We had the good fortune of connecting with Duanghathai “Ferrari” Sotthisaowaphak and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Duanghathai “Ferrari”, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
Things that make me happy are more likely to be something ordinary. Like waking up before the alarm, having a call with my family, cooking up something unexpectedly so good using only whatever is left in the fridge, catching a bright blue sky when glancing out the window, or finding my favorite seasonal fruit that finally arrived at the farmer’s market. Doing mundane tasks gives me a really good mood too if it ends nicely, like completely removing grease film from the dish you washed lol! Also, having my partner by my side makes me awesomely happy 🙂
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
This seems like a sequel to the earlier question lol. I think growing up in a family that shows love and joy to each other every day makes me a person who’s easily happy and I think you can get a glimpse of that in my artwork. The inspiration of my drawings is a slice of my everyday life, mostly from what makes me feel happy in a day. Those little things sparkle and sometimes are bright enough I want to capture them. I feel like my drawings are mementos of those moments of happiness. So it makes me delighted when people tell me that my art makes them smile.
Doing art as a profession in the states is challenging for me as an international folk. The procedure for proving my right to work here influenced my negative thoughts which inflicted the inner war of endless self-doubt and caused me to lose the balance of being content. Along the way, I learned that there’s no fast pass to success. And at the same time staying focused on my future goal, I should never forget to treat the present me with more love and care too. (Easier said than done though. I’m still working on it and I’m proud that I’m getting much much better than before.)
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There is a spot I found not so long ago. It’s a beach not too far from San Francisco city called Rodeo Beach, Sausalito. That beach holds its place in my heart as my sanctuary and I would love to bring my beloved people there too! My partner and I found this place on a sad day during a year-long quarantine trapped in a tiny studio room. We just couldn’t stand that gloom anymore so we got off work early and called Lyft to a random beach Google showed. The driver took a route crossing Golden Gate Bridge and heading to Sausalito. We went through the Bunker road tunnel and that was my first time taking a ride through the single reversible lane tunnel. It gave me a magical moment like a scene from Spirited Away when Chihiro’s family drives through the red tunnel to the spirit realm. We arrived at Rodeo Beach. Such a peaceful hidden beach away from the crowd (maybe because we were there on the weekday too). The beach is made up of small beautiful colored pebbles. We sat there doing nothing but staring at the calm waves for an hour. We struggled a bit to find our way back home since there’s no signal in the area. A day I won’t forget lol.
If my best friend comes to visit me, I’ll buy them dried fried chicken wings from San Tung, get some drinks from Yifang and spend a day picnicing at Rodeo beach. I heard that there is a good hiking trail and birdwatching spot at the beach too. Sounds like a wonderful day to me already!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Lots of things to be thankful for! I’ll start with books that inspired me first. I grew up reading lots of manga and found that I particularly engaged with the Slice of Life genre. It spoke loudly to me and influenced the narrative style in my art and also the way I want to see the world. The two most amazing pieces that will always be in my top rank and I want to give a shout-out to are ‘Aria’, by Kozue Amano and ‘Honey and Clover’ by Chica Umino.
And here comes a long list of people I would like to express my gratitude to, brace yourself lol! Thanks, mom, dad, Porsche, Benz, and Tinna for taking care of me. You guys are my awesome family and the big support for this clumsy girl! Also my family in the state! Michelle, Pan, Book, Kaye, Pong, Thank you so much! It is hard to live by myself far away from where I used to be but you guys are always encouraging, generous, and a good listener and I owe you guys for that.
Thanks to all my awesome instructors from the Academy of Art and Media Arts of KMUTT, and every brilliant team I got to work with, I learned valuable lessons that forged me into a more skillful warrior in the art industry and I’ll continue growing carrying your name within me!
Thanks to these amazing friends of mine! the Tonkatsu group, AAU& SJSU peeps. You being you is so special don’t you forget it!
Shout-out to Tonko House Studio and the Warrior painters! These humble yet so talented people teach me the joy of sketching and painting outdoors. Drawing outside, I get to pay more attention to the details of the beautiful places I go. I feel more connected to the world and my art also thanks to them.
And lastly, I want to give my special appreciation to my partner, Tanta. Lucky me for having someone like you who always trusts, respects, and tries to understand my side. I know I can handle any situation if you’re there with me.
All the success and achievement in my life are so so much bigger than me. To everyone I mentioned, thank you for standing beside me (and I’m sure that I forgot anybody here but thanks to you too!)
Some work images are included the fanart of “Nintendo’s Splatoon2” and “I Told Sunset About You”