“The lyre strums as Apollo hums the last of the tales of the brave, waking the moon for the night before chasing a comet into space;
After hours our collars loosen and retreat into simple joys, though serenity winks and quietly invites curious pops of surprise;
From faraway lands to nearby forests, every moment you experience is a treasure you acquire.”
We’re delighted to introduce you to our new Mossery Art Prints line, where we feature collections of artworks by artists around the globe, and bring their vision into your own homes.
With that, we’re opening the exhibition with three collections by three familiar faces—Varsam, Min and Sibylline!
Read on to discover their process behind the featured works, their insights about art in the digital age, and more—
Hi, Varsam. We’re really looking forward to this interview, as we did the previous ones! How has it been for you since our last Luminary Guides cover collaboration?
Hello! Thank you for having me again! I’ve been good and coping as well as I can during this seemingly endless pandemic with painting, playing games, cooking, etc.
I’ve also semi-adopted a stray cat called Tama with my partner from a neighbourhood cafe but he keeps running away every now and then so that worries us a lot!
Rather than starting an artwork with a definite narrative in mind, you’ve mentioned that the stories behind your paintings unfold as you paint. Can you share with us your process behind a few of your art prints, this time around?
Most of them began from doodling and sketching interesting shapes, symbols, or compositions. Then, I would refine them by adding or editing things to strengthen the feeling.
I think I am learning to trust my guts more during this process while also having fun by trying new compositions, colours, or subject matter. I wish I could describe a more linear workflow but it depends on the idea!
Sometimes it is smooth sailing with a clear vision in my head, sometimes I battle it for a long time (losing more frequently than winning). I find that the quicker I put the idea on paper, the easier it is to finish it. If I keep it in my head too long, I doubt myself more, and it gets murkier with time.
The luminous tints contrasted against the overall dusky tone of your artworks seem to deepen the sense of hope and excitement. We see this light-dark tonal pairing in every art print! Is there a particular meaning or reason behind this concept?
I think I want to convey that magical feeling during those quiet moments that are in between things, floating on their own axis, e.g. dusk and dawn, quiet late-night readings, playing games, or working on something after the day's chores are done. I’m sure this has something to do with my personality as I enjoy spending time on my own haha…
The sun, moon, and constellations are some of the pivotal features of your paintings. Did your interest in the celestial started ever since you were young? What about them fascinates you?
I think so! Starting from the magical pattern of Clow Cards from Cardcaptor Sakura, glow in the dark star stickers to celestial paintings of the sky in churches, I am naturally drawn to them, and I don’t know why.
But it is very interesting to me that this unspoken attachment to them speaks to a lot of people! Isn’t that amazing? Surely, we’ve never agreed on liking the same theme, so that must mean something greater than ourselves is connecting us all.
Why did you choose a vintage-styled tapestry format for some of your art prints?
I love the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements. They have always utilized frames, borders, and ornate symbolic things to further the image. So, I wanted to pay tribute to that.
We love that you’ve incorporated the Islamic verse into Dusk Paradise. Can you tell us how much your personal life experiences translate into your works?
That verse came to me by a happy accident; I opened a book and it was just there, perfect in every way for the painting. Of course, I had to check with my Muslim friends to see if it would be appropriate to include it in my painting.
I think that my personal life translates in every way, even in ways I don’t know yet haha. Most of the time, it's my guts speaking and I just have to go with it, even when I don’t fully understand it.
With social media providing artists the space and opportunity to bring art commodities to a wider audience, what do you think are the benefits and challenges created by the accessibility of such a platform for artists out there?
Social media is wonderful and frightening at the same time. It has opened so many doors for me, and I am so grateful for the reach but it took me a long time to not seek validation from it (and I still struggle from it all the time).
I’ve had many clients who came to know me or my brand purely from social media. But it has also created some unwanted pressure to keep posting just for the sake of staying relevant.
I’ve always been a slow painter and though I am learning to be more efficient, I want to do it for my art’s sake, not because of the pressure to stay visible in the online world. I am sure there is a balance somewhere between a painter and a content creator for me but I cannot say I have found it yet!
Hi, Min! We’re so happy to have you back. How do you feel about collaborating with us for your art print collaboration?
This time around I’ve picked the artworks that I really like, and among these are pieces I hoped to present them as they are, so I’ve never made them into any merchandise.
That’s why I’m really happy to be able to make art prints for this collaboration, and thanks to Mossery for letting these illustrations be presented in their most suitable format to everyone!
The artworks you’ve sent us are vibrant, energetic, and adorable pieces! Can you share with us your creative process behind these art prints? What gives you the most joy throughout your painting process?
My painting process tends to vary for each artwork. If I have a clear picture in mind, I just need a simple sketch to mark my composition, and as soon the first stroke is down I’ll be able to draw it out.
However, most of the time I’ll come up with a concept first, then I’ll continuously adjust the many similarly-looking sketches, try out various colour palettes non-stop, and finally add in the finishing touches upon completion.
My favourite part is definitely the palette-mixing process. Colours define the overall atmosphere of the scene, so being able to find colours that really pleases the eye gives me a great sense of accomplishment!
While your Day & Night series captures the tranquility of everyday life, Muay Thai Girls brings a refreshing punch into our ordinary life! What inspired you to feature different Muay Thai techniques in your illustrations?
Muay Thai is a new hobby I’ve discovered in recent years. At first, I thought this was a very masculine, sweat-filled sport, but after taking part in it I realised that a lot of girls actively train in Muay Thai, and they look cool, beautiful, and way too gorgeous while doing the moves! Hence, the thought to illustrate Muay Thai Girls popped into my mind.
I mainly wanted to portray this seemingly manly sport in a cute manner to make Muay Thai look closer to us. That’s why I drew the bodies of these girls in softer, curvier (?) shapes, and I used a more pastel palette. I hope that you guys will be interested in Muay Thai after looking at these prints~
With playful pieces featuring adorable animals and fun, dynamic actions, what kind of feelings do you hope to convey to people who view your art?
Most of the time I purely wished to express how adorable and fascinating these animals are. When I illustrate animals (like dogs or cats) I hope the audience will think: “Yes! They are exactly like that!” and resonate with the artwork.
As for drawing wild animals, I’d do my best to highlight their special features, in the hopes that viewers would develop an interest in these animals and get to know them better.
As an artist who strives to communicate stories through simple lines and contrasting colours, would you say that you are inspired by the pop art movement?
I don’t really think so. I don’t feel particularly strongly about pop art (hahaha) but I guess I may have been influenced by Fauvist art. My favourite artists are Van Gogh and Matisse.
What do you think makes a great artist? As an artist yourself, what are the areas you’d love to improve on as your career evolves?
I wouldn’t say that I’m considered “great”... but to me, a great artist is someone who can persevere on this path, and will continuously discover interesting subjects and things they want to convey. Art is a medium, and what’s important is finding the message you intend to communicate through this medium.
Lately, I’ve been interested in trying many more different art media to create. While I previously mostly illustrated digitally, I’ve recently fallen in love with the texture of drawing traditionally, so I’d like to explore further into that area.
Personally, do you think art should be more communicative in a direct manner or should people ponder when they look at art?
I’m more inclined towards the latter, which is letting the viewers think themselves. That’s because if every artwork communicates in such a direct manner, anyone would understand at first glance, and it wouldn’t be that interesting, anymore!
Hi, Sibylline! From our first-ever Artist Collaboration Art Kit to your very own Mossery Art Prints collection, we’ve really come a long way! How have you been since our last interview?
Hi, I am doing great! This year has been pretty intense for me work-wise. But it’s so satisfying to see our collaborations come to life!
We noticed that some of your art prints are works you’ve painted over the year. Looking back, how was the painting process like, and what new discoveries have you made about your creative process?
I worked on my very first artbook this year. I had to dig deep inside of myself and my creative process to answer some questions for this book.
Now, I know more about my creative process, my technique and the choices I make when it comes to picking a colour palette, for example. The little things that I never realised have been here for all these years! The main discoveries I made are probably that there is an actual process behind my art!
In our last interview, you mentioned that women play a big role in your inspiration. Who were your muses behind your art prints series?
"Wanderers" is probably just a part of me when I am dreaming of “elsewhere”, thinking of new places to discover. "Dreamers" is more inspired by feelings rather than a specific person. Feelings of wonder and reflection are my favourites to draw.
We can’t help but notice that some of your art prints depict an atypical combination of femininity and symbols of conventional masculinity like skulls, armour and weaponry. Can you tell us the meaning behind this special pairing?
Femininity is almost always described and depicted as soft, dainty, vulnerable, gracious. I like to add a pinch of darkness to it rather than masculinity.
I like the contrast of a cute girl carrying a skull in her arms, or a woman in an armour on fire. But of course, I like the idea of a woman saving the world on her own, too!
If you could describe your art style in one word, what would it be, and why?
That’s a tough question, but I would say “oneiric” because that is what I hear the most when people describe my works! Mostly because the scenes I paint are suspended in time, in peaceful environments.
What do you hope our customers will feel when they display your art prints at their workspace or living space?
I can’t believe people purchase my art to hang it on their walls, even after all these years! I hope they will feel inspired, creative, and that my pieces can bring some peace and joy to their homes!
What’s next for you as an artist? Do you have any exciting future plans for your art?
Yes, I am currently working on my very first solo show! It will take place at Gallery Nucleus, LA. from November 20th to December 5th. I am very excited because it will also be the launch of my new artbook “Rêverie”!
The Mossery Art Prints are now here! We’re beginning this new product series with an exhibition of original print collections by three of our collaborating artists—Varsam, Min and Sibylline.
Celestial Hymns is a collection of works by Varsam Kurnia, an Indonesia-based illustrator who takes inspiration from the stars. You can find him on Instagram here.
Behind Unordinary Ordinaries is Hsieh Ming Han, an illustrator residing in Taiwan who brings out the curious and the weird in her artworks. Visit her on Instagram here.
Muses of Adventure curates the works of Sibylline Meynet, a French illustrator who paints the stories of whimsical, adventurous women. Her Instagram can be found here.
With Mossery Art Prints, you can now bring home the artists’ original prints to create your own gallery space. View the exhibition in action on our new Instagram space @mossery.artprints.
We hope to bring the tranquility and sense of wonder of art galleries into your space, and let inspiration light up your days.
Remember to tag us with your unboxing clip @mossery.artprints and @mosseryco on Instagram, we’d love to see them!