Choonfai, Awakening of the puppresses, 2008
Winner of the Iconique Societas Awards [Illustrator Category]
Lauded for his supremely timeless style and experimental sensibility, Choonfai has been riding the crest of an illustrious career. Besides reaping his crowning point at the Iconique Societas Award 2008, the celebrated artist continues to whet the appetite of commercial tastes — without compromising his design personality.
N: Did you undergo formal training to become an illustrator?
Yes. I studied communication design and majored in illustration.
N: What is it about illustration that interests you?
I like to draw since a very young age and the love for illustration comes naturally. I like the fact that illustration can be created with the simplest tools and I am able to execute what’s on my mind freely.
N: How does an illustrator, like yourself, grow and evolve professionally?
Every job, every new challenge or every time I look at something new inspire me to improve my skill or doing something different. I am not afraid to be molded along the way.
N: Do you have any role models or muses?
N: Can you name other illustrators that you admire and why?
David Downton for his sophisticated, elegant, classic but bold style & Jason Brooks for his contemporary style and his creation is always chic and sexy. Each of these illustrators is somewhat a true representative of their era which I am greatly impressed.
N: What has winning the Iconique Illustrator Award in 2008 done for you?
It definitely gave me the confidence and encouragement to continue doing what I like and keep exploring and mastering my style.
N: Just like fashion trends, are there illustrating trends that you follow? How do you incorporate your personal style, if so?
As you can see, my style is simple and basic. I try to achieve something timeless and the sense of trends come from the elements inside my illustrations and not so much the style itself.
N: In your opinion, is it important for illustrator to have a personal or versatile style?
In general, it’s definitely more important for an illustrator to have a personal style, be known for his/her style and it’s a foundation for an illustrator before reaching out to more possibilities but not losing the essence. But in Singapore, because the market is small and versatile, it enables an illustrator to adapt to many other requirements of individual projects.
N: Is making a living or pursuing your passion more important?
It’s equally important, that’s why I’m a commercial illustrator and not a starving artist
N: Could we be so bold as to ask you if you are making a good living as an illustrator?
What’s your definition of good? Haha. I can only say that I live comfortably now. But I will have to change profession in order to earn big bucks.
N: Finally, if you were not an illustrator, what would you be doing?
I’ll be a gypsy traveling around the world.