ONE WOULD DOUBT that the ever so chilled and laid-back Donavan Choo (better known as Don) is an illustrator with a philosophical mind but he would prove most people wrong. Although running an hour late, Don arrives dressed in a floral tee, shorts, slippers and his trademark bucket hat, apologetically saying that he got lost trying to get to the kopitiam.
As we sat and talked-cock over our cups of teh I started asking Don about his work and life. Currently serving the nation, Don says that his free time is only limited to his off-duty days. He tries to always make full use of it by drawing and doodling all the time so as to hone his skills. Besides that, Don also partakes in events such as THE LOCAL PEOPLE ART BAZAAR and Singapore Art Book Fair (2014), selling original prints of his work, stickers and whatever he can come up with.
After digressing a few times and laughing more than we should, we got back to “business” and he started telling me about his illustration style. Heavily influenced by works from artists such as Mike Giant (US, NY), Shepard Fairey (US), Thun “TRK” Puchpen (TH) and Harry Yeff (UK), Don’s illustration style can be seen as similar, but a little rough around the edges. He says that “It’s that rough-on-the-edges that makes my style mine”.
DON’T COME UP WITH THINGS THAT CONFORM TO SOCIETY BUT LAST ONLY A DAY, INSTEAD YOU SHOULD COME UP WITH THINGS THAT ARE TRUE TO YOURSELF AND WOULD LAST FOREVER.
“Life is the best muse” he says. Drawing inspiration from everyone, everything and anything happening around him, Don translates life experiences into illustrations. “I know that I won’t be able to fully express my intentions or tell my story well due to my language limitations,” he admitted as we laughed away. He continued by saying “I can only laugh and pray hard my English gets better”.
I BELIEVE THAT ART IS THE BEST WAY TO TELL MY STORY.
Don’s brainchild, BOMBIBOMZINE, is a result of compiling artworks that he had produced with the aim of invoking ideas and thoughts from the readers. The first issue of the zine was aimed at questioning society’s current state, taking hits at the “ugly side of modern society”. “Society is starting to look rather fake; people are acting like they are factory made. Everyone trying to be what society wants them to be and not who they really are,” he continued. “I hope after reading my BOMBIBOMZINE, readers will ponder over who they are. Are they living their lives or are they living what society deems to be their life?” Don later tells me that he wants to shape the future by questioning the present. He added that “Not all is doom and gloom. What is a future without us realizing our mistakes and laughing about it later right?”
THE FUTURE IS A SUM OF EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS TODAY
With the night quickly turning into late morning and our cups of tehs already cold and finishing, I asked him what he has in store for us and what can we expect next from him. “To continue spreading my opinions through my artwork and hopefully more issues of my zine,” he replies with a laugh. Don tells me that he hopes to launch his own independent label, selling art pieces and apparels. He ended our talk-cock session by saying “Stay tuned for more Don!”