A coffee with Upstair! // Pailin Thawornwijit & Minchaya Chayosumrit
Posted In: bangkok, book, graphic design, illustration, Minchaya Chayosumrit, Pailin Thawornwijit, print, thailand, theJuicesqueezer, thejuicesqueezer.com, Upstair
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Here is the first interview of a series of 10 informal chats with creative minds based in Thailand. A collection of interviews with artists, designers, architects, chefs, fashion artists, theater actors, etc. We have to admit that we are a big fan of this new studio named Upstair! composed by two talented graphic designers and illustrators Pailin Thawornwijit and Minchaya Chayosumrit. The first time we saw their illustrations, works we were amazed by originality of their work. For each question we have asked them to send us a picture relate to their answers, here is what they have sent to us, enjoy reading it!
is upstair !
“We are walking up, working up and playing upon upstair.” Good quality illustration&graphic design for print, book and whatever we can print on from small space on upstair.
01 LS: could you tell us an object to describe yourselves?
Tarn Pailin: I am a brown bear. I like to spend time alone when I work very much but not in an isolate way. It is like I want to hibernate myself somewhere under the tree and away from other people. Brown bears seem to be lazy but actually they like to go out far to find the best food for themselves – that’s me too. I like seeking different inspiration for myself and I can’t stand still at the same place for a long time.
Min: I think I am a little piece of magnet. For me, each person has his/her own magnetic field. It’s invisible. Sometimes we pulls, attracts and repels other people, other thoughts or idea which make each person individual and unique. Sometimes I feel like floating as a levitated magnet; seemingly free and still but were actually under an ‘invisible’ influence of all the surroundings.
02 LS: do you think yourselves as an artist or as a designer?
T : I can not define myself both of them. Actually, I think those two words are quite narrow for defining myself. One thing I like to do is making an art piece inspired by nature but I cannot call myself an artist. Maybe it takes a lot of time to reach that word.
M : I always think myself as nothing. I don’t like to define.
03 LS: how and when have you decided to start your own company Upstair stu?
We had an idea to set up a studio for printmaking when we were in London 2010. After visiting “Pick me up” (printmaking event) in London, we suddenly fell in love with printmaking (screen printing). However, coming back to Thailand with those idea in late 2011, things were not as we had imagined, we can see screen printing on mass products everywhere. The reproduction as a copying method is very normal in our country. The way screen printing is applied here is not much in the context of art or limited-edition piece of work. So, we try to find an alternative way to follow our dream by starting with a small studio that do design and art in the same way. If we have an opportunity, we would make use of a hand-screen printing technique.
We work differently, one of us can make illustration and another for graphic design and video. When we work together, discuss and combine all those skills, it’s more effective and fun. Anyway, printmaking is never away from our mind, we just wait for the good time.
04 LS: What has inspired you to direct your career in such field?
M : It used to be a great design that inspired and led me to this point. But now things have changed.. or maybe, I have changed. Honestly, I don’t like it very much like before but I still cannot find anything else I could do as a career. I think there’s kind of contradiction in my own attitude about design.
T : I never thought of becoming an illustrator or an artist. Until one day, I found out that I couldn’t do anything else better than this. Also, I was easily motivated by great art rather than a good design.
05 LS: Recently you have won the “Conqueror design & print awards 2010/11″, can you tell us something about this?
We were a bit surprise with the award because we never work for any competition before. The awarded piece is a booklet of “Let’s Panic!” exhibition we did for Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC). In this exhibition, Thai artists and designers were invited to create artwork to raise the awareness of flooding situation. When we worked on this project, we had a very good opportunity to collaborate with a very nice designer, Santi Lawrachawee. He was a curator of this exhibition. Inviting us to create the exhibition’s key visual, he always supported and encouraged us to work as ourselves. When we started, it was so fun and we had a lot of motivation to do it. The look of the work was quite friendly and we used soft color to represent reality in a very modest way. We have received a good feedback when the catalog and poster finished.
After the exhibition finished, we got a call from Conqueror company that our catalog was in the finalist in a Conqueror design & print award 2010/11. We wondered and were surprised that the committees, Tnop and Mr. Kevin Finn, have chosen our catalog for the brochure category.
06 LS: What is your great challenge?
T : I try so hard to be always ambitious about art. I think, for growing up, people sometimes lose their ambition because they concern much about making a living. We have been told about what is right and what is wrong so we’re just scared to go in the wrong way. We won’t take a risk like when we’re young anymore. For me, I just want to keep myself so fresh and I still take a risk in trying to do something special everyday.
M : To know what you really really want to do and do it immediately everytime before it’s gone.
07 LS. Is there anybody among thai artists, designers whom you find particularly inspiring?
T : If we talk about Thai artist. I quite like the greatest woodcut artist “Professor Prayad Pongdam”. He is a national artist of Thailand. His works is full of mystery in the picture. For me, his work is so fascination and it can present Thai culture in the simply way.
M : Chavalit Soemprungsuk, a very talent Thai minimal artist.
08 LS. Could you explain the process behind your creative work?
We have different idea but we can work together. We love to work with a nice people who is very open to something a bit crazy or unusual. When we can not find good idea, we will just stop and travel somewhere for more inspiration. For upstair, we believe in the word “less is more” – to use a lot of your creativity to create work that communicate in the most simple way. We don’t want our work to be only decorative but the idea needs to be communicated with the audiences. In addition, knowing something outside our own career/field is the way we like to do.