Hi Sha’an! Can you tell us a about yourself and how you got started in art?
My name is Sha’an d’Anthes and I’m an illustrator (and more!) living and working in Sydney, Australia under the pseudonym Furry Little Peach. My mum is Singaporean, my dad is American and I would say I made my start in art before I can remember and as soon as I could make a mark. I first started sharing my work by posting my film photos on Tumblr when I was 16. I then started sharing my drawings and from there, my exposure grew exponentially. I’ve been selling my work internationally since I was 17 and working with various brands as well.
There’s a hint of playful innocence found in your artworks, almost like a modern fairytales. Talk to us about this style.
I draw a lot of my works’ essence from the ways I remember seeing the world when I was a kid, and the ways in which I still see the world — childlike innocence and sense of adventure, playfulness, exploration and friendship. I think it’s also an expression of my compulsion to pat and befriend animals I meet.
What’s your current source of inspiration at the moment?
I’m inspired by everything I experience. The natural world is my greatest inspiration.
Any visual artists you look up to? What is it about them you respect?
I love artists of all shapes and sizes, and couldn’t possibly name them all now. I recently went to see Chuck Close: Prints, Process and Collaboration at the MCA, Sydney and was floored! His work filled me with the want and need to head back to my studio right away and make things (like all good exhibitions do). I was astounded by his meticulous and arduous process, his sense of colour and his mastery of so many techniques under the umbrella of print-making.
How has art opened your world? What sorts of doors have opened since embracing your talent?
Art is my world. It has offered me another language to communicate with, a language where I am more fluent and more interesting than I am in English. If you ask me something face-to-face, be sure that a diagram or drawing an example in the air with my fingers will accompany my answer. My work has allowed me to connect with a lot of people indirectly and to meet like-minded creatives face-to-face who are now some of my favourite humans. It has seen me flown across the globe and connect with the people behind brands that I admire, and above all, it is a constant in my life. It’s something that I know is mine forever.
How do you prep yourself for work?
There isn’t a strict ritual that I stick to when I work. Usually it’s just a flurry of limbs and excitement to get my ideas to paper. I’m usually doing something mundane when my best ideas hit — showering, commuting... As soon as that happens, I write it down. I head to my studio, put on some music or some trashy TV series and begin sketching like a maniac and sticking the sketches all over my studio walls. When I’m satisfied that I know my subject back to front, I stretch my paper, redraw my image with graphite and start the first of many layers of watercolour to come.
What kind of emotions do you want to draw out from people who view your art?
I want them to feel like a kid again — not in the way that I want them to stuff themselves with sugar and grow out of all their clothes — but in the way that they’re filled with excitement, a sense of wonder and to believe that magic still exists.
What’s the most memorable reaction you’ve received from your work?
It’s got to be either the intense fangirl/fanboy reaction because I think it’s wonderfully bizarre and utterly hilarious — definitely a day brightener — or the incredibly touching response that I receive every once in a while when people tell me that they suffer from anxiety, depression or similar conditions, and that they visit my blog because it makes them calm and feel better. That’s all I really want to do with my work — make people happy.
Follow Sha’an on Instagram at @furrylittlepeach to see more of her artworks