Duairak Padungvichean’s magical illustrations are a whimsical wonder
“My artwork is generally whimsical, magical, and a bit oddly weird,” says Duairak, an illustration graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2020 and currently based in Los Angeles. Part of the charm of his work lies in the way he defies clichés, the awkwardness being communicated by strange long-nosed beasts that roam the landscapes wearing pants and pearls or spend their time curling up in a butter dish.
“I took inspiration from the natural form and the environments I have been in, so a lot of the time you can see my work change a bit depending on where I am at any given time,” said Duairak at Creative Boom. The strength of her aesthetic, however, lies in the fact that she can draw inspiration from her nomadic life without getting lost in it: “I like to wear the same style and the same theme in all my works, whatever the medium.
Working in many different mediums including traditional watercolors, digital platforms, sculpture and many more, Duairak’s art is a creative and joyful explosion that seems to have one foot in our world and another in a field. legendary and surreal all its own. Sculptures of dancing sardine automatons cut from aluminum stand alongside illustrations of creatures that only appear in dreams. Still, the whole collection comes together in a way that seems strangely cohesive.
She adds, “I really like making funny pictures that would either make people laugh or feel happy watching them.” For us, they certainly do. And if you’re just as fond of Duairak’s style, his designs are available for purchase from his store like specially ordered patches, calendars and even rugs. (Our eyes are on the angry cloud.)