Tran Nguyen is an award-winning illustrator & fine artist. Born in Can Tho, Vietnam, she currently resides in the peachy state of Georgia. Nguyen’s paintings are created with a soft, delicate quality using colored pencil and acrylic on paper. She’s most known for her paintings of whimsical women and their melancholic landscapes, which often possess an air of fantasy and surrealism. She creates illustrations for published media such as magazines, books, wine & beer packaging, animation, advertising, and mural work. Her clients include VH1, Tiger Beer, World Wildlife Fund, and she has showcased with galleries across the world.
FLESK: What experience do you hope viewers have while looking at your art?
NGUYEN: I’d like viewers to feel some form of re-assurance that everything will be okay no matter what they’re going through in life. Or simply getting a tinge of creative inspiration from it would make the illustration a success.
FLESK: Much of your art features an array of more-than-human imagery. What is it about human reality combined with metaphysical elements that speaks to you?
NGUYEN: There are layers beneath human reality that isn’t visually apparent, but exists, so I like to give these layers physical form and showcase the two together in the same image plane to create a sense of surrealism. Reality is so much more extraordinary than it appears.
FLESK: What emotion tends to guide your creativity the most?
NGUYEN: Most probably melancholy and its near opposite, contentment.
FLESK: What is your favorite fantasy subject to illustrate?
NGUYEN: My favorites are fluffy, feline beasts such as massive tigers or shield maiden-esque characters with an Asian twist.
FLESK: How has your artistic style changed over the years and where do you see it heading?
NGUYEN: My artistic style started out far more bizarre and surreal, but these days, it’s toned itself down. As my personal narrative has become grounded, my execution of the subject has gotten more realistic. In the near future, I plan on revisiting those weird and whimsical subject matters as well as scaling back the tightly rendered forms.
FLESK: Do you have any upcoming projects you would like to share some information about?
NGUYEN: I have a ton of personal projects that’s been on back burner for years and one of it is creating a luxe silk scarf featuring one of my illustrations. I finally have the time to bring it to life and I’m excited launch the project on Kickstarter in early October 2020.
Tran Nguyen art and answers © 2020 Tran Nguyen. John Fleskes text and photos copyright © 2020 John Fleskes. Videos © 2020 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2020 its respective artists. All rights reserved.