We’re very proud to introduce another great artist to our roster, Jasmine Chin. We had a chat with Jasmine about her illustration work, film geeks, knitted prawns and what exactly would a nude dude drink?
All your work is so enjoyable to look at and we know you enjoy making it, what are the top three things you love about illustrating?
I love taking an idea that I’ve had in my head and see it physically in front of me. More than that, I love the process and refinement that the idea has taken to create the final piece. It makes seeing the final piece more enjoyable because of the journey it has taken to get there.
I’m a bit of a learning freak. I enjoy taking on new challenges when I can and soaking up new techniques and methods to improve my illustrations. I also love learning new information that is totally unrelated to illustration. It’s great being able to research a broad range of topics for the sake of illustrating it. It feeds into my ‘random knowledge & useless facts’ persona I have.
I relish in telling stories. I’ve always been stronger at telling stories visually than the written word. Where I can, I add subtle details for the viewer to find. What drink would Nude Dude enjoy? I imagine a ‘Cool Beer,’ because he himself is very cool.
You bring a lot of Asian cultural references to your portfolio, how important is it to you to represent your heritage in your work?
I think there is an importance of bringing in something about your identity into your work. Growing up, I think I struggled as an individual to understand and be comfortable with who I was, a woman born in 80’s Britain with parents from far away. I grew up being pulled between different cultures and not realising who I was. In some ways I was ashamed of it. As I’ve got older, I’ve realised that I’m normal, it’s my identity and it’s awesome to be different! But it’s taken a while. I think it’s important to celebrate who we are and tell different stories in our work. It makes little girls and boys know that they’re awesome too.
You have some wonderful quirky characters in your work, have you produced much illustration for a younger audience?
I’d love to illustrate for a younger audience, yes. I tend to enjoy drawing characters who look a bit on the silly side. A bit like they’ve been flattened by a rolling pin. I’m also a bit childish myself so if I had the option of drawing a person with no beard or a ridiculously long beard, I end up choosing the ridiculously long beard.
You’ve created wonderful projects for Nom Nom La! street food restaurant in Penang and the Best Boy Film Club. Both of these projects incorporate illustration, branding and even murals, can you tell us about working on these broader projects?
Nom Nom La! is a personal project that gave me an opportunity to celebrate my cultural heritage. A contemporary love letter to Penang and it’s street food.
It came from a period of design and branding exploration that I loved learning about. I’m an illustrator at heart, but learning it gave me a solid experience about how I think and approach a project. It allowed me to explore an idea further and broaden the concept. What would my idea look like if I turned it into a beer mat or a logo. If the colours worked on the menu, will it work on the mural? What message am I trying to convey in the branding? It makes you think outside the box a little.
Best Boy Film Club had a lot of sweat and tears over it before the final concept. I wanted to explore a film club for film geeks who grew up in the golden era of blockbuster films, the 80’s. It was a lot of fun to do, I love film and I particularly enjoyed coming up with the titles for the menu, leaflets and posters.
What are your big plans for 2020, or even the entire decade ahead?
I’d love to have the opportunity to go out of my comfort zone and illustrate for new clients in a broader spectrum of fields. It would be great to see my work on a national campaign somewhere or on a label for a well-known product! I’ll also be working on expanding my little shop and having more interaction with the public through craft markets and the like.
Finally, what are you passionate about outside of illustration?
I’m a sucker for anything creative. I love knitting stuff and create the odd knitted prawns, doughnuts and mermaids. I’ve yet to actually knit anything of use!
I’m partial to a trip to the cinema to watch a good story on screen. I love the whole experience and ritual of attending a cinema as well as the actual film.