Used with permission from Jane Chong

Pokémon characters get shiny new renditions through artist’s illustrations on Instagram

At only 18 years old, Jane Chong has created a unique art style that truly shines. She’s known online as catface.exe, and often posts brightly-colored, glass-inspired drawings on Instagram. Jane’s creations consist not only of her own original works but also glassified versions of popular characters.

Among these, some of her most liked works feature beloved Pokemon characters, like Charmander, Gengar, and Bulbasaur; the last of which the artist pins down as her personal favorite.

Although Jane admits that she’s “never had a strong interest in Pokemon from the start”, she was introduced by a close friend to Snom, a small, blobby Pokemon from the video games which she turned into her first glassy drawing on Instagram. Thanks to this introduction, Jane says, “I am slowly learning more about Pokemon and [I] like how creative the designs of each Pokemon can be. The sheer number of it amazes me.”

Scrolling through her Instagram page reveals that she’s also inspired by everyday objects from Japanese culture, such as wind chimes and dango, a type of Japanese rice flour sweet. To these, she adds tiny touches of ocean wave patterns (called “seigaiha 青海波” in Japanese) and cherry blossom petals, both motifs found in Japanese art and culture.

The Malaysian university student is a product of her generation and was heavily inspired by the internet and social media. Her art journey started from watching speed painting videos on YouTube, and she mentions other artists on Instagram as her influences.

She then took these cues and began to experiment in order to find her own style. Jane knew that she “loved the effect glass had with the surroundings and its fragile, shiny aesthetic,” and through practice and time, found that by mixing glass with water and stars, she can effectively highlight the sparkle and shine in her drawings.

Jane’s currently working towards a degree in Computer Science at her local university and says she would like to eventually work at a job that involves coding or games. As for the creative side of things, she considers art as a hobby but hopes to open an online shop of her work someday to help her invest in her future.

No matter which direction she ends up taking, Jane seems to be content with simply sharing her work online, where she can interact with fellow artists. Her characteristic of being open to all sources of inspiration has not only lead to her art style but has also motivated Jane to turn her influences into “creating art that can touch people’s lives.”

By - Jen Laforteza.