news and works in progress from Shaun Tan
I follow your work daily! you are such an inspiration :) , regarding your landscape paintings, do you paint them outdoors or do you take a photo and paint in your studio? as you do your illustrations? I'm inlove with your landscape paintings perhaps a bit more than your illustrations, and I really like how you stick to traditional media.
Hi Kiyary, I work both ways, but more often than not work in a studio from photos and sketches. Even if painted on location I will often change them back in the studio so they 'feel' more accurate, ironically by departing a little from how they really look.
Thank you Shaun! I'm guessing you paint on location on your small sketchbook, like your illustrations? or have you got a special painting set to carry out? This question is just pure curiosity :) Thank you again! I felt overwhelmed that I got your answer so fast! Have you ever tried digital painting?
It's a little box or bag, fold up chair and wooden panel for painting on. As I prefer oils for landscape sketches, sketchbooks aren't so good, but for other media, yes. Have tried some digital painting but not much. I felt I had too much control! What I like about paint is that it always does unexpected things. Plus I'm just used to it, being a predigital art student.
I understand you perfectly! I used to carry around a really small altoids box with oils and painted on mixed media sketchbooks, but at the end, yes, they end up a bit ruined. I studied fine arts with traditional media, but when the digital media popped, I tried to fit into an style with it, and now I find myself lost. Your work gave me hope that there are still traditional media illustrators doing an amazing storytelling with dreamy scenarios. Do you ever had to struggle between being a painter and an illustrator? I really like your illustrations due to your painter background. Thank you again! I will stop asking if you feel overwhelmed.
No problem :) Yes, it's interesting trying to reconcile painting and illustration, but I'm getting there. I think traditional media forces a certain spontaneity and improvisation, it seems a bit more jazzy to me than digital, though digital has come a long way and it's all about how you use media, not the media itself. And finding what suits your own personality and limitations. Oils stops me from being fussy, especially when small, and observational sketching makes me look harder at things and not get too comfortable. I notice a lot of illustrators try to fit in or do what other people like. Best advice: forget that if you can. Just do what you like, or what feels the most true, and see how it goes.
Thank you so much Shaun :) .. What you've said it's as great advice and as important as well, I'm feeling better with myself at painting again with traditional media. Your work is always inspiring, I wish I found it before. I do wonder, do you have anything made with watercolors? Can we see it? This is just curiosity. Thanks again! :)
Not much - too hard! I tend to work from dark to light and so watercolours are tricky for me, but often thought about it because the effects can be so subtle and unpredictable. Glad you are feeling better about the more messy media :)
It's very unpredictable, and hard indeed! Thank you! :) Are you coming up with a new book/story soon?
Maybe, just painting mostly at the moment. Will report new stuff on this blog as it unfolds.