Nadhir Nor is a full-time illustrator from Selangor. He engages with different clients and works on different kinds of projects that require illustration. They range from editorial, table top games to music visuals and merchandise for musicians. All of his works have a common theme of nostalgia to trigger good memories of the past.
How do you define your style?
Technically speaking, it was a marriage of the world I used to grow up in and my current interest. Growing up, I was into a lot of video games and anime. As I became older, I was more interested in discovering my own heritage, culture and tradition. I became a little more self conscious.
For instance, I was really interested in Fantasy and Role Playing Games as a kid. When I was younger, I would always pair this genre to Japanese or European culture. Subsequently, I discovered that I didn’t need to be confined by those two cultures as we could always read about myths, legends and fantasies in our own culture.
What was one piece of work you struggled to work on?
Rather than struggling on a piece of work, I would say I struggle on being very self-conscious about my identity. When I first started out drawing, I could really push the boundaries of my art and explore the ambit of my own imagination. Now, I feel a sense of responsibility to ensure the authenticity of a culture that I am referencing.
For instance, if I were to draw a Keris or Batik (which is inspired by the Malay culture) I had to make sure that I was drawing the right patterns and design to ensure that they were historically accurate. In a sense, my self-consciousness limits my creativity.
What were some of the challenges you faced in your creative journey?
I always had to remind myself to just have fun with my work and learn how to loosen myself up. It gets harder as you grow older as an artist because you can’t help but feel that you are being pigeonholed into one form of art. In that sense, it really limits your creativity and your ability to create more art. At the end of the day, I hope to stay true to myself when it comes to my work and learn how to balance my vision in my art with the preference and taste of people who are viewing and consuming my work.
In your opinion, what was the best project you ever worked on?
The best project I have worked on so far would be my Segan Series. I worked on it during my 2 months residency at Rimbun Dahan which is a private art center in Malaysia. The Segan Series was fully sponsored by them and it gave me the space to try out something new which was watercolors.
Subsequently, I also had a few exhibitions and an art book to explore the artworks by utilizing the space that I had and reading sessions for my art book during the exhibition. It was really fun to be able to flesh my artwork in real life with other people.
I hope people will be reminded of the beauty within themselves when they view my work. Going on with the theme of self-discovery, I also wish that people realize that there are many ways to explore something familiar that comes from home - it could be exploring yourself, your identity, heritage or culture.
What do you hope to achieve with your work?
I hope people will be reminded of the beauty within themselves when they view my work. Going on with the theme of self-discovery, I also wish that people realize that there are many ways to explore something familiar that comes from home - it could be exploring yourself, your identity, heritage or culture. Lastly, I hope to provide a safe space for people who feel like they don’t belong anywhere.
Who are 3 local Creatives Crushes that inspire you?