“A picture has been said to be something between a thing and a thought”. It was said by Samuel Palmer, a British landscape painter and etcher. However, this sentence cannot fully explain a day in the life of a painter like Moeu Diyadaravuth who has been working since 2005 as an office assistant and graphic artist at Our books, a non-profit organization that creates and distributes books throughout Cambodia and provides illustrations for various publications.
I’ve spent last Thursday morning with a 28-year-old Moeu Diyadaravuth to reveal his experience of being an artist. In an apartment near Royal University of Fine Arts, Moeu Diyadaravuth was sitting in his office room at his desk checking his phone when I arrived, and he put it down when our conversation began. Everything on the desk was in order, and in the left corner, I could see a pile of picture he has done while there was a box of some foreign cartoon books on the top right hand side of the desk and below that was a large white box which he called a light box that he normally uses to ink the picture, copy the sketch to another white paper using a pen, by putting papers on that box and turn on the light so that he could see the sketch clearly and copy it easily.
He told me that he’d just finished drawing pictures for an organization and that he was free to talk. It seemed to be a bit frustrated for me that I could not see his drawing processes; however, it turned into a good chance that he had more time to explain me about his works and show his achievements.
Moeu Diyadaravuth can make three different kinds of pictures like black-and-white picture, watercolor painting, and digital painting. But, he said the most popular ordered picture is a third category because color from computer has better quality.
Moeu Diyadaravuth cannot start drawing until he understand what his customers want and that require him to talk or read the text to understand the context. Even though most of the time he can imagine the picture as soon as the customers tell their idea, some challenges cannot be an exception.
“Our customers want picture that fit to their contents, but they are not professional, so there are chances that we cannot draw for them because sometimes they are too imaginative,” he said, explaining that drawings aren’t like video that have action, so you have to capture the main idea in one image.
When it comes to being a good artist, he advised many hours of practicing and researching other people’s work. “Drawing is one of my leisure activities, I read some others artists’ books and Google things I know I’m not good at. This helps me improve my skill constantly.”
[slideshow]By: Dara Saoyuth This article was publish on LIFT, Issue 63 published on March 23, 2011