USD IconCaretDown
EN IconCaretDown
By Medium
USD IconCaretDown
EN IconCaretDown

Back to Artzine

On The Rise: Lis Tamara on Painting what Makes her Happy


On The Rise: Lis Tamara on Painting what Makes her Happy
Image courtesy of Mohamed Faizal Ali

Like many emerging artists, Lis Tamara is finding her way, navigating through mediums, genres, and themes in search of her artistic identity. Taking inspiration from the greats and likes of Wayne Thiebaud and David Hockney, her works exude a fun contemporary feel that is contrasted with sentimental tradition. 

This contrast in her practice probably stems from how she is currently enrolled in art school, majoring in Oil and Chinese Ink painting. As someone who is inspired by just about everything around her, she remembers being indecisive and overwhelmed when first she started painting. With the guidance of a lecturer at her school, she was advised to explore as many colors as she could, contrasting them as much as she fancied until she found that artistic 'sweet spot'. On the brink of graduation, Lis Tamara has realized that her works are mainly motivated by what makes her happy. Her oeuvre is dotted with visual musings on food, loved ones, and fond memories, executing them in a way that is befitting to her. 

One only needs to take a look at Lis Tamara’s works to know that there is an indisputable sense of color, form, and presence. As part of ‘On The Rise', a new segment showcasing emerging creatives on The Artling Artzine, we get to know Lis Tamara and her practice a little more, why she has chosen to paint, and what she’s currently exploring in her journey as an artist: 


For those who aren’t familiar with your background, could you tell us a little more about your journey as an artist?

When I was younger I knew in my heart that I loved to draw, but I couldn't see myself being an artist for a living. I continued to keep it as a hobby because everyone told me that being an artist was not going to be feasible. Working multiple jobs, I realized at 23 that I wanted to pursue what I really love doing, which is art. I never learned how to paint so I enrolled myself in an art school with the money I saved from my jobs before, submitting amateur pencil portraits of people I love and I got in! When I first painted, I remember being told to major in ceramics instead and I got laughed at by a few classmates for my brand new painting skill. I guess that developed my style, to paint a subject with no context or presumptions, absorbing the colors and shapes and painting with a naive childish approach. 

French Kisses by Lis Tamara

Why have you chosen your mode of practice?

Although I started with pencil on paper and was leaning towards illustration, I had this pure goal of being a master painter and had this vision that I would live the last years of my life painting peacefully in the countryside. The thought of it made me very happy and then I realized that I could start right now. I’ve since ventured into using oil paint in my practice. Painting with oil allows room for lovely accidents while drawing tends to make me be more perfectionist which often leaves no room for emotion. I love drawing but I love even more that I can paint with emotion. 

What are some themes you find yourself drawn to when creating your works? 

It's superficial and cheesy, but I paint things that make me happy just thinking about it or looking at it. The most common themes I've painted surround people I love, food, spaces, moments or memories. Through my journey as an artist, I’ve realized that I'm very drawn to creating dazzling, glowing, glossy, yummy-looking works - and contrasting that - works that are highly sentimental. 

What's your favorite museum to visit for inspiration?

The regal halls of the National Gallery of Singapore make my dreams of being an artist seem even more magical and surreal. This wonderful feeling excites me and inspires me to chase this dream.


Is there a work or series that you find yourself more attached to? What is it and why? 

I find myself going back to 'Candied apples' by Wayne Thiebaud and Tishk Barzanji's 'Fear and Cherish'. There is something about those works that are visually stimulating and comforting. 


What has been the most challenging part of being an artist? 

I think the most challenging part has been developing my identity as an artist. I wish to have a distinct style throughout my works, but I'm rather indecisive and find myself around with different styles of painting whilst I search for my artistic identity. 


Rozanna's Lily by Lis Tamara


Yasmin by Lis Tamara

Name three artists or designers who you’d like to collaborate with

I'd love to collaborate with Malika Favre who illustrates the cover of the New Yorker. She's very decisive with her colors and keeps things vibrant yet minimalistic - I am the total opposite of that. I think that collaboration would be interesting. I would also love to collaborate with Markus and Daniel Freitag, the brothers who started Freitag, a line of urban sustainable bags. I think they're genius.  


What’s next for you as an artist? Do you have any upcoming shows, or are you perhaps exploring other mediums, materials or themes?

As I am majoring in Painting, specifically Oil and Chinese Ink painting, I had a crazy idea for a project, "What if I paint using oil on rice paper?" All my lecturers thought it was crazy but exciting, so I went searching for answers and merged the two. I loved the outcome! Perhaps the next for me is to develop my discovery of this unlikely pairing of mediums and create a solid body of work out of it. 


Click here to check out more of Lis Tamara’s works! 

Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.

Related Articles

On The Rise: Charles Munka & why Painting is Personal

On The Rise: Serena Dzenis’s Otherworldly Photographs of Nature

On The Rise: Nathan Head & his Attention-Grabbing Images

On The Rise: Ayako Aratani & Embracing Imperfection


Back to Top

Sign up for the latest updates
in contemporary art & design!

Please correct the errors above

The Artling


Customer Care





The Artling Logo