Amy Son

Childhood Nostalgia

Bachelor of Design Craft Illustration Print Photography Identity Speculative Narrative Storytelling Inter-cultural

Childhood Nostalgia

As an enthusiastic illustrator with versatile skills, my work expands over a range of traditional and digital art mediums and styles. I seek to produce engaging and mesmerising illustrations, taking on new experiences to further develop my creativity.

This project recollects nostalgic celebrations as a simple reminder of our inner childlike fantasies. It recalls childhood memories that slowly dim due to being heavily occupied by responsibilities as we become adults.

In my work I seek to recreate memories from childhood imagination and fantasy through illustration. My research involves revisiting old photographs and gathering specific memories that remind me of imaginative times in my childhood. These investigations eventuated into looking at childhood celebrations. I wanted to capture imagination we cannot see and to stay lost in the abstraction of the memories we experienced. This speculative project is relatable to those who grew up in New Zealand, and were involved in celebrations such as Easter, Christmas, birthdays and cultural days.

The aesthetic style takes inspiration from pop-surrealism to recreate the fantastical nature of childhood memories. The use of cartoon-based style reflects our childhood watching cartoon animations and reading illustrative picture books. The dreamy finish relates to how we hazily picture the days of celebrations, leaving polished memories behind. The dark atmosphere correlates to our joy dimming as we outgrow our childhood, and enter adulthood.

The characters faces are repetitional as a portrait of my own memories. The hair and outfits change to show the different time frames and occasions to each celebration. The characters are in antique, vintage dresses to inform and emphasise the idea of nostalgia. The old rusted vintage frames were inspired to mimic the concept of framed photographs, as people tend to frame their most treasured and favourable memories.

This project is a simple reminder to reflect on the fantasy imaginations we experienced as a child. Nowadays, the idea of celebration seems to be easily withered or ignored as we get older and heavily occupied by work and daily chores. It is easier to stop fantasising about these celebrations.