Caramelaw, a motion graphics artist/video editor by day and candyland superhero by night. She loves doing crazy illustrations and customizing toys. She’s done design work for MTV Asia, Sony International, DC Comics and many others. Luckily, growing up never stopped Caramelaw from her imaginary world of talking toys and monsters. We talk about hardhitting issues like My Little Pony, happiness, colors, and anime! Direct your eyes below for the full interview…
Sheena (beautiful name by the way), tell us how you came up with the art alias Caramelaw? What does it mean?
Caramelaw: Thank you very much! Well the name started way back in design school. Everyone called me caramel due to my skin colour and how sweet my candy art is. It wasn’t long after I adapted that nick name, added my surname onto it and it became Caramel+Aw=Caramelaw. It stayed with me ever since.
When I look at your work…one word comes to mind for me. Happiness. If you find yourself in a bad mood are you still able to create and emerge yourself in a world of candies, rainbows, and mushrooms?
Caramelaw: To me, Art is a platform for me to express my feelings and emotions. Honestly I was never good at expressing myself just like that. However I could do it given a piece of blank canvas. I was really upset over the news of the oil spill in 2010 and having seen all those pictures of innocent,helpless birds and animals covered in oil, coral reefs fading away as the oil covers their only source of energy & food which is the sun.
I was in fact angry at the fact that people are ignorant and greedy. They would do anything to benefit themselves and to cut cost, not thinking of the consequences should something go horribly wrong. That was a good example. Therefore I created the artwork “Which side are we in?” [pictured above] upon the news of the oil spill. It quite a dark piece as it reflects how I was feeling at that time.
With an animation background how hard was the transition to video editing and broadcast design?
Caramelaw: It wasn’t actually. I studied a little bit of every back in design school before I majored into animation. It was a good thing I went through all that training and to have knowledge on bits of everything. Moving onto video editing and broadcast wasn’t easy at 1st but I manage to catch on pretty ok. Its an entirely different field but nevertheless, it still falls within the same category. Now with skills on animation & video editing, it certainly made life easier when needed! :p
You’ve done some impressive work in Singapore, ranging from MTV Asia to Sony International. Have you any plans to visit the United States and work for any of those same clients?
Caramelaw: Well, not at the moment really. However if opportunity rises, I will definately give it a try.
Were you a big fan of the original My Little Pony cartoons from the 80’s?
Caramelaw: I was a big Vintage My Little Pony fan since I was a kid. Their colours attracted me very much as a child. I had so many ponies and playsets and still kept them till today. They are all about the same age as me now. I believe they were a major factor on why I have such a sense of colour co-ordination so much thanks to my favourite mares!
Will we ever see a greyscale image from you? Color seems to be very important to you in your pieces. Could you explain your color process?
Caramelaw: It really depends. I am not a big fan of the greyscale! Colour plays a very important role in all my artworks. If there’s no colour, it’s not Caramelaw [laughs]. It usually starts with a handy sketchbook. I go out, I get inspired, scribble them down, bring the treasure home and start to do more constructive sketching. I always like to start with one center object and then build the colour scheme around that. Honestly I have no idea how my artwork would turn out to be when I start making them into vector illustrations. It just takes on a life of its own as I make progress. It’s pretty much instinctive. It’s fascinating because I never know what to expect. But the results are always satisfying.
From eye masks to pillows, your store is great! Additionally, your dolls are incredible! How would people get a chance to acquire one? Do you have plans to expand your storefront?
Caramelaw: Well, hopefully in year 2011! Am trying to get more merchandises made this year. Like handphone charms and recycle bags. I do have an Etsy store now. Alternatively one can always purchase my other merchandises from http://clickforart.com
Does Anime inspire your work in any way? Got any favs?
Caramelaw: In many ways, yes it does. My favourites so far are Full Metal Alchemist, Pokemon, Spirited Away, Totoro, Paprika and many more. I also adore the characters from Tamagotchi! (I know they aren’t exactly anime, but still cute!) These stories and characters do bring lots of inspiration into my crazy candy art.
Caramelaw: Wanna try out some paper doll designs, a Caramelaw mascot or possibly some short cute flash animations and many, many more Candy art goodness!
Lastly, any advice for female artists who want to break into the industry?