One of the first questions I always ask when I conduct these short interviews with artistic horror lovers is if they feel being creative was an inevitable destiny from a young age … More often than not you will then read about the wonderful support and guidance they got from family and loved ones that helped nurture and grow the potential they had. To me it sets up the rest of the questions nicely and you very quickly get a good idea of just how passionate and dedicated these individuals are.
The artist I’m focussing on in todays article walked a slightly different path. Her family had to cope with huge changes when she was very young and as she got older, encouragement and support for her developing artistic abilities was in short supply.
Ultimately, Quyen Dinh would find her own way back to the road she was meant to travel on … through circumstance, sheer hard work and determination.
I discovered her art during one of my semi-regular online browsing sessions where I THINK about getting a tattoo for the first time. Seriously, you have never seen someone dither over a decision like I do when it comes to getting some ink on my skin. You know when you see people standing on the edge of a bridge trying to summon the courage to jump off with a bungee cord attached to their ankles? … That’s me with tattoos … I want to do it, I’ve just got to let go and jump (or walk into a tattoo parlour), you get the idea …
Quyen’s art was everywhere during my search and thoughts of getting a tattoo done were replaced with a desire to know more about the person who was creating images that instantly just made me smile and pushed ALL of my horror loving art buttons.
I was thrilled to hear back from her and here is the cool little Q&A we had along with several examples of her awesome traditional tattoo flash art …
1. Can you tell me a little bit about your creative history, do you think it was a destiny from a young age?
“I certainly think it’s a destiny. I believe we are all born with special gifts for a purpose. I first realized that I may have had some talent in 1985 when I won my first award for a watercolor painting I did for my elementary school. My parents, mainly my father, were very unsupportive so I never went to art school. I took a few random classes in high school and college but that was the extent of my education. I’ve always enjoyed all types of mediums and styles over the years, so the tattoo flash that has propelled me into the public sphere is only a little part of who I am creatively. I hope to share more of me as time goes on.”
2. You personally have a lot of tattoos … is that passion an extension of your love for art?
“Yes, my passion for tattoos is an extension of my love of art. I love art so much that I wanted to be covered with it … I knew this at a very young age. I mean, people are so curious or surprised that I don’t tattoo for a living. They don’t realise that my passion lies in fine art and not in the profession of tattooing, although I am passionate about tattoos themselves. There’s a difference.”
3. You are very creative and artistic in several mediums but for the time being have focussed on your tattoo art work, is that because it’s a personal favorite?
“I would have to say, yes … the tattoo-themed or inspired artwork is my favorite to create. But this is not to say I don’t crave other mediums and styles when they’ve been neglected. I’ve been missing realism, so I infuse it with my traditional work and hope nobody notices.”
4. Recently you have created some fantastic illustrations of horror characters as part of a set, were they fun to work on, and do you have a favorite horror movie?
“I loved working on the horror series! I’m a big movie buff, but horror has always been that go-to genre, that and sci-fi. I’m a bonafide geek. The Shining is arguably my favorite horror film. I saw it at a very young age so it left an indelible impression on me. I mean, it’s horrifying to watch as an adult, let alone a child. Just sit through the soundtrack and that’s enough to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. It’s brilliant and that’s why Jack Torrance was my surprise print; I leave that spot for the special ones.”
5.Finally, how cool is it when someone contacts you to say they have used one of your designs as a tattoo on their own body, that must be a very rewarding feeling?
“Everything that has happened since 2012 has been surreal … every bit of it. I am still processing the fact that people know me for my work. I grew up with the ideology that artists starved ingrained in my psyche, so with all that has happened and IS happening, it’s beyond rewarding. Everyone has that ‘void’ in their life and I have to say with all the love and support I’ve gotten from my fans … my void has been filled. I can die happy now.”
I want to say a HUGE thank you to Quyen for responding to my messages and taking some time to get involved … to see MUCH more of her work and thoughts just click over to here.
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