POINT OF VIEW INTERVIEW #18

DIGITAL ARTIST/GRAPHIC DESIGNER: PRINCELING



Where do I even begin with describing how unique Princeling is? Princeling, aka Joey Phinn, is a London based artist who creates ardent and vibrant digital pieces that boggle your mind. She has done work for Hex Mania, VOIA, for the recent Paper Crane volume, and many more. Not only does Princeling peruse visual art, but she is also extremely brilliant with her way of words. She writes impeccably well and can not only transport you with her illustrations but with her various writings and writing styles as well. (Here's a recent written work) Princeling does more than merely consume your attention, but with her passion and talent, she is an inspiration to those who pursue any field of art. From the color schemes to the dynamic objects chosen, each piece obtains a life of its own, showing intense character and individuality. But honestly I shouldn't say anymore because, below, I had the honor to interview the passionate Princeling to ask her a few primary questions that will give you an idea of who she is as an artist! Hope you enjoy!

Keep up with Princeling on:
Web: princeling.net & joeyphinn.com
Writings: http://princeling.net/links
Behance: Joey Phinn
Vimeo: Joey Phinn
Twitter: @claetun
Instagram: @princeling




Question 1: What got you into art and creative writing? 

My dad used to be an artist and my mum used to be a journalist, so you could say I inherited both sides of the coin. I've always been a very visual person, so even my writing tries to capture visceral, tangible imagery. I grew up in China so there wasn't much to do. I started reading all the books on my shelves, genres ranging from fantasy to sci-fi, and then when I was around ten I got into Neopets and started making banners on MS Paint for my guild The Neopian Elite Team. So yes, my inspiration mostly stems from being in an isolated environment and playing an online virtual pet simulator game. On second thoughts, don't print that.

Question 2: What people intrigue or inspire you to pursue visual art? (Can be in any field i.e. music, writing, or photography, etc.)

My favourite authors are Neil Gaiman and Haruki Murakami. I love speculative/magical realism, which is what I define as ordinary situations in which you discover the extraordinary, like strolling in a park and finding a hole in the bottom of a tree and seeing Chinese characters etched inside (this actually happened to me. Recently I discovered the park was on top of an ancient graveyard). I'm particularly interested in object oriented ontology: when no one is subject and everything and everyone is object, then we begin to relate to other things in horizontal and rhizomatic ways, rather than thinking of things in terms of hierarchies. A great book I've been recommending to everyone is Alien Phenomenology or What It's Like to Be a Thing by game designer Ian Bogost. Other, less philosophical novels that I recommend are: Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami; Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell; The Simulacra by Philip K. Dick; The Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny; The Rediscovery of Man by Cordwainer Smith.

In terms of art, I find a lot of things inspiring - metaphysical art, particularly the work of Giorgio de Chirico, which features lonely Italian archways and singular silhouettes bathed in harsh silhouettes against the setting sun, and Caravaggio's baroque paintings, and also Edward Hopper's paintings, which always seem to speak of lives of quiet desperation. I think it's a lot to do with the sense of space and the minimalist aspect of the environment that intrigues me. So architectural movements like the Le Corbusier-inspired international style or brutalism... I also follow a lot of online digital artists, be they painters or illustrators or make multi-media net art like Beeple. And, of course, a great influence since childhood is Studio Ghibli's Princess Mononoke and Laputa: Castle in the Sky. 

Music-wise, I'm drawn to the eccentric: I love iamamiwhoami, Oneohtrix Point Never (particularly the music video for Still Life [ Betamale ]), and vaporwave tunes like that of Macintosh Plus/Vektroid. I have a collection of songs in a list called Gnarly Shit on my iTunes, and a moodboard of my aesthetics on my blog.

Question 3: How would you define your style of work?

Abject and uncanny. Where I want to be is to teeter in that space between being revolting/repulsive and seductive/bewitching. I don't have a specific style or genre or even medium. I use whatever tool - be it Photoshop, Corel Painter, oil paint, polymer clay, photography, Cinema 4D, Sketchup, Nuke, etc to tell a story. It's not necessarily narrative, but nevertheless it has a kind of self-constructed mythology.

Question 4: What do you hope someone will gain out of seeing your artwork? How about when they read your written works? 

My visual art ends where my writing begins, and vice versa. I've been incorporating some of my poetry or written words into my work, which you can see in my short film Alembic Maya V2.0 or Watashi Wa {I am Human}. I want someone to wonder, when they see my work. Be awed like one might be upon finding a cabinet of curiosity, and then opening it and discovering a thousand translucent layers and being absorbed for hours and hours in each mythological object or thing and then finding a hidden latch that opens a door into another world.

Question 5: What is your favorite design or piece you have created so far?

I don't have a favourite piece, although I've recently been quite proud of the album cover I did for Paper Crane Collective's third volumewhich is a collection of dying and sublime internet objects, cast in holographic virtu-paint. I've also started a new multidisciplinary studio called Freyron with Saskia Little and our first ongoing project is building a conceptual utopian dream art studio. So we made the blueprints, and 3d modeled it in Sketchup, and imported into Cinema4D, and we want to take it into Unity and make it an interactive space you can actually hover through as a Chrome WebGL experiment and through virtual reality goggles. All of it is kind of nonsensical and mythological because we're fine art students and bullshitting was the basis of our degree, but it's exactly that kind of descriptive, thought-out nonsense that we aim to create and share with all of you.





Question 6: How far do you plan on taking your art and/or your writing? Any future plans or goals?

As far as I can go. I have so many dreams - I've always wanted to make a virtual bar where everyone could hang out, a bit like that scene in Satoshi Kon's animation Paprika, or the short film Aquatic Language by Yasuhiro Yoshiura. And if you were wearing virtual reality goggles, you could have a cocktail and one would give you black and white vision, another pixelated vision, and another would plunge you into a world of lucid dreams that you can control by arduino, haptic touch gloves and a device you wear on your head that measures your concentration level. It's a whole new world opening up, and VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) aren't just pipe dreams. What I ultimately want to do is to construct my own worlds, and set them free.

Something I've observed is that sci-fi and fiction used to be about fantastical space exploration and worlds beyond the stars. What I'm interested in is different: it's the weird within the mundane, the alien inside the domestic landscape of our everyday. Rather than looking outwards, I think we're now looking inwards, towards the worlds hidden deep within our cells, our selves, and our psyche. Think Blood Music, Greg Bear.


AND THAT'S ALL, FOLKS.


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