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The New Illustration Frontier

Pomme Chan picks the emerging UK artists twisting analogue and digital inspirations

Pomme Chan is the Bangkok-born, London-based illustrator whose beautifully complex yet surreal, hypercoloured iconography has seen the young artist amass both a gallery career and commissioned roll call of clients including Kiehl’s and Liberty, Gas Books, Selfridges, Diane von Furstenberg and show posters for Massive Attack, The Beach Boys and Adele. She hosts a Singha Secrets city guide to London and features in an upcoming group show at Shoreditch’s Kemistry Gallery alongside some of the UK’s most exciting emerging illustrators who are twisting an analogue meets digital outlook.

Artist Melvin Galapon brings together Pomme Chan, Von of the Hellovon studio and James Dawe in this collaborative experience entitled T.E.A.M - Together Everyone Achieves More, where T.E.A.M explores the outcome of creative inspiration in groups and results in a stunning collection of silk scarves, screenprints and risoprints.

Inspired by this group celebration, we asked Pomme Chan to pick some of her favourite young illustrators in the UK and talk about creative inspiration and the challenges facing young artists today. 

Melvin Galapon is a graphic artist inspired by analogue technology, pixels, patterns and TV screen distortion

Pomme Chan: How do you keep your work fresh and inspiring to you?
Melvin Galapon:
Working and conversing with likeminded creatives keeps my work fresh and inspiring as this opens up new ways of working that I wouldn't normally do by myself which I find exciting. 

Pomme Chan: What is the most challenging part of your career?
Melvin Galapon:
Being able to make the work you want to make with no compromise. It rarely happens, but when it does it's just really satisfying.

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Von runs both the east London studio HelloVon and sister company ShopVon that focuses on original artwork and limited editions

Pomme Chan: How could you keep your work fresh and inspiring to you?
Von:
Without being able to produce work outside of commercial constraints, whether it be for galleries, shows with friends, special print releases, or installations I think I'd go mad pretty quickly. Having said that the relationship between that kind of work and the work for commercial clients is somewhat symbiotic — the room for development the self initiated work allows bleeds into commercial and vice versa, one nudging the other along to varying degrees. 

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Emily Forgot aka Emily Alston works within the fields of design and illustration, her surreal and curious work has been exhibited at Art Basel Miami

Pomme Chan: How could you keep your work fresh and inspiring to you?
Emily Forgot:
I like to take on jobs that I find unusual and that require research on my part, so there is always a sense of discovery involved.

Pomme Chan: What is the most challenging part of your career?
Emily Forgot:
When your work gets rejected by the client. I've got a lot better at picking myself up and starting again hoping that the second solution will trump the first. Switching off can be a little difficult too.

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Sean Freeman is the east London founder of THERE IS Studio whose typographic style has an organic, photographic twist

Pomme Chan: How could you keep your work fresh and inspiring to you?
Sean Freeman:
Being attracted to new things has to be a second nature I guess when you dedicate yourself to design. I get a lot of inspiration through music, and I always keep an open eye for something interesting to play with, a new material to shoot. I'm very much into exploring the evocative side of textures and objects - working on the visual storytelling angle of things when I create new pieces and treatments.

Pomme Chan: If you were not an illustrator, what do you think you would have become? And why?
Sean Freeman:
I wanted to be a policeman, after some happy childhood memories of The Bill on UK Gold. I'm thinking now (in my dreams) I'd like to be more of a detective, a D.I. perhaps.

Pomme Chan: What is the most challenging part of your career?
Sean Freeman:
Juggling things. The life work balance can be tricky at times, as well as juggling the work itself. Spinning plates between commissioned jobs, personal projects and life. It's fun and exciting but challenging too. However, I couldn't be happier about work and the studio, lots of bright things ahead!

T.E.A.M - Melvin Galapon with Pomme Chan, Von and James Dawe opens at the Kemistry Gallery on 16th August to 1st September 

Check out Pomme Chan’s secret guide to London as part of Singha Secrets HERE.