FEATURED ARTIST: CRYSTAL FHANG BAN

Today's Artistry Monday features an interview with the one and only Crystal Fhang Ban, who is the artist behind the print for the upcoming Trifecta collection! She has been working closely with Winifred Taylor these past few months to help create the amazing new collection we're excited to show you what we've been up to in the coming weeks. 

Check out what she has to say about her art and inspiration: 

Which artist or piece of artwork that has significantly impacted your perception of art?

When I was a kid, our school took us on a field trip and we looked at all types of famous art on the walls. I loved Monet and the group of 7, etc, but what really intrigued me was this one painting (I can't remember the name of the artist or the painting for the life of me right now) it was an old man with grey hair and yellow-green tinted skin. He wore a purple suit and he had ear hair sticking out of his ears. His eyes were hypnotizing and the painting itself would be considered grotesque. I was scared of the painting, but something drew me towards it. 

Speed up my life by a few years and I discovered Charmaine Olivia. Her Rose Ghost series plus the art she created around that time frame took my breath away. Her pieces held such simplicity, femininity and elegance yet they were disturbed. They had trance like visual effects, skulls bedded in their skin, gaps between their teeth. She made what people would fear look absolutely stunning. Her ability to mix everything together made me admire her so much.

I have been finding so many talented photographers online recently, one to name is Diggie Vit. Most recently BASQUIAT. I honestly had no idea what I was in for when I walked into that exhibit and I was completely taken back. As soon as I saw a couple of his paintings, I promised myself I would never stop making art. His ability to make statements and wear his heart on the canvas was moving. 

What are you excited about the most with your collaboration with Winifred Taylor?  

The experience in itself is exciting. Not only is she such an old friend of mine, but we are making a statement together. Art isn't black and white. Fashion is art. Activism can be art. A statement is art. It'll be nice to see artwork on articles of clothing that haven't been mass produced and cheapened. 

When creating Trifecta did you imagine it on swimwear?

I will be honest, no. I made Trifecta because at the moment, I felt like a million bucks. I had a moment of clarity and euphoria. 

What usually inspires your artwork? 

This has been my unsolvable enigma for years. Being visually drawn to something is easier for me than finding something that inspires me. At the end of the day, it's always a WHOLE lot of emotions. For me to pinpoint exactly where the inspiration comes from is almost like searching for a rainbow. It's almost new every time. I am constantly trying to spread my horizons to find inspiration easier but alas, the artist in me is a bit of a stubborn individual who can be quite picky, yet, still not know exactly what it is that she wants.

What do you do while creating your artwork that allows you to feel comfortable and concentrated? 

I've been arting art since I was but a child, so, as a child I have no recollection of what I did - I think I arted. When I got older in my late teens/early twenties I was in a very serious relationship with Mary Jane. Now that Mary Jane and I have broken up for a few years and I'm all sober from her love and abuse; I find the staples of music, tea, maybe candles and change of scenery once in a while helps. If I worked on half of the painting standing up, the second half I might finish while sprawled out on the floor.

If you were to compare your artwork from now and from when you first began. What change or development have you noticed within yourself? 

It's one thing if an individual draws a butterfly because that's all they know. In hindsight, it's an entirely different thing if an individual draws a butterfly because that's what the audience would rather see. 

Do you have any media that you'd like to work with that you haven't yet?

Yes... spray paint, modeling clay...Would it be rude to say other artists are media? I consider each artist their own media - they all bring something different to the table. I've been looking to have a collaboration with other artists for a while - just to mess around and see if we create a masterpiece and if not, the experience to play is always fun. 

Artist edit: Hi Mom!  

A deep hearted thank you goes out to Crystal for her hard work and dedication with the Winifred Taylor team! Don't forget to check out her artwork at instagram.com/crystalfhang and her work on the new Trifecta line at www.lovewinifredtaylor.com/blog/2015/2/15/trifecta .