A collector of thoughts and experiences, as well as a storyteller, artist, and dreamer of sorts, Qixuan started drawing before she even learnt to speak. She was told that she had drawn a toy for her grandmother because she had wanted her grandmother to buy it for her. How’s that for starting young?
However, her passion for art did not flourish until much later. Qixuan cited art as an escape from her terrible teenage blues. She has since gone onto writing and illustrating not one, but three children’s books.
Qixuan describes her art to be whimsical without being too fantastical. She highlights the importance of it being somewhat realistic so that it will bridge the audience and her artwork.
“The very first book was completed as a coursework project in my secondary school. Looking at it four years later makes me a little embarrassed – it’s a little like reading an essay you wrote in primary school – but it is very dear to me because it was the first work I made that I am actually proud of.”
Her other two books Finding Home and Broken Dreams were her further explorations with mediums and materials. She explains that Finding Home was done on recycled materials and dead leaves which ties in with the idea of urbanization ruining the homes of little animals in the forest. Broken Dreams is about a mouse that wanted to go to the moon because it thought that the moon was a made of cheese!
“ I was losing interest in almost everything I was doing. And when I picked up the paintbrush, it felt like I found an avenue to express my thoughts and feelings. ”
So where exactly does Qixuan get her quirky ideas and inspiration from?
“Most of my inspiration comes from children books and poems – those are the best kinds.” She also lists Tim Burton, Roald Dahl, Dr Seuss, and Jimmy Liao as some of her favourite artists. But the person that inspires her the most is none other than her own mother.
Qixuan is currently studying Arts, Design & Media at the National Technological University and has high hopes of working in a design or art firm as a graphic designer when she graduates. However, she establishes that no matter where she goes, she will never stop drawing.
“I will never forget to illustrate because it is like my fifth limb. But the thirst to pick up new things is usually so strong that I am never too settled on one idea.”
She is also extremely keen to collaborate with artists from other mediums if an opportunity comes knocking.
“Artists should swim in each other’s creativity juices. And when it starts to fizzle and pop, that is when the magic begins. I have not done anything close to that, but I think it will be wonderful.”