From the moment Isabella Chan placed a pencil between her fingers, she knew drawing and design was exactly what she was destined for.
“I’ve always loved drawing from a very young age,” she said. “Now I’m a graphic designer by day and artist in my spare time.”
Born in the Philippines, Ms Chan moved to Australia at three-years-old and said her artwork is partly a product of her Asian heritage mixed with her Australian upbringing.
“When I was growing up I absolutely loved the Manga series, Sailor Moon, so I’ve always had that Asian kind of influence in my work.”
The Kellyville resident goes by the artist name of ‘Mayume’, which is her Filipino middle name spelt with a Japanese twist.
“It’s originally spelt with an ‘i’ but I changed it to an ‘e’ because I wanted to use the Japanese characters for ‘ma’ which is the Japenese character for ‘truth’ and ‘yume’ which is the Japanese character for ‘dream’,” she said.
“It translates to ‘real dreams’, which I’ve made my own and translated through to my works.”
The 25-year-old said after experimenting using a variety of ink pens, she discovered new ink tools and found her perfect medium.
“I used Artline pens and then discovered all these other really cool pens that produced blacker blacks – like Ironlak paint pens. It really opened my eyes and made me realise that black and white is my happy medium.
“I like to keep things black and white, especially when you’re looking at really complex concepts.”
I like to keep things black and white, especially when you’re looking at really complex concepts.Isabella Chan
The former Oakhill College student is also the co-founder of Koia Collective, an initiative she started earlier this year alongside her friend and artist George Gacsay.
Koia Collective launched their first exhibit at Annandale’s The Space in May and will present their second show, KOIA #2 Outermind: Art and Audio Night Show, this month in Newtown.
“Our second show will be bigger than the last with a bigger venue and more artists involved,” Ms Chan said. “It’ll be a mix of art, music and everything creative.”
- KOIA #2 Outermind: Art and Audio Night Show, 8pm-midnight, October 28 at Our House, Gladstone Street, Newtown. Tickets: $15 online, $20 at the door. Bookings: facebook.com/koia2017/