We're following up with one of our favorite artists, Dadu Shin!
Our last visit with Shin focused on his series "I Don't Like Clothes." This time, we're diving deep into more of his art, as well as looking at a couple sketches from his clothing series. Shin's work often focuses on the therapeutic aspects of the creative process. In the past, he used to center on the idealized, perfected finished project. But now, he's more interested in the path to the final project, and all the lessons and trails the mind follows along the way.
"With every piece I try not to envision how it will look done, because if I don't know what it's going to look like, every final [piece] is a surprise . . . It is a big part of what makes my work look the way it does."
Shin incorporates multiple materials in his work. His desk is often covered with inks, different kinds of paints, colored pencils, pastels, and charcoal. He never limits his creative curiosity, and chooses whichever tool fits his current state of mind.
The piece below, entitled Typical, is a perfect example of the emotions that occur during one's creative process—a self-portrait, if you will.
This Boston native now resides in Brooklyn. After attending the Rhode Island School of Design, he moved to New York to work on freelance illustration. His days are spent working on either professional or personal artwork, and his downtime is spent catching up on television shows.
Check out Shin's more whimsical side!
Shin's process begins with simple doodling. He has stacks of drawing pads that are filled with nonsense that no one would understand. After a good doodling session, he'll pick the idea that has the most potential and either do another round of small drawings, or develop the idea further. He loves to sketch while watching TV, helping him to zone out and do some silly/terrible drawings.
Shin likes to tip the scales when it comes to "zoomed out" perspectives in his work. Often, the people are really small, and the environments are enormous.
"I've always been drawn to vast landscapes and spaces. I used to have dreams when I was younger of worlds where everything was gigantic. Maybe I saw Honey I Shrunk the Kids too many times . . . The more zoomed out I am, the more world and inhabitants I get to show."
Speaking of zooming out, do you believe in aliens?
"YES. The universe is much too large for Earth to be the only planet with sentient life. I'm pretty sure aliens have already visited our planet. I really hope I'm still alive when aliens finally reveal themselves to us. Space is so cool."
Do you believe in ghosts?
"Hmmm, not sure yet on this one. I'm like 50/50. Heard some good stories though."
One of Dadu Shin's earliest art memories took place when he was a kiddo. He loved to read Dragon Ball and Calvin and Hobbes. He would sit at his desk and copy the illustrations over and over and over again.
As he grows as an illustrator, Shin has jumped numerous hurtles. One of his recent accomplishments is the ability to live more days when he likes himself, than to exist in days when he doesn't.
A quote he offered us:
"I learned enough to realize how much more there was to learn."
As we dig even further into Shin's "I Don't Like Clothes" series, we check in on his thoughts and inspiration around the project.
"For the majority of my life, I thought fashion was incredibly snobbish and shallow. It still is, in some aspects, but I've seen past that and realized I was just being ignorant . . . So, that's kind of where the title came from—it's a little inside joke with myself."
You have no reason not to follow Dadu Shin on Instagram. So just do it already!