Meet the Artist
Felix is a Canadian citizen studying at the KIS International School of Bangkok in grade 10. His interests consist of digital art, photoshop, playing piano and football. Growing up in Canada where he was always close to nature, his relationship with nature has been something important to him. It makes him aware of the importance of the environmental preservation and protection.
Interview with Felix Watanabe (Felix)
June 28, 2021
Where did the idea come from ?
The theme [of the film competition] was “Making Peace with Nature”. So I wanted to represent the bond between humans and nature because it’s often quite a destructive relationship. I wanted to show a more peaceful relationship. I thought representing mother nature in both pieces would be a simple way of representing all of nature just like in a simple figure.
In the first piece I wanted to show a relationship between mother nature and humans so I made a mother nurturing a baby. In the second piece, it’s more broad. It’s just mother nature and the entire earth. Mother taking care of it.
Why did you choose this form of art ?
I used a lot of Photoshop and digital paint because I wanted the artwork to be somewhat realistic. How I actually did the Mother Nature is I found photos of humans and I would photoshop rough texture on it and create a hair out of leaves png online. So I thought this would make a more realistic effect.
As well as the earth it’s photoshopped from the start.
Why does this idea resonate with you ? the mother nature and making peace with nature?
I already like nature quite a lot, especially animals but nature in general. I like volunteering at elephant sanctuary, dog sanctuary, and my dad actually works a lot for global warming and making clean energy. I’m always very mindful of nature and I always appreciate the nature growing up in Canada where there’s a lot of nature. The theme interests me because of the relationship I already have with nature and I do believe that global warming is a big issue.
During the process of making this artwork, what were the challenges ?
The biggest challenge was the mother nature herself in both pieces because I was looking for several rocky textures to find the right one, leaf pattern on her hair etc. But I finally found the textures I liked and I added on shadows to make it realistic etc.
How many elements did you use in both pieces ?
In the first one, it started off just as a photo, a black and white photo of a mom kissing a child. I completely edited out the mom and replaced it with leafy hair and rocky texture. And the child I just recolored a bit. The biggest problem with the first one and I didn’t like it at first was because the lighting looked quite awkward and I had to adjust the lighting.
In the second one, the original photo was a lady holding a yoga ball. I completely replaced the yoga ball with the earth. I got the texture online and then made many many adjustments to make it look like earth. Very light blue around the edges and then shadows. And it turned out quite realistic I think.
For mother nature, quite the same, photoshop out and add leafy hair and rocky skin. For the space, I had a brush on my software that kind of just splash white dots, very nice and then a few lights, purple, pink and stroke to make it more like space.
Before looking for a reference photo of mother nature, did you have a picture in mind?
I just thought how could a woman be represented as mother nature. How could I interpret it into nature? I thought it could be like a wooden or rocky texture and I decided to go with rocks. Then could mother nature be represented? I kind of already had an idea in my mind.
What do you want people to take away from your works ?
The main message from both is to make peace with nature and I hope this will inspire people to be more conscious of global warming and try to help the earth as much as possible.
Your perspective toward climate change?
I believe that climate change is quite a big problem. There are so many issues that come with it like ice melting, forest fire all relating back to how we take care of the earth.
As a young person, is there any way to get involved in promoting climate change ?
Raising awareness at least, everyone should do, and also electric cars which will help and using less factories that produce a lot of emissions, bicycle instead of motorbike. If everyone is aware and tries to help even if it is just small ways such as using a bicycle instead of a car when not needed, I think it would help drastically in the long run.
Have your perspectives toward climate change changed after working on this project?
I don’t think my perspectives have necessarily changed while making the work. I’ve always been aware of climate change and understood that there is a problem so this artwork helped me express what I already feel.
Is there a message regarding climate change you want to communicate to young people?
Be conscious and be aware of your actions because they will impact our future.
If you were to make another artwork about climate change, what message or theme you would like to address ?
I would do some drawing and represent the contrast between nature and the industrial world/factories.