Get To Know These Artists Shaking Up Instagram

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These days when we’re stuck at home and have few opportunities to visit museums and exhibitions, we can look to Instagram to provide us with a steady stream of artistic inspiration. It’s the perfect place to admire the works of up-and-coming artists who are generous in sharing their impressive art. Sometimes, they even give us a peek at what their creative process is like. We’ve found a few of them in Southeast Asia. Ahead, artists Josiah Chua, Hannah Dacanay and Fariza Basri share who their biggest inspirations are, which artwork they’ve done is their favourite, what you can expect from them next and more.

Meet Josiah Chua from Singapore

Josiah Chua took the Instagram world by storm when he released the ingenious customised BTS x McDonald's sneaker made from the upcycled food packaging of the meal. But even before that, he has already been producing countless engaging works and does impeccable styling for various brands and personalities.

“I’ve always liked dabbling in the arts. Though I’m fashion design-trained, I’ve always seen creating clothing as an expression of individuality,” he said. Aside from that, he shared that exciting new materials and technology are one of his inspirations to continue creating art. “Through the years I have also experimented with various materials outside of what is conventionally used in fashion to give more dimension to my work,” Josiah said.

Josiah Chua’s fashion capsule collection where he uses plant and floral pigments.

His works, which he describes as “eccentric”, is his “cheeky way” to tell people not to be so serious in life. “The approach that I apply in most of my work is to cause a reaction or a mischievous attempt to push buttons on the conventional,” he said. “Overall, I’d like to revive the childlike soul in everyone and remind them to look at the world in a less serious way in a society that feeds on that soul.”

He doesn’t have one big influence but rather takes inspiration from other passionate people he encounters in life. “I think the stories of people around me drive me into becoming a better version of myself, especially the close creative friends I have. Their passion and drive push me to become a better version of myself and be better in my craft.”

So what can we expect next from Josiah Chua? True to his cheeky ways, he says this: “Expect nothing, so you’ll get surprised.”

Say hi to Filipino digital artist Hannah Dacanay

Digital art has introduced us to new possibilities in creating art that defy laws of this world. Hannah Dacanay’s works certainly transport us into new realms. One where you can go through mirrors, levitate in your bedroom, and grow wings.

Curious where Hannah’s art journey began? The story is as whimsical as her artworks. “During my childhood, I loved watching Disney movies, classic fairy tales, cartoons, and anime. It inspired me to draw the characters, the landscapes, the scenes and even create stories of my own,” she said. His dad, who is a fellow art lover, noticed Hannah’s interest and encouraged her to draw and practice more while giving her some pointers. “Drawing became a habit and later on, pursuing the arts became my dream,” she shared.

Hannah Dacanay’s favourite composite artwork.

Hannah has come a long way since her days of sketching cartoons she loves. She has now defined her own style which she says is still a “work in progress”. From all that she’s done, her favourite digital composite artwork — an image made from different elements combined to make one image — is a piece that she worked on during quarantine. “The artwork represents my soul-searching journey specifically during this pandemic,” she said.

Hannah shared that digital technology was actually one of her areas of weaknesses but she was able to improve and “unlock” her skills by trying to get better. “I'm turning it to become my strength through constant practice.”

Get to know Malaysian miniature artist Fariza Basri

Sometimes the tiniest things make the biggest impression. It’s certainly true for the works of Fariza Basri, a painter who does stunningly detailed miniature artworks. She was introduced to the world of art at just six years old by her late father Ahmad Basri whose hobby was painting. Fariza shares that she started painting as a way to relax and calm herself. “I firmly believe painting to be therapeutic. It is a rewarding experience of self-discovery that I find inspirational and motivates me to keep on painting.”

If there’s one word to describe her work, she says that it would be “happiness”. Sure enough, her works will bring a smile to your face. “When searching for ideas to paint, I look for something that gives joy to me,” she said. Then, the work begins. “I think about translating the idea, and what medium, technique and canvas to use. Finally, I sketch it and paint it.” From all the miniature artworks she’s done, her favourites are those of the moon which reminds her of her only daughter, Luna.

We can have a lot to look forward to next from Fariza. “Once the pandemic cools off, I hope to participate in more exhibitions,” she said. As of now, she has plans in the pipeline to get involved with charity and continue to promote the idea that art can help people the same way it did for her.

Just because art galleries are off-limits right now doesn’t mean that art is nowhere to be found. It’s very much still alive and is all the more important during these times. When we’re stuck at home, art is our gateway to the world.

(Cover photo from: @hannahdacanay)

Next, find out what it’s like to be a late-blooming artist.

Comments, questions or feedback? Email us at [email protected].

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