Today is Rob Yee Day on the Hello Wonderful blog! We are extra lucky today because we get a taste of Rob's latest food related work and hear about his adventures with gropers (the fish kind.) Rob and I became friends when we were studying design and illustration and then worked together as graphic designers. During this time Rob and I collaborated on one of the most special things I've ever done, the Daily Office Gif. We'd post a gif of ourselves and some of our adventures around the office every day. Typical things like office cleanliness, conflict resolution, enjoying Fridays and disc toading. He's a really talented and wonderful person so please enjoy getting to know Rob below.
Who are you, what do you do and where in the world are you?
My name is Rob, I work as a graphic designer and digital textile printer in Sydney, Australia and work occasionally as a freelance illustrator on the side.
What do you believe in?
I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky.
Also, be kind to one another. Get plenty of fresh fruit and exercise. Get up there and dance if you wanna! Unless you are hurting somebody by dancing too violently.
When do you feel your most wonderful?
I feel my most wonderful when I'm drawing and when I'm cooking. This is why my latest series is all food-based artwork.
What is something wonderful that has happened that would have never have happened if you hadn't made a mistake or a wrong turn somewhere?
My style has changed many times over the years so in a lot of ways, I can look at all past works being wrong turns that have accidentally lead me to somewhere where I am now. I've recently put together a new website under the same title of my illustration blog of about 7 years, The Avocado Moshpit. It only features works from this year and I have to say, I think it's pretty dang wonderful!
What is the earliest time in your life that you can remember experiencing wonder? When was the most recent time?
The earliest time was probably when I was about nine or ten (probably not the earliest but for the sake of the anecdote, let's go with it). I was on a holiday at the Great Barrier Reef with my family and whilst snorkelling, a huge grouper swam right up to my face and started talking to me. At least, it looked like he was talking. He was just opening and closing his mouth but I distinctly remember being blown away by the audacity of this fat fish. I've since painted a lot of fish as I find their faces amusing.
The most recent time was probably when I first entered the La Boqueria food market in Barcelona. So much incredible food! There was other impressive things I saw in Europe, but nothing compared to this place. It wasn't just the food, but the way it was all displayed, arranged in colours, overflowing and abundant like I'd walked right into a Renaissance still life. Needless to say, my cup runneth over!
Who are three wonderful people you think we need to know about. Why are they wonderful?
This is a wonderful Japanese artist I only discovered recently. His work is incredibly detailed and I can't even begin to imagine the hours he spends on each work. His technical skill is matched only by his unbounded imagination. Just gazing at his artworks is an adventure in itself as the subject unravels itself before your eyes (and I've only ever seen his work on screen!) I would love to see an original one day.
This wonderful old man is someone I will always return to for inspiration. Essentially, Ernst Haeckle was a biologist and naturalist but also an astoundingly good artist. His works primarily functioned as scientific documentation but were composed so beautifully that they stand alone as works of art. His most famous series, Artforms of Nature shows the inherent structural beauty of coral and aquatic plant formations, which is a subject that has always fascinated me.
I've only recently come across David Shrigley in a book called Vitamin D: New Perspectives in Drawing (Phaidon Press inc.) and was immediately drawn to his style. His drawings are really simple but absurd and unsettling. The message in his art is often confused or obscured and I think this is why I like it so much. He says, "I deliberately try to make my work in as intuitive way as possible, so in a sense it's about everything and nothing."
Now that's a wonderful man!