Simone Truong is a contemporary artist based in Newcastle Upon Tyne. By mixing mediums and processes she creates achingly gorgeous limited edition prints and originals that could easily pass for photographs. Simone is chiefly concerned with the ephemerality of nature, fleeting moments and the transience of living things. Her work facilitates a more permanent representation of these moments and that can be viewed at any time. Speaking to me about her chosen mediums and motivations she explains that she always knew she wanted to be an artist.
‘It was what I wanted to do, so when I left school I went on to study in Fine Art, which has led me to where I am now’ she says, ‘I like to use traditional and contemporary mediums, not only because I personally love to use both but because I feel that combining the old and new is an important factor in my work.’
Simone’s pieces have an incredible dream-like quality. In some works flowers seem to drift away into hidden realm, whereas in others petals are suspended in stark, black nothingness. She chooses to present the subjects of her paintings in this way to communicate the fact that all natural things are only gifted a certain amount of time to live. Her desire to represent the past as well as the present exposes the viewer to all of the potential transitionary states within the subjects of her painting’s lives. Mixing up her processes and the tools that she uses lends her work an imaginative quality and ensures that no two days are the same, she tells me…
‘I tend to have rough drawings and ideas of pieces but I try not to plan too much as I like spontaneity in my work and not knowing exactly how a piece will turn out. I usually take my ideas into Photoshop and add more traditional methods such as painting with acrylics along the way but it all depends on the individual piece, sometimes the process is entirely backwards. I feel like I’m constantly working, gathering ideas and spotting new colour ways. I don’t think artists ever stop, it’s just the way our minds work. I love it and believe that’s how it should be. Doing something you love for a living, it will never feel like a job.’
Her work lends itself to surrealism, minimalism and classical painting simultaneously. When speaking about her creative influences she mentions a few movements that inspire her particularly, as well as everyday occurrences and the small things we often take for granted.
‘I think there will always be elements of the surreal within my work because of the juxtapositions that naturally occur in my pieces but I don’t think I’m consciously influenced by them as such.’ She says, ‘As an artist I’m influenced a lot by earlier works from the 17th and 18th centuries and love the rococo movement in particular. Everything inspires me, from reading, listening to music, taking a walk, a trip to a museum. As artists I think we see the world from a different perspective and it’s great, it’s nice to see things that others often don’t notice.’
Creating a connection or a fusion between the old and the new is important to Simone as an artist and this is clear from the influences she lists as most significant to her work. She explains that her paintings exist as a method of highlighting transitionary states in life, which also reflects the varied techniques that she uses when creating her spectacular pieces.
Having said that doing something she loves for a living will never feel like a job, it’s always interesting to find out how creatives have kickstarted their foray into the industry and secured their roles. This story is different for everybody but each acts as an inspirational kernel for the next wave of talented artists about to embark on their creative careers. Simone’s experience is centred in passion and determination.
‘I think any creative career is a little harder to kick off but I think if you know it’s something that you really want and have the passion for it then you will have the determination to carry on and succeed. I’m a firm believer in that if you really want something, you will get it, no matter what or how long it takes to achieve.’