A beautiful mind

30 Jun 2015 / 10:36 H.

YOU may have seen a girl in a funky print dress curled up on some stairway that is hidden on the grounds of the KLCC Park. Her hair constantly flops into her face causing her to push her fringe back distractedly as her other hand continues etching life onto the pages of her sketchbook.
Her name is Reimena Yee, 20, and she's a self-taught artist who was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur. The only artist in her family, she thinks that her ability to draw has always been a defining characteristic as it is an "easy attention-grabber". Introverted and eccentric but comfortable in her own skin, she prides herself on being one of the rare types of people who exist in both worlds of art and science as she pursues a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne.
Although she works primarily as an illustrator, Yee has had her name credited as the cover artist for BOOM! Studios' Adventure Time and Bravest Warriors, as well as all six issues of Marceline Gone Adrift. Her resume also boasts art exhibitions at the local Comic Fiesta and CAFKL.
When not found with a pencil in hand, you can find her exploring the city, lost in a book, or on cyberspace at blog.reimenayee.com.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I take my inspiration from as many sources as possible, including the world around me, and not just solely in artwork. My work leans more towards a Western/European aesthetic, so a lot of what informs me comes from that side of the globe. I like to read/watch other people's stories and get inspired easily by very experimental and novel ways to convey ideas and messages.
What's your creative process like?
It's mostly come up with an idea, an image in my head of what the final product looks like, and grind grind grind until I get more or less what I want.
What's your proudest achievement or happiest moment art-wise?
Starting my webcomic, which is my pet project. But I'm pretty happy when I get featured (as is the case right now) and when I'm making small steps in getting the local scene recognised internationally.

What's your advice for aspiring artists?
The typical advice is to keep drawing and to draw a lot, but I think it's that if you love to draw and want to succeed, you need to keep at it even if you feel that your art is not as good as other artists or if you think that your progress is 'too slow'. You need to keep learning how to draw, and check out as many pieces of art as you can.
Most people don't realise that you don't have to solely work as an artist to consider yourself an artist. I opted to get what was considered a more "practical", Asian parent-approved education, and still got good work out. Many of my friends are adults working in science/computing jobs, but they are brilliant artists nonetheless. But if you're certain about getting a studio job locally or if you're certain that art is all you can or want to do, then have a go at it.
Another thing that I think aspiring artists need to know is to realise the value of their work. If you want to make art a career, you have to be professional about it. After all, we're not free labour and our job is 100% skill-based.
Who would you choose as your mentor?
Shaun Tan. He's an Australian illustrator with an amazing beautiful mind, and it would be great to learn how to see his world.


thesundaily_my Sentifi Top 10 talked about stocks