The juxtaposition of gore, the 80’s, and Lisa Frank colours is illustration’s success story as of late. Marina A. happens to be one of our local favourites who can whip up these pastel-slash-neon fever dreams so effortlessly. Read our exchange about goddesses, serpents, and break-ups. Hiss.
Tell us about yourself and what you do.
I am a freelance visual artist/illustrator, experienced in different artistic media. I’m predominantly a painter but digital art, graphic design, motion graphics and installations are also in my repertoire. Recently, I’ve been working a lot with Singaporean band, M1LDL1FE, for their design branding and album artworks, as well as other bands for music videos and design collaterals.
What informs your creative practice? What is it all about?
I must say personal stories, moments, experiences and surroundings; the idea of doing art as a cathartic relief and turning something negative into something positive. I get inspired by women in art history like the Greek and Egyptian goddesses, and other female-centric mythologies. Most of my paintings explore the meta-relationship between serpents and the female subject on a universal and personal level, and how it (inadvertently) shapes my identity. It is like an illustration of a mythical map which conveys a narrative about myself.
I am also heavily influenced by artists like Carlos Cruz-Diez, Nick Briz, and Yoko Honda.
What is your process like?
I don’t usually think much about what to draw. Usually, it is influenced by a feeling in which images (inspiration) form in my head. I’ll then sketch it out and refine some parts of it, ready for a paint job.
Any dream projects?
Hmm… I don’t have any specifics but I’d really love to bring my art across South East Asia and venture more into installations and murals.
Snakes seem to be a permanent feature in your illustrations, is there a reason behind this?
As for my previous series of women and snakes, I chose snakes and serpents as they hold a universal symbol represented around the world. I like how it carries both positive and negative interpretations that allow my painting to hold various meanings to different people. The Serpent Series was heavily inspired by the process of breaking up from a toxic and mentally abusive relationship. It tells a story and the process of breaking, healing and finally feeling empowered to move on and be independent. Snakes also represents timelines and connections. It’s crucial for me to add them to my paintings as most of it is usually socially related issues.