Tran Nguyen Interview from Flesk Publications

The Mauve Girl by Tran Nguyen

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.

You Must Not Miss by Tran Nguyen

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.

Ambedo by Tran Nguyen. Art book retrospective published by Flesk.

Instagram: @mynameistran
Twitter: @my_name_is_tran

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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.

Ambedo: The Art of Tran Nguyen Kickstarter Campaign is Live!

Hi, everyone,

I’m thrilled to announce that we have launched our Ambedo: The Art of Tran Nguyen Kickstarter campaign. This book is available as an affordable signed hardcover. In addition, limited and open edition signed prints are on hand, plus enamel pins and original art are also available.

Please visit the Kickstarter campaign page where you can enjoy the sample imagery and more details.



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Text and photos copyright © 2019 John Fleskes. Videos © 2019 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2019 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Ambedo: The Art of Tran Nguyen. New Book from Flesk Coming in 2019

I’m excited to share the news that I am working with Tran Nguyen on her first art book. This collection will contain her gallery work along with Tran’s book and editorial illustrations. Much of her decade-long career will be captured in this oversized hardcover.

I first learned about Tran’s work when she submitted her entries to Spectrum 21. Her paintings made an immediate impression on me. I noted how the Spectrum judges had the same reaction, especially when you note the amount of Spectrum nominations and awards she has received.

Later, when I first met Tran I was impressed during her acceptance speech during the Spectrum 21 Awards ceremony when receiving her gold award in the Editorial category. She spoke of her gratitude toward her parents and provided insight into the struggle that her family faced when coming to the U.S. from Vietnam. It was a touching acceptance speech that in just a few minutes showed how humble she is while also revealing the aesthetics behind her art. Arnie and Cathy Fenner and I felt that it was the most heartfelt speech of the evening.

Since then I continued to watch her growth. I’m amazed by her recent “The Flooded Hour II” series of paintings. I had the pleasure of getting to know Tran better during her visit to the Flesk offices during the Spectrum 25 judging event. Shortly afterward I inquired with Tran about the possibility of working with her to capture her career in a new book. I’m thrilled that she was interested and delighted to be able to publish and share her works in 2019. The release date will be announced in the coming months.

You can learn more about Tran at her website here:


Text and photos copyright © 2018 John Fleskes. Videos © 2018 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2018 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.