Featured Artist: Angelina Pham

Featured Artists showcases several pieces from one of our submitters while also providing a closer look at the artistic process. One of our featured artists for this issue, Angelina Pham (@_akarelli_ on Instagram), told us about her stylistic development as an artist.

Ever since I was little, I liked being in my own fantasy world detached from reality. I also had a hard time expressing myself through words — both in speaking and writing. Hence, art became an outlet and something extremely important to me, as it helps me cope and express my feelings.

However, it was extremely hard for me to “materialize” my thoughts onto paper. I could only copy from references or already existing physical objects like landscapes or flowers. I struggled to develop my own artistic style since it was always easier to follow what was instructed of me in art classes or copy someone else’s style. It took way more creativity, skill, originality, and clarity to form my own style. I couldn’t fabricate and visualize my own original thoughts and draw them out.

I finally found the time I needed over quarantine to be able to just sit, think, look and browse around, and teach myself digital art. I found that digital art made it way easier to manifest all the thoughts I’ve been keeping pent up all these years. It was cleaner, and you didn’t have to buy many supplies (e.g. paint, ink, color pencils, canvas, etc.). I found that I could finally execute more meaningful things now that the drawing part was a bit easier.

I originally started out with a more realistic style, but then I found it too boring because it was just taking things at surface level and not adding anything to it. Then I became obsessed with a cartoon style — and then anime — and then semi-realism. I didn’t want my art and style in general to be identical to the already existing art around me, so I decided to put them together. I was able to incorporate bits and pieces of the style of artists I admire into my own style to make something new and improved.

Using my background in traditional art and color theory, I was able to develop a rather colorful, vibrant art style. Because reality is dull and boring as it is and there are already many artists out there who use muted or pastel colors, I try to be more unique by using more saturated/bright colors to spice things up. Consequently, the coloring process itself has become one of the more defining characteristics of my art style.

Escapist’s Island
Will-o-Wisp’s Guiding Light
Spider Lillies & Candles
Battery of the Heart

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