Dawn Tan | hand-made-love.blogspot.com
“Good food, home-cooking and hardworking grannies and mums in busy nice-smelling kitchens!”

These are what inspire Dawn Tan to create watercolour food prints. The full time artist, who is also an illustrator and an art teacher, started on this project after her obsession with food got the better of her two years back.

The 25-year-old, who hails from “a whole family full of creative”, started painting at the age 12. She went on to pursue a Visual Communications diploma at Temasek Polytechnic upon completing her ‘O’ levels. The fruitful time she had during her time there spurred her on to pursue a degree in Fine Arts Painting at The Victorian College of the Arts in Australia. Even after three years, the avid traveller decided to remain in the kangaroo island for the time being, simply because she adored the place; she names the carefree lifestyle and the changing seasons as a few of the factors that eventually made her call Melbourne her second home. The artist says of herself, “I’m pretty nomadic and love moving from place to place!”

How Dawn marries the two of her favourite things to create gastronomical prints is telling of her adventurous and fun nature as well. Having experimented with cartoon-styled portraits, paintings of landscape and animals, her latest craze is something quite different. “I paint food all the time because I’m simply obsessed with it, I can’t stop thinking of it!” She names “Burger plate and happy fries melamine set” as her favourite piece out of the delightful stash of food-related works and hints of upcoming food-inspired pillowcases and wares. Definitely more than enough reason to watch her yummy space.

Fun, whimsical, a little bit crazy and 100% good-food inspired!

Watercolour painting was the medium Dawn worked with as a young girl. And even now, she is still very much in love with the transparent and fluid nature of the medium. A major influence on her works is Quentin Blake, the illustrator of Roald Dahl’s books. When asked if she’d like to collaborate with any local artist someday, Dawn identifies the photographer Jing Quek, whose ideas are, in her exact words, “brilliant”.

Her infectious love for food, translated into works of art certainly reflects her “fun, whimsical, slightly crazy and 100% food-inspired!” style. Dawn believes in working hard and dreaming big, and she has some words of advice for aspiring artists- “of course, be adventurous, always! I think one needs to have the ‘never say die’ attitude, to survive!“

Curated by Donovan Quek, Text by Deborah Loh