Meet Sashiko Yuen, the badass artist behind Wishcandy

From an early age, Sashiko realised that she was far more interested in drawing than her friends, and (though she doesn't say) she was also probably a lot more talented! Focusing on cultivating this talent in highschool, she worked hard and then went on to study art and design in university which is where she developed her own style. Now in her twenties, she boasts an amazing collection of work and continues to produce one beautiful piece after another. Using pencils and watercolours, she combines all things cute and grotesque to create girls who could be the princesses of a dangerous disneyland. Magical girls you wish you could transform yourself into. Or atleast be friends with.

As Sashiko is one of my favourite illustrators, I was super excited when she agreed to the interview, and I was able to ask for her opinion on all kinds of things. Check it out below! 

What's the most common misconception about young people today? especially young artists? 

A lot of people seem to think that young people (particularly artists) aren't thinking realistically. We don't want the 9 to 5. We can't see ourselves living that life. People go on to try and convince us it's safe and secure. You give up your identity, dreams, and time for a paycheck. But where is the security in one income source when you could have dozens if not hundreds or thousands of clients? ;) In this modern age the internet is our oyster. We can follow our dreams, feel fulfilled, and pay bills. What's more real than that?

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a creative career?

Work harder than you believe you have to. Put in way more than the "requirement". Skip the video games, tv, and partying. Spend your time experimenting and making lots of good work. It's okay to indulge and goof off sometimes, but you won't get anywhere if you don't work.

Make what you wish to see and hear in the world.

Your work can be described as cute, grotesque, risqué but it is definitely unique. How did you find your own style? 

My style started out pretty safe and boring. Lackluster. But in college I was given an assignment to create a painting series and everything changed from there. I let go my fear of being judged and started making art from a very honest place. Everything changed after that and sort of evolved organically. A lot of my influences come from my past as a little girl obsessed with literature and dark painters in art history. Very far aesthetically from what I make, but close to my heart subject-wise. 

What's the most memorable piece of art you've done so far? 

Oh man, I'll never forget this piece I did from the series I just mentioned. I made a series of three wood paintings. I stained wood with thin washes of oil paint to resemble watercolor. And I outlined it in thick uniform pencil lines. They were these paintings of macabre erotic scenes, yet they felt religious somehow. My favorite one was of a buxom woman reaching her arms towards the sky, but you can't see her legs. They're covered by a mound of hundreds of hands holding her down. I think there were a couple skulls and severed limbs in there too. I'd like to re-do it someday. The sky was this amazing gradient of pink, purple, orange, and yellow.

The girls you draw are beautiful, edgy, and often tattooed. What makes someone beautiful to you?

That's a really complicated question. I find a lot to be beautiful. It has nothing to do with makeup, gender, or weight. I'm very attracted to energies and people's personalities. Both confidence and fragility can be beautiful. 

And finally, what's next for wishcandy? 

Before the year is over I'll be going back to oil painting and experimenting. I'll continue with watercolor, but I'd like to make larger and more complex pieces. I'd also like to get involved with creating more tangible useful items again. Like wearables. I actually have a pillowcase coming out on September 24th with the Stay Home Club. They're pretty sweet!

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