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Studio Sunday: Tran Nguyen


An image of Tran Nguyen working at her drawing table


This Sunday, let’s take a look at the studio of artist and illustrator Tran Nguyen. Nguyen’s style shows her skill at drawing people and object’s realistically, but she makes it more interesting by creating surreal and psychological images of people and places, incorporating geometry and symbolism.


As an illustrator, the most important part of Nguyen’s studio space is her drawing table. She works mainly on paper, and in coloured pencil and acrylic paint, so the scale of her work requires precision and direct light rather than a large, open-concept painting or sculpture studio. This is the sort of studio space that could be set up in a house or even an apartment. A drawing table, a shelf filled with supplies, and space to hand and dry the finished works, is all that Nguyen needs to create her works.


As she says on her website, Nguyen is fascinated with imagery that explores and portrays the “mind’s landscape” – knowing that, looking at her drawings becomes a very personal, almost emotional experience. These images seem to depict feelings, states of mind, treating the psyche as a landscape, or even a city, one with complex, winding roads where one could easily get lost. The figures that appear in these landscapes are oversize, like giants looking down on tiny villages, and yet they seem somewhat lost, sometimes frightened, sometimes overwhelmed by their surroundings. I really love looking at these beautiful images knowing that each one tells such a story for each viewer.  

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About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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