WHAT CAME BREWING out of a regular chemistry class was more than scientific calculations and symbols. In fact, it was something much different. The ideas that inspire Michelle Lee’s designs are usually conceived in the most unexpected of places, and Michelle declares herself as an “eager cell bursting with ideas”.
How does Michelle describe her art? "It is my
dark and my light”. "Dark” includes objects
she detested in her childhood or incidences she could never let go of, while "light” is typically anything that intrigues or fascinates her. In other
words, her artwork reflects her personal thoughts, both dark and light, which is subconsciously expressed.
I’m strong at times and weak at times. Like the rest, I struggle to feel good about myself. When I draw or paint, I create something I have never seen before and that fascinates me.
Most of her art tends to depict people. In fact, Michelle’s works are considered dark and ominous to many. It is the first thing that comes across one’s mind after seeing her “Creepy Babies”, who have enormous eyes and a perfectly symmetrical face. “I take a liking to faces and the symmetry in
them. We're not perfect so I try to paint them ‘perfect’.” Despite being serious and somber, Michelle also draws from her comedic side, adding a somewhat childish and innocent air to her works.
I’ve always continued dreaming even though I've been let down. What makes earth feel like hell is our expectation that it ought to feel like heaven.
Her inspirations include Yoshitomo Nara, Edgar Allan Poe, Olivia Bee, Tavi Gevinson and Miss Van. She is extremely interested in their experiences and journeys. “I love looking into how other great artists came to be," she explained. Seeing what these artists have achieved constantly inspires and motivates Michelle to one day, be on par with them.
Everyone has their fair share of unpleasant pasts. Michelle is no exception. However, Michelle’s personal artistic endeavors have allowed her to attain a new understanding of herself and create something in line with her vision.
Besides painting, she also started an online store that sells clothes she designs. Although there was no one to guide her along, she says, “I didn't know anyone creative so I did most of the discovery on my part”.
Artwork and projects aside, Michelle still feels somewhat foreign to her new identity as a risk-taker. She considers her work juvenile, knowing there is simply much more to learn, to explore then to then, express.
Influences weigh in heavily from those around you. I'm just doing what I like now, being emotional and dealing with it. I have bigger plans for myself in the future.
Michelle officially commenced her Design Communication degree at Lasalle College of The Arts this August. She is set on sharpening her skills and mingling with like-minded peers. And of course, she continues to hope for the best that is yet to come.