They make the most scrumptious and tantalizing dishes I’ve ever consumed.  Elsewhere, I’d recommend the small restaurants located on Buford Highway, Atlanta.  I think dishes other than pho are a bit too exotic for American tongues and can be an acquired taste. If you’re an adventurous eater, I’d recommend ca kho to. I love, love seafood.

JH: Was art school a good experience for you? I know for some people it isn’t.

TN: Personally, I grew exponentially when I attended SCAD. My family and I didn’t have much growing up so I felt immensely fortunate to attend a private art college. I do have a few friends that felt a bit of resentment when they graduated, but I believe your education is what you make of it.

JH: I read in a couple other interviews that your parents lived their whole lives with very little, I’d imagine that would be a good reminder that making art for a living is a luxury. Do you ever feel extra pressure to make something of yourself as an artist because of your upbringing?

TN: Absolutely. I’ve seen the hardship my family’s endured so I could never take my privileges for granted.  Because of my upbringing, it’s motivated me to find a way to help people with imagery, live to my potential, and persevere over all obstacles that may come.  I would never want to disappoint my family. They’ve sacrificed too much to bring me to the States, and cared enough to send me to an extremely expensive college, for it to be thrown away.

JH: What are some of the things influencing your work these days?

TN: These days, I’ve been heavily inspired by haute couture. I’m extremely fascinated with manipulating and constructing fabric to create abstract form, which is a subject matter I’ve been visiting recently; particularly pleated textures. As always, my concepts are focused on therapeutic imagery.

JH: I don’t find a lot of work by Vietnamese artists (at least not as much as I’d like), do you know a secret website where can I find more work by artists from Southeast Asia? If there isn’t one, there should be.

TN: Unfortunately, there aren’t many Vietnamese artists. I only know a handful and I think it’s because art isn’t respected as much as it is in the U.S., plus the market barely exists in countries like Vietnam. I hear it’s gotten better these past few years so I’m hoping for a plethora of artists from Southeast Asia in the near future.

JH: I like to end interviews by hearing about an artist’s personal goals. Could you share something you’d like to accomplish this year, and then something you’d like to accomplish in your life time?

TN: By the end of this year, I’d like to take my dad back to his hometown in Vietnam.  He’s worked his whole life and has missed out on a lot.  After working 70+ hours a week for 24 years, he deserves a long vacation. On my deathbed, what will matter most is whether I can confidently say that I’ve lived a honest life I can be proud of — something I’ve been working towards since high school.

JH: Your drawing is incredible, thanks for being a part of the project.

TN: Thanks so much, Jeff.

 

Tran Nguyen’s Website

Tran Nguyen on Instagram

 

If you would like to participate in the “Drawing On The Past” project it’s open to anyone and we’d love to have you. Full project instructions HERE.

We are releasing our very limited edition Herschel Supply and Booooooom bag to the public on July 7th at 9am. It will be for sale online HERE.