Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Conversation With L. Nguyen

"Umbrella Trap"

L. Nguyen, a self-taught artist from Vancouver, B.C., Canada. L, works as a freelance illustrator and concept artist. Working in both oils and acrylics, he spins surreal narratives with his beautiful anime-infused paintings. L. Nguyen spoke with ArtSeen about his artwork and inspirations.

How would you describe yourself?
I would say I am a funny guy, and simple in that all I need is a pencil and paper to work away into the night.

How do you describe your art? How is this is different than how others would describe your work?

I would describe my art as animation captured in paint. I am a big fan of classical animation and I try to create pieces that display movement as if ripped from a single frame of a cartoon. I see my art in motion but others may describe my art as detailed pop art.

"Tree Light"

What medium do work in and why?

I prefer to work with oil or acrylic paints because of the way you can mix colors easily as opposed to pen or pencil. It is kind of an experiment process, being that I can mix the paints easily and even come up with some nice colors by accident, the surprise element of painting for me.

"White Apple"

How did you start your art career? 

I purchased some digital software instruction books, learned to do some digital art years ago, and began to do freelance illustration work by commission and contracts.

 Did you attend any formal training or schools? 

No, I am self-taught because it just kind of worked out that way. I have been going with the flow of life and this is how it’s been working out so far.

"Angel Paper Wings"

What is your inspiration and what do you try to capture in your work?
Animated/ anime films influenced these paintings greatly, especially films by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. I try to capture a freeze frame, a story in motion within my paintings, which is especially seen in the drifting paper souls that are in all my paintings.

What is your most memorable piece and why?

"A thousand faces" is my most memorable piece. The reason for this is [because] I began the series of paintings “Cryingpapersouls” with that very first piece. While trying to write a story I decided to use paintings as a brainstorming tool and created the number one piece, “A Thousand Faces.” This painting set the tone for all other paintings that followed.

"A Thousand Faces"

What other artists or individuals have influenced your art?
My influences range from Robert Bateman, Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Jackson Pollock to David Mack, a comic book artist. I like a lot of different art but there are too many great artists to list them all.

Why are you an artist? What does art mean to you?

I am an artist because ever since I was young I had a big imagination and it has allowed me to bring that imagination to life. Art means a lot to me, it’s a way of life and dictates the way I view everything in life. It makes me appreciate my surroundings, noticing how every little thing can be a work of art. It is an outlet for me to express myself and connect with other people in a unique way. 

"Doorway to Heaven"

What goals do you currently have as an artist?

I have only just begun to share my paintings to the public recently, but I am hoping to build a brand off of my current work rather than just a theme. I want to get really creative and take my art to a more unique place and try different styles; having people see my art evolve within its theme over time.

Other things you would like us to know?

I have a dream that one day an animated film could be made from the story of my paintings.

"Paper Face"
For more information about L. Nguyen and his artwork, you can visit his website, Facebook page, Youtube channel, and Tumblr page for more details.

All images provided by L. Nguyen.

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