IN MY ELEMENT: INTERVIEW WITH SHA'AN D'ANTHES
Here at Element Eden we’re thrilled to have a chat with the very talented and extremely cute Sha'an D’anthes, otherwise known as furry little peach. This loveable young lady seems to contain a tremendous amount of extraordinary talent running through her veins. Sha’an continues to amaze us with her heavenly like imagination, endlessly bringing effortless attention to her magical creations. You’d think some sort of whimsical powers pour out through her fingertips to make such beautiful imagery.
Self described as being an artist, freelance thing-maker, line-lover and furry little peach, this girl is taking over the world of illustration with her wondrous imagination and we’re loving every moment of it! Apart from being absolutely gorgeous, she’s also a foodie at heart and loves to cook! This triple threat furry little peach of a human will throw you into a half conscious state of wonder and amazement, questioning yourself as to ‘how on earth did she do that?’ Who would of thought that so much talent can fit itself into such a small body.
Getting to know Sha’an a little more…
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background? Your part Singaporean, how has your background and life events influenced your work?
My mum was born in Singapore, my dad was born in America, they met here in Australia, and had me! I feel Australian, because I was born and have always lived here, but because we travelled regularly when I was a kid I was exposed to the cultures of both my parents as well as being exposed to many, many more (my mum used to let the rest of the family tag along on her work trips – so I’ve been very fortunate to be a frequent flyer from a very young age). Unlike my love for food, I can’t say that my work is directly inspired by my ethnicity, but I am constantly inspired by the world around me – one thing about Singapore that I love is the lushness of nature intertwined throughout the suburban areas and even throughout the city! It definitely hold’s a place in my heart and my work.
2. How would you describe your artistic style? Watercolour seems very prevalent in your work is this your favourite medium to work with?
I think my style can be very fluid and is constantly evolving so I’ll leave that up to you to decide! And it is! I love it! I love experimenting with a lot of different mediums, but watercolours and ink are definitely a favourite of mine – the fluidity and the way they move independently across the page excites me! They’re also really fast-drying mediums so I can create the imagery stuck in my brain while its still fresh in my mind.
3. When do you feel ‘ In Your Element’?
I’m In My Element when I’ve fostered an idea for weeks and finally get a chance to put it onto paper
4. Can you tell us about your simple life pleasures and how you spend your ‘me time’?
In terms of free time – there is very little of it when you’re passionate about something because it absolutely consumes you. It sounds terrible, but it isn’t. I have a love affair with my work so the stress of being busy is always outweighed by absolutely loving what I do. When I need a breather, I always try to see my friends, go gallery-hopping, rummaging through marketplaces and scribbling around my favourite café spots!
5. If you could leave at the drop of a hat to travel anywhere, it would be…
Next on my hit list is head back over to the USA and to Canada for the first time - I want to get amongst those mountain-scapes, and visit all the inspiring people I know over there, not to mention my family on my dad’s side who I haven’t had the chance to see for years now! Also, Disney world.
6. Where do you regularly turn to for creative inspiration?
This is such a difficult question to answer sometimes, but the answer is simple: everywhere! I’m inspired by everything around me. I’m especially inspired by colour schemes that lurk in every day life and in the natural world. That’s my biggest inspiration, I think.
7. Tell us about some of your favourite moments which have occurred during your career as an artist? (e.g. exhibitions, art school, people buying your works etc)
I’m so fortunate that I’ve been able to have so many incredibly exciting moments happen in my relatively short artistic career. Some highlights include selling my work to people all over the world, having my first solo show ‘Wild Things’ last year, being featured in some of my favourite print publications like Yen, Elle and Hysteria, and more recently, being sent to California by Element Eden to exhibit! I was also recently offered a studio space by the guys at The Tate, which I’m really, really loving – no more painting on the floor for me!
8. What are you looking forward to and whats your next big project?
I’ve got a few exciting collaborations coming up, including designing a bunch of fun wearables, and home-wares with the gems at Club of Odd Volumes, and releasing a candle with the oh-so-sweet Pigeon & Weasel. I’m looking forward to finding time to work on and organising my next solo show amongst other things, I’ve got an concept that I’m really excited about, but you’ll have to wait to see what it’s all about!
9. What type of environment do you need to create your work and get in the right mind frame? Is it by surrounding yourself with plants? People? Natural light & big windows?
The only necessities for me would be an urge to draw, a 4B pencil and a piece of paper. In terms of wants though, I love to work in natural light, with a bunch of different art materials, food by my side and something going on in the background to distract my conscious (music, trashy television etc). I like the painting process to be less thought and more feeling – reacting intuitively to the medium and the idea flow.
10. What is your ideal way to spend time over a 24 hour period?
Cinnamon doughnuts and/or vanilla ice cream. All day, every day.
11. You seem to be passionate about food, and everything you cook and post on instagram looks delicious! Is enjoying food an important part of your life?
Ah! Thank you – yes, I love food. I love cooking it, and I love, love, love eating it. I’m half Singaporean – we think about the next meal we’re going to have while we’re at the table eating! And being American – I think it’s quite clear that that half of me loves food too! I’m all about being happy and making other people happy – and I think food is an easy way to do that.
12. We have noticed that animals seem to be your favourite subject matter in your artwork why do you find yourself drawn to illustrating animals?
I’m very drawn to them, yes (nice pun!). I don’t know what it is I become obsessed with some in particular, those who follow my work will know this already. It’s always something about them, whether it be their colour, their form, texture, shape... The wall of my studio looks like a serial killer’s apartment, plastered with sketches. If I can’t have ‘em – I’ll draw ‘em.