Sonam Yangdon

“When I moved to Australia in grade 10, I was only 15. It was hard for me to make new friends. From a confident people’s person in Bhutan, I suddenly turned into a shy loner. That’s when I sought company within the walls of the library. Coming across some beautiful children’s books, I discovered the world of drawing; it gave me a chance to express in ways like never before. Slowly, I felt myself growing in different areas of life and making peace within. My artwork ‘Dear Grandpa’ got selected for an exhibition which was the proudest I felt; it was a reflection of my feelings as a 7-year-old when my parents left abroad to study.
I learnt that drawing is a skill acquired with practice as I never drew back in Bhutan— It requires commitment and time investment. ‘Dear Myself’ was selected for the MAMA art gallery for young-emerging artists where I often worked as a tour guide. There, I connect with people with a shared passion for art.
My inspiration often is a manifestation of my feelings and the arts reflect my emotions. I don’t do commissioned artworks but I occasionally write and draw for the ‘Tharingsa’ page. Currently, I’m working on art called ‘I am’ which is a personal story of overcoming loneliness. My style follows a combination of both digital and traditional art. Even though I am going to study podiatric medicine as a safety net, I want to pursue visual arts in the future. With my passion for storytelling through illustrations and poems, I believe that I will be able to provide comfort to people and help them the way I was helped. I try to become a better artist every day and I don’t credit my skills to luck. I draw wherever I get the inspiration instead of treating it as a chore. The greatest influence in my drawing style is Shaun Tan; like him, I try making my drawing look aesthetically pleasing, inspiring, and timeless.
I am still trying to get the old ‘me’ back, but I also love spending time by myself. Coming to Australia was a blessing too. It showed me my true passion for arts and paved the way for who I could be in life.”

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