Arts • 01 Sep, 2016
INSTA ELITE @VTTIENPT
Slices of a life less ordinary
Now of the freelance persuasion, Tien Vo is one of Saigon’s growing breed of full time creative ‘slashies’ - creative director / art director / graphic designer / illustrator, and is this fortnights insta-elite not only for her irreverent sense of style, likely honed in response to years at the pointy end of some of the biggest agencies in town, but for her instagram project #100DAYSOFMEETING100PEOPLE.
We think it’s worthy of mention in a world where, (and we hope you’ll excuse the irony), we’re well and truly hooked into our devices, demoting actual social interaction (at least with strangers) into little more than a necessary evil in our day to day lives, or at best a perfunctory gesture.
Staying true to her experience of finding the kernels of truth that resonate with viewers, and delivering them in a simple, single minded way, #100DAYSOFMEETING100PEOPLE is a direct result of Vo’s interactions with 100 people in 100 days (or at least 42 at the time of writing) and delivers one simple truth, or at least one slice of life’s many different moods, via her naivistic drawing and what we assume is a direct quote from their real life interaction. It’s cleverness is in it’s simplicity, and in the diversity of responses she has chosen to represent. Who knew actually meeting people could be so interesting?
We caught up with Vo about her feed, the project and what some of her creative inspirations are.
How would you describe your visual style?
Vibrant and colorful. I don’t consider myself a professional typhographer, photographer, or illustrator, but those are the fields I have a passion for. This kind of love has allowed me to play around and mix them up together in my job as an art director.
What inspires your selection of images?
The present. I’m not into the past, and the future is the result of what we’re doing in the present. My inspiration comes from all things I find interesting around the world. For example, I created an artwork about International Tiger Day when I found out about it and posted it up to celebrate the day. I made an illustration when Mark Zuckerberg did his first Facebook livestream from outer space. My images are reflections of my feelings, thoughts, and works.
What type of aesthetics draw you in?
Playful, creative, witty. Something that has a personal touch to it and tries to realize the most challenging creative ideas.
As a designer, what are the greatest challenges about Instagram?
Breathing life into it and maintaining the same vigour. I try not to see it as something too serious or use it solely to show off my portfolio. You can see that I include lots of personal projects in my feed, namely #thingsifoundinmymotherinlaws, #saidmcdreamy, #husbandwifeteamlovesfilms, and #100DAYSOFMEETING100PEOPLE.
What was the inspiration behind starting ‘100 Days of Meeting 100 People’?
I was inspired by the 100 Day Project started by artist and author Elle Luna (@ellleluna), in which she invited people to pick one creative action and repeat for 100 days.
How important is Instagram to your work?
It helps me open myself up to the world. I used to be hesitant about broadcasting my work to people, not that I wasn’t confident of them, but I did feel that the act of ‘publishing’ something carried so much weight. Now I enjoy ‘publishing’ my works on Instagram everyday as well as being comfortable enough with ‘imperfection’ so I can learn more from others in the community.
Do you see social media as a tool to inspire or the other way around?
As always, it depends on how you choose to use it. But for me, social media has provided a great platform for people to connect with each other regardless of time and space. It’s up to you to utilize it in a way that suits your needs and interests.
What defines a great Instagram feed in your opinion?
It’s gotta have something of substance for me to follow. I find myself attracted to feeds that are either carrying out a cool project or expressing interesting thoughts. To me, having a consistent visual style of color or lighting is not enough. I could be intrigued by those kinds of feeds in the beginning, but not sure they’re able to keep my interest up in the long run.
What are some of your favorite Instagram accounts to follow?
@lisacongdon for illustration inspiration, @mrseaves101 for typography and lettering, @jean_jullien for visual jokes, @maria.svarbova for photography. For motion graphics and digital art, I love love love @elmotionlab. On writing, I admire and enjoy @timothygoodman.
Images courtesy of @vttienpt
Words by Quyen Hoang & Jon Aspin