Saturday, November 5, 2011

I love Shaun Tan's brain!

Shaun Tan is my h e r o.
Those who do not know him, let me introduce this amazing person.
Shaun Tan is an Australian Illustrator/Writer from Perth who has published many books for children and young adults. Although his work is predominantly categorized as illustrations and stories for children, his work is well known to appeal to adults as well. He has the flair of being able to create imagery that can be bizzare, interesting and beautiful, but then when you have a closer look, it can contain something more dark, sinister, deep and meaningful. Many times, he takes a stab at current societal events.
Shaun Tan has received numerous awards, many are very highly prestigious and recently he won the 83rd Academy Award for Best Short Animated Film for The Lost Thing (based on his book that he both wrote and illustrated of the same title).

Intimidated yet?

The following are my favourite books by Shaun Tan!

A page from The Lost Thing. I love how the narrator (the boy in the picture) is such a monotonous character. His reaction to something so weird and wonderful was very blasé. You could analyse and take many different meanings from this book but one main theme for me is, Life can be so monotonous, repetitive, and busy that you forget the quirky, strange and wonderful things in life.
A page from The Arrival. This book is crazy amazing. It really holds true to many of the stories of the refugees and migrants. Shaun Tan captures the strangeness and weird feelings that you feel being in a totally new and different world, perfectly.

A page from The Red Tree. Quite a depressive story!This page here in particular is about how sometimes, darkness feels like it is overcoming you, following you everywhere you go. Simple and emo story, but it is a great reminder that there ARE positive things in life...

Watch The Lost Thing here! (Then buy it cuz you'd wanna support his hard work. It took him 10 years afterall! and 2 years prior for the original book!)

Now you know how awesome he is...
Well today, I was privileged to sit and listen to Shaun Tan talk at ACMI as part of the Melbourne Writer's Festival.
and Wow, he is so inspiring!
I've always and still admire Shaun Tan from a distance as I am too shy as anything.
But to be in the same room as he was today, I was so giddy!!
First time seeing Shaun Tan in person! It was very pleasant to find out and see that Shaun Tan, the highly esteemed Australian, heck! international super dooper illustrator and writer to be such a humble, genuine, geeky, intelligent and introverted person (kinda like me!!!)

I admire not only for his creativity, quirky and absolutely amazing work that he makes, but how his mind ticks and tocks!
Shaun Tan appreciates that life is beautiful because of its imperfections.
Thus, art and films are more aesthetically appealing when they don't try to be so perfect.
Shaun Tan conveys this perfectly in his short film The Lost Thing as he hand painted and created all the textures in the film making it have a more imperfect feel.
I just have to agree with Shaun that it is the imperfections in life that's what makes life and te world around us, beautiful.
I also admire how Shaun Tan. even after working on The Lost Thing book and short film for so freaking long, STILL doesn't quite understand it! Strange aye? How can the creator still not understand his own work? I think that's so cool though.
Really, The Lost Thing is a simple story but there are gunk loads of themes to it. You could interpret it in so many different ways. I love how it is kept open . You could become really philosophical while you try to make sense out of it but in the end, its just about that thing that was lost.
I was really intrigued with Shaun Tan's back stories to his creations too. Seeing what inspired him, motivated him, what made him tick tock, how he reacts to things, his likes and dislikes and his outlook on things... just wow.

Like I said, he is my hero!

To end this blog, I will share some of his interviews on youtube just so you could get a gist of how awesmely WOW Shaun Tan's brain really is.

*swoon* over Shaun Tan's brain!!

Love always, truccie


  1. this was such a great blog post to read Truccie! :D You can really tell you're deeply in love with Shaun Tan's work! And I actually loved his illustrated books back when i was still in school! (>.<) I remember being so fascinated and intrigued by his paintings, I would borrow his books and just study them when I got home, taking my time to just try and understand what the heck is going in his very detailed illustrations <3 thinking about it now makes me wanna buy his books, so I can share them with my children one day! :D

    Naww.. seriously really enjoyed reading this post, reminds me of my childhood, and how maybe I should revisit all of my favourite children books and learn more about the illustrator :) xox

  2. P.S. Forgot to mention, that's so freaking cool you got to watch him talk about his work at ACMI!!! (>_<) so jealous! if you don't' mind, invite me next time whenever you're going to events like these :D :D would love to share the experience with you!