Gap Nicha Talks Commitment, Discipline, and Passion in Art
Art enthusiast or not, we’re sure many have seen the iconic digital illustrations created by Nicha “Gap” Jaroensuk. They’re just impossible to miss.
Gap’s incredible work results from her relentless pursuit of art, which she does while cultivating her career as an advertising copywriter for over a decade. (Gap is currently working as a creative/writer in Singapore.)
Gap has shown her artistic excellence on numerous occasions in the past. To name a few, there’s her solo exhibition “Relationshit” in 2015 and her role as the main artist for International Women’s Day event at W Bangkok Hotel.
She has also worked as creative director for the cosmetic brand Maybelline and UN Women, and created street art for the previous Meeting of Styles Thailand in 2018.
Siam2nite has the incredible opportunity to interview Gap before we go marvel at graffiti works by her and other artists at Meeting of Styles Thailand 2019. The event takes place at Gypsy Flamingo Lake Market, Kingdom of Art & Music, on May 10-12 (Fri-Sun).
Let’s get to know Nicha “Gap” Jaroensuk and find out about her views on art!
Q: When did you first become interested in art?
My father went to art school and has always had immense interest in art and drawing so I got a lot of my interest and passion for art from him since a very young age.
Q: Since then, how did you practice and develop your artistic skills?
Thanks to my father who got me started with drawing since I was very young, from there, I continued my practice and development throughout high school and onto getting my Bachelor of Fine Arts at The Art Institute of Chicago.
Today I continue to develop and practice my drawing and painting skills almost daily by keeping my commitment, discipline, and passion towards my craft.
Q: What does “street art” mean to you? What would you say are its attractive features?
I think the world needs street art. For me, street art is a medium that makes art accessible to everyone. I mean, that’s the core principle of art, isn’t it? Art shouldn’t be restricted to just galleries and museums. People of every gender, race, and demographics should be able to have exposure and connection to art. For me, street art makes that accessibility happens and that’s one of the most attractive things to me about this medium.
Q: Where do you usually go to paint graffiti?
I’m currently living in Singapore so I rarely get to do street art anymore. When I lived in Bangkok, I used to target vandalised walls that have insults or swear words sprayed on them. I do this because I believe walls are part of the community they stand in, there shouldn’t be any negativity radiating from them.
One of the best things about street art is its ability to transform the environment it is produced in. As a street artist, I feel like I should take advantage of this amazing quality and capability of street art.
Q: Surely, each of your work has a story or an inspiration behind it. Could you elaborate on that? What are those stories or inspirations mostly about?
Having a “day job” as a creative and a writer, my artwork reflects day-to-day moments of fleeting little inspirations/sparks that come by during the day. The stories behind these moments may be of a wide range of topics that include messages I want to put out into the world but the one thing I always try to stay true to is keeping these messages and stories as genuine and honest as possible.
Q: Does art affect the way you view yourself and/or the world?
Being an artist definitely plays a huge role in who I am. To me, it’s not wanting to express myself through art, it’s more of a need. I express myself through all types of mediums, from painting murals to writing poetry. Without it, I wouldn’t know what I would do with my life to be honest.
As far as how art has affected the way I view the world, well, through the lens of art, for me, the world is a little more beautiful, meaningful and just a tad more sophisticated.
Q: How different are your current and earlier works? In which way(s)?
The biggest evolution I can see in my own work over the past decade is definitely my “ripeness” as a craftsman. I’ve been working harder on my academic skills than I have on my conceptual thinking and my translations of them. For almost 10 years, I’ve been hungry to become a better illustrator, a better painter, a better muralist all the way to other artistic mediums like becoming a better writer or even a better poet.
I guess the main difference between me as an artist now and the type of artist I was 10 years ago is probably the fact that I no longer believe in the idea of a single-practice artist. I believe in the very end, it all comes down to the idea behind the art rather than the medium behind the art. Sure, mediums and processes definitely matter but I think sticking to just one practice as an artist can greatly limit your potential to reach the height of your artistic capabilities.
Q: Have you been influenced by other artists or individuals?
I was an art history major and was lucky enough to have a chance to study classical art in Florence, Italy my first year of college. I have to say that those factors have been a huge influence in my work and my appreciation for art in general.
With that being said, I’m influenced by a lot of classical artists such as academically-trained Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. On top of that, highly-expressive artists like Frida Khalo, Hieronymus Bosch, M.C. Escher, and George Segal have been highly influential for me over the past decade also.
Q: Have you ever had moments of fleeting creativity or an ‘art block’? What do you do to get back in the groove and get your ideas flowing again?
I would have to say that the best way to limit moments of an art block is to keep your discipline and a sketchbook.
Discipline helps you keep going even if you don’t know which direction to continue on. My dad has always said, “If you love to draw, you’d draw anything.” So I tend to remind myself of that when I have a block. Having a sketchbook that you take everywhere with you also helps in terms of giving you the opportunity to capture little inspirations during the day to get back that spark of creativity and get your hands working again.
Q: You’ve worked with Meeting of Styles Thailand before in 2018. For this project, how do you prepare yourself? Any thoughts you’d like to share at the moment?
If I was to share one thought about my participation with Meeting of Styles this year, it will definitely be about how nervous I am! The medium I am given this year is different from anything I’ve ever done so for the past few weeks I’ve been very focused on finding the right design for this particular medium, situation and circumstance. For the time being that’s probably the best I can do to prepare for it.
Q: What would you say to new artists who have just started on the same creative path you’ve walked?
If anything has helped me in the past, it was probably my unshakable determination to make art - to master my craft. Not to sound like a broken record but in the very end, I believe, when it comes to creative ventures, you need as much grit as you need discipline. To be any sort of a maker or a craftsman, you can’t wait for this whimsical, unreliable thing we call inspiration to hit you all the time in order to create.
There will be days where getting a tiny drawing out will be like pulling teeth and there will also be days where everything you touch turns into diamonds, but every day is the day to keep your eyes on the prize - what you really crave and need to make as a creative being. Just make it first, you can question whether or not it’s good later.
Follow Nicha “Gap” Jaroensuk and her work on her social media below!