Interview with Naomi Dame
Naomi Dame creates finely detailed illustrations of surreal situations and subjects. From girls sucking on their eyeballs, to boys turning into beetles, she’s no stranger to the darkness that lurks only in dreams.
How would you describe your artistic style and/or vision?
I’ve always leaned towards the unnerving or creepy style, it seems. The things I paint are surreal based on the fantasy worlds I create in my head. My artworks are often considered oneiric/ethereal, poetic, and representing things that are somewhat brutal. Come to think of it, since I have a lot of influences, my art style are fluid and always changing.
Most people think art is only the pretty things that make people happy. Even though appearance (as in, art objects being ‘pretty’) is important, I always think that art doesn’t necessarily have to make people happy. After all, it’s a projection of emotions, and surely there are a lot of emotions other than happiness. I hope more people would understand and accept that as a fact.
You art is certainly ethereal, I love the surreal style of your subjects and the way you present anatomy. What would you say has influenced your art style the most?
Definitely Japanese comics. I grew up with Japanese cartoons and comics, so it should come as no surprise. My artworks really have ‘Japanese feel’ in them, I guess. I have several favorite artists that influenced my art style a lot. Other than that, I’m influenced by everything I experience, see or feel, music, movies, books, culture, video games and internet.
Do you have any specific artists that have inspired you?
Yes. Primarily Jun Togawa, Yoshitaka Amano, Suehiro Maruo, and Kaori Yuki. I think those are the ones that inspired me the most style-wise. I am also inspired by lots of my budding artist friends because of their amazing resilience and diligence.
Where do you see yourself in the art world?
Honestly, nowhere. I feel like I’m still a small grain of sand in this wide art world filled with all the amazing people. After all, I think I’ve only just started.
Tell me a little about your brand, Milktea.
Milktea is my fun project. I love crafting and I love drawing, so I thought why not combine both? It started out with handmade tote bags, but I plan to make more stationery, too. And hopefully more things in the future, like t-shirts.
Do you have any other projects or plans for art in the works?
Right now only Milktea. I am currently concentrating on making stationery, I hope I can launch another little collection soon.
How long have you been making art, when did you begin and why?
I have been making art since as long as I can remember. My parents worked in art and design field, so I’m familiar with artistic field since I was a little child.
I didn’t have any phase whatsoever in this; I have never doubted my love for art, nor have I stopped making them. I love how I can make stories and visualize them into artworks. In there (my artworks), I can live as whatever I wanted to be, in the worlds I create. In one of them I’m a little girl whose father is a noble king. In another, I’m an insect boy that lives in a frame, hung up on a wall. And so on. Being able to be like that is what saves me, literally.
That’s beautiful. So, what is your artistic process like, how do you come to create these things? Do you have any specific habits or rituals with your art?
For some reason it’s easier for me to sketch or doodle when I’m talking to people. I almost never know what to sketch in the beginning; but once my pencil makes contact with paper the idea usually flows. This is probably the reason why I never feel like I’m running out of ideas of what to draw. These sketches would be drafts, and I usually make the finished artworks based on these. There are also times I don’t need drafts though because I already have the picture in my head.
I don’t have any rituals I guess… If anything, I usually don’t turn on any music because it distracts me, though sometimes I would turn it on for the exact opposite reason. I don’t know if I have any specific habits either. Well, people say I draw with my face really close to the paper (haha). Guess that makes it a bad habit.
Did you have formal classes for your art, or are you self taught?
I’m self taught. I went to fashion design school, but I don’t think it can be considered as formal classes for my art, even though it did help me improve my techniques.
View more of Naomi’s artwork on her Facebook page and Tumblr. You can also find Naomi’s artwork in her shop, MilkTea.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/naomidame
Tumblr Page: http://naomidame.tumblr.com
Shop Page: http://milktea.bigcartel.com