Artist Spotlight: Poeny Yip

Hayley Stengem, Two Cents Editor

Raw. Dreamy. Brutal. These words describe the style of the mysterious Peony Yip (also well known as “The White Deer”), an illustrator based in Hong Kong. Her medium primarily consists of simple graphite and colored pencils with occasionally a splash of watercolor. In her works, Yip draws parallels between unlikely things and explores their interdependent relationship. Her surreal style teeters on creepy at times but aims to convey the connection between man and nature.

Yip is quite the enigma, as information on her is few and far between; she rather let her art speak for itself. The Hong Kong artist explores omnipresent issues in sets of works, examining the theme in many ways and many points of view.

For example, she has a series of animal morphing illustrations, where a female face is overlaid with an animal to highlight similarities between human and beast. Another one of her series features army, pilot, and astronaut helmets overgrown with flowers, contrasting the hardness of the headwear with the softness of the petals. The variety in her subject matter hints at her strange inspirations.

“I find inspiration pretty much anywhere but not as often as I would like,” Yip said. “I could be using the potty and see a bug on the floor and I go ‘Hey! I want to draw bugs with people!’”

And so she did; Yip has a short series of drawings of human heads infested with insects. People are almost always present in her works, whether they are half fox, covered in butterflies, or are just in their natural state.

“People inspired me mostly,” Yip said. “One second I hate them, the next I just realize they probably feel the same way I do and I try to portray that through my drawings.”

Women are primarily featured in her drawings, some indistinct, some strong, some drenched in melancholy. As for what kind of person Yip is herself, she is a bit of a mystery.

“I was born in Jamaica believe it or not,” Yip said. “I moved to Hong Kong around seven years ago. I was never the smart girl or the nice one either, but I knew I wanted to draw and I have never stopped!”

Yip shows no sign of ever stopping her art career. Her Tumblr blog and Facebook page are updated almost weekly with new pieces. Yip’s collection of art is very unique and diverse, only expanding further as she grows into up and coming young artist.

Visit Yip’s blog http://thewhitedeers.tumblr.com/ or visit her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TheWhiteDeerIllustrations to explore her aggregation of art.