Beautiful at first glance and grotesque on the second. This is the work of Mightyellow, born Adeline Tan, a woman whom we wish to bestow the title, Mistress of Singapore Illustration. It’s a pretty superlative title, thanks for noticing, but modesty is so passé.
The duality in her work may or may not have been a product of motherhood. It does make sense to be more attuned to the minute details of one’s surroundings upon getting initiated into parenthood, whether it serves the purpose of having the foresight that protects the spawn from harm, or simply to just share stories to pique their imagination.
Intricate descriptions translated into visuals – an open invitation to dive into the world of animated plant life seen from her mind’s eye. Painted in pastel; dark, yet playful. This is Mightyellow.
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Tell us about yourself and what inspires you.
I’m a full-time mom and part-time illustrator. Nature, history and sci-fi inspire me.
Plants and monsters. Any backstories?
I have often drawn tentacles and botanicals in older works but in the months after my son was born, we moved to a place right next to a park that was connected to mangroves. That place was new and had no buses or supermarkets. I had to walk through the park really often, at odd times in the day where there were no people. The park came alive. For the first time i noticed little yellow flowers within the bright pink blooms of the Ashanti blood, white clusters peeking out from the green of the handkerchief tree, the golden late afternoon sun after the rain filtering through the tattered leaves of the sea poison, little herons strolling real casually and extending their necks like a fishing line at the sight of prey. I wanted to share this marvellous sight with my kid but was also trying to make it in a way that will be interesting to him, e.g future mutant monster versions of what we see.
What is your process like?
Usually starts with a story/idea, then a few rounds of sketches, then painting, or a few rounds of repainting.
What’s the wildest dream project you could think of? What could be the craziest manifestation of your illustrations?
Maybe a theme park or an actual park with a giant playground I think that would be fun!