“Concealed among the evergreens, searching for a home that’s long been lost;
Spiral down the slippery slope, into a world unknown. Behold the wonders yet to see, revealing themselves in fabled mystery;
The universe is a temple, worshipped & crafted by deities of old. May we remember our origins, even as our prayers cease.”
Our little Mossery gallery continues to grow as we welcome three familiar faces to the family. Introducing: three new Art Print collections by Nadhir Nor (@snadhir), Maggie Chiang (@mcmintea) and Anindya Anugrah (@_phantasien)!
Continue reading to learn all about the inspiration behind their artwork and their distinctly unique creative processes!
Hi Nadhir! It’s been awhile since we last spoke, how have you been since then, especially now that lockdown has been lifted.
Hello Mossery, thank you for having me onboard again for your journey, it really has been an honour. It’s been a whirlpool of exciting and nerve-wracking things since then, but I’m just thankful to be able to experience it all.
There have been countless messages from people telling me how much they love the collection we did, and I even bumped into someone randomly in real life wearing one of the pins. I'm really happy to see it resonating with people.
Your work seems to be heavily inspired by the Nusantara region. Is this a conscious decision you’ve made to bridge your life (& perhaps your heritage) to your art?
For sure, although I would say it was not consciously at first. I think I’ve always been a huge fan of mythology (shoutout to the countless hours I spent on Age of Mythology as a kid!) and culture, as I grew older and started to see how important it is to truly get to know oneself to be more honest with my work, I guess naturally I had to start from home, from what’s familiar.
The characters depicted in your work seem to stem from old folklore & myths. Were they inspired from myths & folk tales of your own culture? Or are they new imaginings?
I would say that most of them are new imaginings. To be honest, I’ve never really set out to create or really reimagine Nusantaran myths, I am simply just an artist with a Nusantaran background trying to tell and worldbuild my own fantastical story.
Of course, in the process, whatever elements and stories that feel close to me culturally will somehow blend into how I visualize things as a Southeast Asian artist. I am still very inspired by them.
There is such a magical yet grounding feel to your art. Like we’re looking at a time & place that’s long been lost. What is it about mythology which interests you so much?
I’m very fascinated with how they seem to blur between imagination and what’s been passed through to our ancestors as something real, important and yet, they’re all almost nonexistent and unreachable. It feels like a secret being whispered through the universe that we’re all supposed to figure it out in between our otherwise mundane, modern lives.
Your art often feels very personal & intimate. Could this be because you embed parts of yourself into it? If so, have you discovered new things about yourself through your art?
You could say that, haha. I think making good art really just means being honest with what you have to say and that requires you to be vulnerable and almost personal with them, whether you like it or not. I guess one thing I discovered is that, no matter how scary it is to be perceived, people whom your work means a lot to will appreciate it in ways you could probably never imagine. So chin up, life’s too short to not be honest with your work, I guess.
One of the themes explored in your work is also queerness - thus bringing very rarely seen mythological landscapes & queer identities together. This has brought a lot of solace to many of your fans. How does that make you feel?
Hahaha, I actually did not read this question before I answered the previous one, but I guess it’s applicable here too. I’m very, very thankful and humbled that people resonate with them. It really is a honour to be able remind people that they’re not alone and in that process, I feel less lonelier too trying to navigate this otherwise heteronormative world.
What’s next for you in your journey as an artist?
Moving ahead with 2022, I’d love to be more present and mindful when I create art and not think too much of it. I’d love to learn to let go a little bit more, and to let the magic come in from the simplicity of it, rather than the overcomplexity. Practice-wise, I’d love to learn how to handpoke this year, crossed fingers.
Hi Maggie, we last spoke when you introduced 2 new cover designs for Mossery, making it a whopping 4 covers featured so far! How has your journey as an artist evolved since then?
Hello! It’s been a while, how time flies!
I feel like a lot has changed, and yet not much has changed. My journey as an artist so far has had its ups and downs. But overall, it’s been great and I’m very grateful for it. Currently, I am taking my time to explore and expand my work. Trying new techniques, drawing a lot, and experimenting!
Colour seems to be a strong theme in this collection of art prints, with focal colours such as blues and greens that encapsulate the essence of each series. Do you often use colours to convey certain feelings through your art?
Whenever I start a piece, I am definitely focusing on what color(s) it will be. It could be what I’m feeling at the moment, or maybe a color I want to try using more. All colors are beautiful, and I want to be able to highlight that in my work.
We noticed in your pieces it feels as though you were emphasizing on life’s journey and the art of introspection. Is this the message you hoped to convey? If so, have you always been an introspective person?
A lot of my work is inspired by my own experiences, which is why it probably feels introspective. I am a daydreamer, which is why my figures are always looking up or into the distance.
In an earlier interview, you mentioned that you were drawn to nature and animals because they were things you wished you could see more often. Beyond these concepts, where else do you pull inspiration from?
Inspiration really comes from everything that I’m surrounded by. The people in my life, the things I see around me, all inspire me.
We love your use of contrast in these art prints. Why have you chosen to utilize a stark black base for all your pieces this time round?
I enjoy having a strong contrast, and really wanted to highlight the colors in these pieces. After experimenting with different colored backgrounds. I came to the conclusion that these dark backgrounds really help bring the colors to life.
If there was one thing you’d like people to take away from your art, what would it be?
Remember all the good things. Focus on what you are looking forward to. There’s only so much time and energy that can be spent, spend it doing what makes you happy.
If you could give aspiring artists out there one piece of advice you wish you’d gotten at the start of your creative career, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to do what you love, create what makes you happy.
If you are looking to do art as a career, don’t forget to take breaks and also create for yourself.
You looked like you had a super busy 2021! From new merchandise to fashion collaborations, how have you been?
Hi, thank you for having me! I'm doing great, thank you! 2021 was a huge year for me and I'm extremely grateful for all the amazing opportunities I've had, including the one with Mossery!
What is the process of creating each artwork? From how you search for inspiration to how you paint your vision on a canvas.
I always pick up inspiration from the things I see and hear daily. It depends on the kind of music I've been into, the book I'm currently reading, the movies or videos I've watched.
My dreams are also my source of inspiration too. I keep a dream journal by the bed so that I can write whatever is left in my memory as soon as I wake up. I usually start with a rough sketch, do a little research and improvise as I work through. The best ideas usually come up when I least expect it.
We noticed that your work is heavily inspired by facets of the past, whether it be illuminated manuscripts or your own childhood. So when creating art, do you feel a strong sense of nostalgia? Or do you feel like you’re exploring something new each time?
Although my works have influences from my own childhood, I definitely love to explore something new each time I'm creating art. There's a lot of different themes and historical trivia that I could put into my work, so as I create, I also learn a lot of new things.
It seems from your work that you draw inspiration heavily from Medieval Europe (please correct us if we’re wrong!). Yet, we also see influencers from other regions. Do you ever draw inspiration from your own life in Southeast Asia?
Growing up, I read a lot of fairy tale books that seemed to take place in medieval Europe. However, I often incorporated some influences from South Asia, particularly Mughal miniatures. Although I haven't seen a lot of medieval manuscripts from Southeast Asia, I'm especially fascinated by Wayang imageries in old Javanese scriptures.
I recently did a commission for a close friend of mine for her wedding and incorporated some traditional Java-Melayu themes to the costumes and combined them together with medieval europe themes that I usually display in my works. It turned out really well, so I'm definitely going to explore and incorporate more Southeast Asian elements in the future!
We understand that your art aims to portray an alternate history. Yet, there feels like there’s a story to each piece of work. Do you make your art with a story in mind? Or do they unfold naturally?
The Internet is filled with such an unlimited amount of historical trivia, so I usually do a little research before setting a theme for my artwork. The more stuff I read, the more the story unfolds. When it comes to coloring, I tend to improvise a lot (that's why I haven't been able to stick to certain color palettes!)
Have you ever faced any roadblocks or ruts when creating your art? If so, what did you do to overcome them?
Of course. It usually happens when I feel bored and when I try to force myself to make a new artwork. The only thing that helps is a period of rest where I don't do anything creative. Before the pandemic hit, traveling used to help a lot. Now that I'm still too scared to travel, I entertain myself by watching travel documentaries of the places I wanted to visit when the pandemic is over.
What has been the best moment/compliment in your career as an artist so far?
A friend once said that I've created a dream world where magic really exists and everyone wants to live in it. It's the kind of compliment that I always remember when I feel down and uninspired and it motivates me to make more and more art.
What’s next for you? Are there any exciting upcoming projects or new things you’re excited to explore in the near future?
I've been making sculptures and other stuff with clay recently and it's quite fun! I'm planning to launch a series of mini-sculpture of the characters that often appear in my work and sell them in a very limited quantity.
Our Mossery Art Prints have just gained three new art print collections with three special artists whom we’ve previously had the privilege of collaborating with before, namely @mcmintea, @_phantasien and @snadhir.
Transform your space into a fountain of inspiration and artistry with these three brand new Art Print collections. Let your days be filled with joy and beauty as you emerge yourself in endless creativity.
For a closer look at these prints, visit our Instagram @mossery.artprints to get exclusive updates on all things Art Print related.