Wednesday, October 01, 2008
House of Cat Interview
House of Cat recently had the pleasure of interviewing Daniel Hyun Lim aka Fawn Fruits, a really talented, prolific artist know to many in the social media/creative universe. Daniel offered such thoughtful, open-hearted answers to the questions - it is my honor to share them with you.
Is Fawn Fruits another identity for you or a project or both or neither?
Fawn Fruits is the name that I give to the world of characters that I have created. Fawn, being my favorite animal, and fruits, taken from the fashion movement of the street kids in Japan. I liked the juxtaposition of both "peaceful" art and "Art on crack".
Will you explain your 1000 drawings project?
Sure, I first started my 1000 drawings as a rebellion to the gallery system. Being rejected from gallery directors left and right, I decided that it's really not about what sells, but what you love to draw. I love drawing portraits and this was my way of putting my work out to the masses. I have yet to show these 1000 drawings in a gallery setting, not sure if I even want to show them publicly. Luckily for me myspace and facebook have been my venue and I was my own curator. Lowering the cost of each drawing to $100 has enabled me to cultivate my work to the casual collectors.
I've read that your illustrations are a way of coping and expressing some darker aspects of your nature - yet they tend to bring joy and hope and humor. Can you talk more about this?
The most traumatic experience of my life happened at the start of my artistic career. My mother committed suicide when I was just barely out of High School. I had just been accepted to Art Center College of Design, ready to embark on this journey. Well, that being said, I had to take some detours in my educational course. After two years of searching for myself in Jr. College, I decided it was time to let go of the pain and pursue my life.
I channeled my fears, anger and resentment onto my own illustrations. That's when my work really flourished. With great mentors such as Rob Clayton, Alex Gross, Aaron Smith and Richard Keyes, I was able to make art that made a statement. It wasn't just a good looking illustration, it was a direct translation of my deepest feelings.
I'm a much happier person now. I've found my peace and I want to share it with people. I've been told by many people that there is a sense of calmness in my drawings. When the viewer can feel the exact feeling the artist makes, those are the best compliments any artist can receive.
Have you been drawing and creating characters your whole life?
I remember drawing dinosaurs since the age of 5. I really love drawing in a series. Here is a short list of some of the things I drew in an obsessive series: dinosaurs, zombies, vampires, girls, roaches, vespas, trees, robots, thai lettering, cities, billboards, meatball eyeballs, leaves, etc.
Your characters fit right in with contemporary culture, yet they seem to be on the outside of things...more relate-able than much of what we see. Who are these people to you?
Its funny that you noticed that but it's true. I intentionally detached myself from the going ons of this world. As an illustration instructor at Otis College of Design, I have to know what's what in illustration. I subscribe to giant robot, CMYK, Communication Arts, Juxtapoz and so on. I'm sort of, as my friend and mentor Nathan Ota puts it, a walking art encyclopedia. You can say I have a parent mentality when it comes to my drawings. I don't want them to be exposed to this world. Although they live in this world, their ideas and beliefs are not.
What are you currently working on // what are your future plans?
I'm taking things really slow. Although I tell my students to hustle and bustle, I'm doing the exact opposite. I like not being super famous. I'm ok with not seeing my drawings in converse ads. It'll be nice but I'm not really pursuing that. Right now, I'm just enjoying life. Not 15 minutes ago, I just buried my dog. Life is short to worry about trivial things. I'm spending time with my nephew, who I love dearly. I'm spending extra time with my students at Otis because I care for them. I'm spending the extra hour to talk to my girlfriend in NY, making sure she knows that I love her. That's what I'm working on right now.
My future plans? Well, marriage sounds pretty good.
Anything that you would like to add or comment on?
I'm all about helping other artists so if you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org