This week we had the pleasure of getting in touch with our Smart show artist Teressa Ong. Teressa currently lives in Singapore although she likes to pretend she's a fish living in a well. Teressa works with a range of medium from 3D Animation to felted toys. She also illustrates children's books and designs astounding characters. Her enticing illustrations are just a sample of her vibrant fun world. It was great to find out more about her process and development as an artist.
You’re a graduating animation major, what school did you attend? What was your experience like?
I'm actually already a graduate! I attended Nanyang Polytechnic for Digital Media Design (Animation), though it was a tough three years of sleepless nights and trying to be friends with 3D softwares, everything was very refreshing for me. I knew close to nothing about animation before I entered [school] and we had lecturers who had been in the animation industry for many years. It was really cool that we got to ask them for advice, critique, etc
What made you start illustrating?
My mum used do lots of crafty things, like making cards, so I guess that is what made my six-year-old self decide to start drawing and be artsy. I only got serious about illustrating when I was in high school, thanks to an incredibly talented friend of mine.
You trade off a lot between traditional and digital mediums. Is there one specific medium that you like working in most for your illustrations?
It's tough to pick because I love the different mediums all the same! But if I had to choose, it would definitely be watercolours.
What are you working on right now? How is it different from your past work?
I'm currently messing around with felt to make plush toys and badges that are similar to the characters I draw. If by past work you mean days before polytechnic, then the content differs as well as the mediums and styles of characters. All I drew was semi-manga style people back then.
Who/What is inspiring you right now?
There are a lot of artists that I'm inspired by currently, but I'd say Louise Evans aka Felt Mistress since I'm working with felt for now.
What are some other things you enjoy doing?
Besides drawing, I very much enjoy sewing, reading comics and children books, and watching cartoons! If sitting around doing nothing (except listen to music while looking at whatever is going on outside) is counted as a thing, then I'm adding that to the list!
Who would you consider the smartest person you know?
That would definitely be my younger sister, because she reads the news, is very into literature and knows a lot more than I do in general. I have a mind of a six-year-old.
What is your work environment like?
It has to be quiet except for music. If I'm dealing with traditional mediums, I like to surround myself with art materials to keep me hyped up about painting, so it's always a big mess. I don't have a proper workspace so I usually hang around the living room or dining area depending on whether I feel like sitting on the floor or the chair.
Thank you so much to Teressa for sharing her "mind of a six-year old" with us! Check out her process on her SMART piece "All Hail The Wall." You can also find more of her work on her Website and Tumblr. She also accepts questions on her Ask FM page. Teressa's piece is also available for purchase in the Light Grey Art Lab Shop.
Process for All Hail The Wall
All Hail The Wall