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Thida Ungtrakul

Thida Ungtrakul

Meet illustrator and graphic designer from Bangkok, Thida Ungtrakul.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am an illustrator and a graphic designer from Thailand. I studied fine arts in Bangkok and then graphic design in New Zealand. At the moment, I mostly work on digital illustrations, but recently I’ve been learning and working on motion design and animation. My work can be described as playful and whimsical with vibrant colors. I also love adding bits of humor into my work, which is one of my favorite things working as an illustrator.

 

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

I currently live in Bangkok. It’s a big and busy city, home of more than 8 million people. The city has changed immensely in the past two decades that I’ve lived here. It’s now full of high rise condominiums that most people can’t actually afford because of the rising cost of living, and it can be quite a struggle working in a creative field where the competition can be quite brutal.

 

My work can be described as playful and whimsical with vibrant colors. I also love adding bits of humor into my work, which is one of my favorite things working as an illustrator.

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

What I love about living in Bangkok is the food and the availability of it. There are so many food stalls and restaurants everywhere. It’s a heaven on earth if you are a foodie. On the other hand, Bangkok is a densely populated city that has some of the worst air pollution in the world. On some days it can be quite challenging to go outside without wearing a mask because the air quality is so terrible.

 

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

Inspiring, Competitive, Evolving

 

How did you start your career in art?

I’ve always loved art since I can remember. Art was one of my favorite subjects in school, something I always looked forward to each week. When I was 15, a point in life where students in Thailand have to choose their study path, I decided to go to art school. This was the decision that has shaped my life to where I am right now. After I graduated, I had the opportunity to study graphic design in New Zealand. I worked as a graphic designer for a time period but currently, I am doing what I love most which is illustration. I’ve also been learning animation which has been incredibly fun and rewarding.

 

I’ve always loved art since I can remember.

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

I am very fortunate that both my parents supported my decision to go into the creative field. Especially my mom who probably knows me better than I know myself. There were times when I almost gave up but my parents were always there to support and guide me. They always give me words of encouragement whenever I doubt myself. I am forever grateful for their love and support and I definitely wouldn’t be here without them.

 

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

Right now I’m working on developing my animation skills. I recently got into motion design and fell in love with it. I love seeing my illustrations come to life. My goals at the moment are to keep learning, keep practicing, and continue doing the things I love every day.

 

My goals at the moment are to keep learning, keep practicing, and continue doing the things I love every day.

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

I’d love to collaborate with non-profit organizations and charities, especially the ones that help homeless dogs which is also something I’m quite passionate about.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

I am very blessed to have a wonderful mother whom I respect and admire dearly. She is the breadwinner of the family, my role model, someone I can always look up to. My parents, for the most part, don’t really adhere to traditional gender roles. My dad is more of a househusband who enjoys cooking and my mom has always been the leader of the family. It was interesting growing up in such a family dynamic because I’m also very different from my mom and much more like my dad.

 

I am very blessed to have a wonderful mother whom I respect and admire dearly.

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

At the art school, there were many talented female students and teachers that I absolutely admired. I’ve always been inspired by their work, courage, and determination. There are many amazing female artists in Thailand to look up to. Especially now, with social media, artists have more options to showcase their work. It’s easier than ever to discover many wonderful artists out there.

 

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

I think this is one of the few industries where you are mostly judged by your work. I don’t think I’ve experienced any difficulties working in this field on the basis of my gender but I also think everyone’s experience is different. However, there are undoubtedly many industries in Thailand that need to improve when it comes to sexism.

 

Don’t let anyone destroy your passion for art.

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

Don’t let anyone destroy your passion for art. Don’t compare yourself to others just to bring yourself down, instead be inspired by them, and most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself!

 

 

Photos courtesy of Thida Ungtrakul.

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