Central Saint Martins alum, Joon Saw, a.k.a. Sawdako, utilizes colors as if tomorrow will never come — we couldn’t be more pleased. Her illustrations are akin to a color chart that has taken a life of its own, lending much-needed vibrancy to our dull, monotonous lives. Read on to find out what the artist has to say about Black Sabbath, positive thinking, and the color brown.
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Who is Sawdako in a nutshell?
Joon Saw is a graphic designer, illustrator, artist, and hermit.
What inspires you?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what inspires me because there are too many. I think album art remains one of those things that still make me really excited. I remember getting really into metal music when I was way younger, coming across the likes of Derek Riggs’ (Iron Maiden cover art), Black Sabbath, and Metallica. I think it was around that time that I tried my hands on digital painting and the characters I drew tend to be much darker then. A lot of skulls and stuff.
I still really dig album art but moved on to a wider spectrum consisting of stuff from Robert Beatty (Tame Impala – Currents), Jason Galea (King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard), and Bryan Rivera (Post Malone).
I enjoy looking at street art as well; a few favorites of mine include a graffiti collective from Israel — Broken Fingaz, NYCHOS, Tati Suarez (Tatunga), and LOLO YS.
Right on with Broken Fingaz. What is your creative process like? What could be the best and worst case scenarios?
My creative process usually starts off with an image in my head; an initial spark of the idea of composition and objects. It could be just a tiny part of the entire image that excites me enough and is substantial for me to carry out the rest of the story. The best case scenarios are those that translate almost identically to what I had in mind.
More often than not, they don’t turn out the way I had imagined and I end up having to spin out new pieces of the composition along the way; which turn out surprisingly well a lot of the time. The worst case scenarios are those that I deem un-constructable, and are abandoned half-way.
Most of what I do happens in Photoshop. I start off with sketching a rough composition while looking at photographs for accurate poses and anatomy. After arriving at a satisfactory outline, I go over the lines and fill in the color. Adding a hue/saturation layer helps a lot with tweaking and checking that the colors fit best with the image.
Taking notes, haha. Your illustrations typically revolve around a female subject. Is that a conscious choice and is there a reason behind it?
It’s funny because I remember I only used to draw male characters when I was younger. I think it might be a subconscious decision of putting myself in a certain narrative, a sort of escapist reflex in my mind or something. I do enjoy drawing male characters as well, but I find the female anatomy to be more intriguing and expressive in so many ways. (no offense to anyone)
None taken. Any dream projects?
A collaboration for album art with a musician or band.
Any parting words to our readers, friends, lovers, and foes?
Don’t underestimate the power of thinking positively!
Million Dollar Question: what is your least favorite color and why?
Brown; that shade of brown with a tint of green. I am not too sure why I am not very inclined to look at this color for a long time.
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Sawdako’s art prints are available for purchase HERE, THERE, EVERY, WHERE.
photos courtesy of joonsaw.com