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Candice Phang

Candice Phang

Meet Singaporean artist and illustrator, Candice Phang.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello! I’m Candice. I’m an artist and illustrator based in Singapore. I was trained to be an Architect but it appears that the universe had different plans for me and so here I am, I draw for a living, and thrive on a good cup of coffee every morning. 🙂

When I’m not caught up in work, I’m a slave to my cat lol. He was a stray cat that followed me home slightly over a year ago. He’s now my permanent studio-mate / house-mate / buddy / boss. 

I draw inspo from the unusual quirks of life for my art. Mostly just by observing and listening to the things around me. For instance, I’d imagine a conversation between 2 pigeons and think about what would they say about humans if they could talk. (It sounded a lot weirder after I typed it out…lol)

 

I was trained to be an Architect but it appears that the universe had different plans for me and so here I am, I draw for a living, and thrive on a good cup of coffee every morning.

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

Singapore is a super tiny, busy, and clean city/country. It gets pretty competitive but there’s also a strange charm to this place amongst all the hustle and bustle. We are a small country with a sizeable population that’s made up of people of different colour and cultural background. Or course there are bound to be differences from time to time, but we don’t have any hate crimes that stem from racial differences and that to me, counts for a lot when we look at how chaotic this world can be. (The only racial riot we had was back in the 60s.)

Travelling is relatively easy and convenient for a small country like Singapore and we don’t have to spend much time commuting between places. In fact, it takes no more than an hour’s drive to get from one end of Singapore to the other.

 

Because of Singapore’s geographical location, we are pretty sheltered from most natural disasters but the “price” to pay is that it’s summer all year long — it’s always hot and humid, with occasional downpour during the monsoon season, where it gets slightly cooler, and then we’re back to the sunny weather again! 

 

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?

Best thing is the food. I love the food here. It’s probably one of the things I miss most when I’m away from Singapore for a long period of time. I guess it’s the same concept as loving your mom’s cooking, but in this case, it’s on a larger scale, like country level. Lol.

 

Worst thing is the weather. Like I mentioned above, it’s summer all day, every day. We hardly ever enjoy sweater weather (unless you’re in an air-conditioned place). Sometimes, it can get so hot and humid that I start perspiring the moment I step out of the shower and it irks me soooo much!

 

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.

Exciting

Challenging

Fulfilling

 

How did you start your career in art?

I started my creative journey in the architecture industry before moving graphic design, and illustration. Drawing has been the main constant in my life but I was too fearful to give it a go as a “career” when I was younger. Looking back, I’ve always been more visual than technical, so gravitating towards illustration came very naturally. However, quitting my day job to pursue illustration full-time was still a leap of faith, but I’m so glad I did what I did and the rest is history. 🙂 

 

Quitting my day job to pursue illustration full-time was still a leap of faith, but I’m so glad I did what I did and the rest is history.

 

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

Totally!! I can never be thankful enough to have a very supportive husband and family. In my younger days as a student, I was the one giving myself pressure to meet society’s “standards” but my mom, instead of being an “Asian Tiger Mom”, would always tell me that what matters most is that I’ve tried my best, and results are secondary. She has always been super supportive of the things I do. And if it wasn’t for my husband (then boyfriend) I would probably never have the courage to put my illustration work out there and get to where I am today.

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?

I’d love to grow my business and venture into making more merchandise for my illustration line.  A short term goal for this would be to get my online store up and running, starting with prints and original artwork. It’s something I’ve put on hold for the longest time due to my busy schedule with commercial work.  

 

I’d love to grow my business and venture into making more merchandise for my illustration line. 

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?

I’d love to collaborate with Ian Somerhalder because I was such a big fan of Damon Salvatore. Not only is he super hot (duh?), he’s also an activist in protecting the environment and animals in real life. His fight to reverse climate change defo resonates with me, so a chance to collaborate with him will be fan-ta-bu-lous. 

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Resilient, nurturing, and inspiring.  ♡ 

 

Resilient, nurturing, and inspiring. 

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

Growing up, I never thought that illustration or art was something people do in real life, so I never really give much thought in this aspect. Furthermore, most of the artists we learnt about or heard of in school were pretty much, all men, (Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Monet.. etc)  it almost never occurred to me that there are female creatives out there, except for… erm, actresses I see on TV? 

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?

Not exactly. I feel that the challenges we face as creatives are not gender-specific. Personally, the only challenge for me (as an individual) in this industry is when I have to battle my fear of heights to do larger-scale murals that require me to sit/stand at the highest step of the ladder. My height phobia is pretty bad!

 

Just focus on being you.

Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?

Just focus on being you. Don’t be afraid to push boundaries and try new things. Most importantly, you gotta believe in yourself and never give up! 🙂

 

 

Photos courtesy of Candice Phang.

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