Interview with pop surreal artist Aof Smith

Aof Smith is an asian artist based in Bangkok, Thailand. His works capture various feelings from journey of a normal lifetime that been through the fast approach of several temptations. His paintings also reflect the dreams and fantasy by combining characters with dreamscape like atmosphere positioning and gathering them altogether. Subjecting mostly on curiosity you could notice his main character gazing at you with that big clear sparkling eyes. Walk into his world and you will experience an awaiting pathway sense of humor hidden beneath his paintbrush.

Hello dear Aof, please, tell us how did you find the artist inside you? How long have you been doing art? Is art something that you always wanted to do?

I was surrounded with an art environment since I was young. My father teaches art in a school and I was always pushed to participate in art competitions. With that it takes a lot of practice, hard working and especially an inner eager to do art. I took it seriously after I graduate with the believe that choosing an art career is a clever choice ;)

What was / is your major influences? Other artists, books, movies, music or any other media....What inspires you to create your artworks?

My major influences are my world, people I have met. The humorous hidden behind my paintings are stories I observed and captured from my experience. I always have a question and doubt about what's happening and what's going on with the creepy world. Ron English and other artists that are former with the lowbrow style are also my influences that wide up my art world of sarcasm.

How does "a normal day of artist" in your life look like?

I like the most to work during the night time. The night provides a quiet and private atmosphere. I turned a room in my house into a studio so I have plenty of time with myself. I would wake up around 11.00am and cook for myself. Sit and relax and get my tools and equipment ready before 3.00pm or later. Then I would start with some of my small painting which I do together with the main painting that need to be finish in my schedule. I stop for break around 10.00pm and continue till 4.00am in the morning. Mostly I get my work done after midnight.
What’s your background? Are you self-taught artist or did you study art? Do you think an art education is important or imperitive for anybody wishing to be an artist? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages that you have encountered throughout your career with/without the formal training of the Art Academy?

I got my BFA and MFA in Fine Art in BKK, Thailand. I don't think that an art education is important for a person to become an artist, but I have to agree that there are advantages in formal training. It is allowing you to practice and revised on your piece of work giving you time to experiment with complete art resource. Experienced people criticizes your work and you are getting the feedback, but also if you are not certain enough on what you are doing this might take away your confidence and you might end up by stop doing art.

What fascinates you the most about surrealism / pop surrealism / contemporary art / lowbrow art? How would you describe your style? What themes do you pursue, what surrealism mean to you and what do you hope the viewer will take away from your art?

Working in lowbrow style is allowing yourself to create art that goes according with the thoughts, what ever I want to expose to the audience I just paint them. I didn't put my art in any theme at the beginning but as I work and stressed more to my style I just found myself here. I also hope that my art can reflects some part of the chaos reality and let the audience judge on their own.
What do you love most about creating and being an artist? What does “being creative” mean to you?

It's amazing now that there are medias that helps you share your arts, the best thing being an artist is that you see your creation exposing to the world.
Can you describe your typical workflow when you’re working on your art? What are your tools of trade? What medium do you most often use and why?

My main media is oil on canvas and sometimes acrylics. I guess it's because it's the traditional way and it's charming.

Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?

I would like to try more with mixed media like paper collage or adding some other interesting medium, but so far it's still in the process of experiment.
Tell us more about your workspace. What was the most funny or weird thing that happened to you in your studio? What is / was the most strange thing hidding in your studio?

As I mentioned, I turned a room in my house which is my former bedroom to a studio. So now I sleep in the living room. Like people said you have to loose something to gain something.
What toughest challenges have you faced as an artist during your art career? What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far?

Most of the time I am working alone and have to fight with no one but myself. With all that disorder in my mind I will have to be aware and know when I need meditation.

What’s the best and worst advice you ever received in your art career?

Keep on doing / You should stop painting.
What do you dislike about the art world? What is the hardest thing on being an artist? Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?

People define a lot of art style and sometimes it leads to too much of discrimination. I believe all art are equal and it takes lot of courage for a man to become an artist. I don't find anything difficult being an artist just you know your path, sometimes it's lonely but it's a choice that you choose. 

Where do you see yourself in the future? Professionally, what’s your goal?

Maybe after my death I reborn and see my painting again somewhere in this world without knowing the artist.

Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others? Maybe advice for beginning artists out there?

Choose what ever make life happy and worth doing and it will turn out good.

Your favorite art or life quote is ...

Live for today, tomorrow only for happiness.
What are you doing when you’re not creating? What (other) hobbies do you have?

I am an ebay explorer. I love to collect vintage clothing. When I break myself from painting I like to go to flea market with all vintage stuff and be amazed how all these things been through time.

Do you have an online portfolio, blog or social medias where we can view your work?

I have my official site , Facebook and Instagram where I usually post all my updates.

Is there anything else you’d like to say? Is there any project you are working on right now or any ongoing event or exhibition you would like to share with our readers?

I will have my next solo show this coming June with Subhashok the Arts Centre, Bangkok Thailand.
Thank you for sharing this ;)

Thank you dear Aof, it was a honor to interview you, I wish you only the best for you and your art and already looking forward to see your new art works :)
By contributor Linda. Mar 2015. Find Oh, So Surreal on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google + or RSS.