Updated: Nov 16, 2020
Vanissa Foo is a KL-based graphic designer, who also moonlights as a freelance illustrator to express her strong passion for illustration. She believes that illustrations can convey interesting stories, which she hopes to share with the world through her fictional character - Humana.
Quirky, childlike and colourful, Humana also serves as her alter ego -- or a personification of her creative side, if you will -- born to inspire and bring the realm of imagination to real life.
When and how did you realise your passion for illustration?
I started my illustration journey since my university days, and the passion grew stronger and stronger after I paid a visit to Taiwan. I got inspired a lot after visiting their contemporary museums, creative art parks, and I have always loved the art scene over there.
How did the idea for Humana come about?
Humana was originally born from my university project, which is about our world of imagination. I have studied some art history, especially from the Bauhaus period. Humana is a combination of humor and weirdness which I used to explore and depict the imaginary world in my mind.
Where do you find inspiration to create your illustrations?
I get my inspiration everywhere, especially from daily things. And sometimes I also get inspired by the history of art as well. I like to study these works and their observations, and translate them into my work. This is a good way for me to overcome my creative block.
What’s the greatest challenge you’ve faced as an artist?
I encountered an incident where someone stole my artwork and printed it on their product to sell on Taobao. I feel insecure when something like this happens to me. But in the end, they paid [me] their profits and removed the product from their selling list.
Which piece of your artwork do you wish you could erase from your mind so that you could experience it for the first time again?
I would say Humana's character design. It was a super random sketch representing human beings at first, but it ended up becoming the most important spirit of my art creation. It has such a wonderful randomness and spontaneity.
What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I hope my work can reach more people and make them happy and feel good. And the most important thing for myself is to be a happy designer so that everyone can appreciate my artworks. To put it in a quote: Be happy when creating and convey that happiness to others.