Welcome to our #StayHomeEdition , where we virtually shoot and chat with our muses from the comfort of their homes.
Meet Chanaradee Chatrakul Na Ayudhya
(Phaan - @julibakerandsummer), a 26-year-old illustrator who practically paints rainbows.
Feeling the quarantine blues? Phaan’s vibrant art may cheer you up. From creating eco-friendly items for CentralWorld’s Collective Store to designing fruit-inspired Sabina bras, Phaan has left a colourful mark on a wide range of brands. Here, she shares the story behind her quirky artist name and her unique style.
🌈 || How It All Began || 🌈
· Did you specifically study visual arts?
I studied Fashion at Chulalongkorn University for a term and didn’t really enjoy it. On a student exchange program, I got the opportunity to visit Birmingham, UK to study communications. In an illustration class, studying a range of creative work made me realize that I wanted to be an illustrator, not a fashion designer because I don’t like the marketing/business aspect.
When I came back to Thailand, I didn’t abandon my fashion degree because I treated all my assignments as works of art, not design. I was lucky that all my professors were very supportive and graded my work accordingly.
· What’s the story behind the alias “Juli Baker and Summer”?
I was a movie columnist at Cheeze Magazine for a while. So I just combined my two favourite movie characters – Juli Baker from “Flipped” and Summer from “500 Days of Summer.”
· How did you discover your style?
Since I was young, I’ve always liked vivid colours. My parents grew up in the 70s when bright colours and patterns were a big thing. Without realizing, I think I may have absorbed that from them, instinctively.
· What advice would you give to young aspiring artists?
Don’t stress too much about finding your unique style. I believe it should come out naturally, it shouldn’t have to be forced.
I’ve never felt the need to go out and search for a specific style – I just draw what I like. Your preferences may change as you grow older too, and that’s okay. Just take note of what inspires you, experiment and have fun.
🎨 || 500 Days of (Juli Baker) & Summer || 🎨
· What do you listen to when you paint?
Honestly … the first generation of Kamikaze, Dojo City, Nadia. I really like this kind of music. [laughs]
· What is the proudest work you’ve done?
In 2018, I became a resident art teacher in Narita, Japan, where the school gave me the opportunity to paint their hallways. That mural is my proudest work.
I really enjoyed working with children – it made me feel like a kid again. Furthermore, because I was in a totally different country, I felt I had complete freedom to draw whatever I wanted, in any style – it was a very liberating experience.
· What’s your ultimate dream?
I wanted to have an art school for children, but that’s slightly changed. Owning a school involves a lot of complex matters: people management, finances, strategy etc.
Now, I think I’d be happy just to teach.
👁 || Up Close & Personal l| 👁
· What is a piece of advice that has stuck with you?
When I received a huge opportunity to do a solo exhibition at The Jam Factory, I really wanted it to turn out well and wanted people to like it. Initially, feminism was my exhibition concept because I thought it was an interesting theme.
P’Lolay Taweesak, a great Thai artist, asked me:
“Are you really passionate about this theme or do you just want others to like it? “
His advice made me realize that whatever story you tell, it should be authentic and always come from the heart – it doesn’t necessarily have to be a crowd-pleaser.
· Can you tell us an unforgettable memory?
My internship in Berlin. Berlin is super multicultural and the people are so friendly, so open-minded. I exchanged ideas with many different people from all around the world and was exposed to various cultures. From these experiences, I learnt more about myself how I wanted to lead my life.
· In your own words, what is love?
Love is a feeling. Sometimes it’s hard to put into words, but if you love something, I think you will feel it and you will know. It’s like the song “Loving is Easy” by Rex Orange County. Love shouldn’t have to be hard. Love is love. [smiles]
· If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Chris Martin from Coldplay. [laughs] He always looks like he’s in a good mood. Just a happy person, really.