AN INTERVIEW WITH THAI POETESS & PAINTER VEERA SPINNT
Veera Spinnt, presently resident in Bangkok, is an extraordinarily talented woman. In spite of still being at university, she somehow manages to find the time to write passionate poems about life and love, whilst dedicating any other ‘spare’ time she might have to painting.
Having lived and studied in cities as far-flung as London and Los Angeles, Veera is not one to focus on the short-term; nurturing far-reaching plans, she aspires to spread her creative wings across the world at large once she completes her current set of studies in Thailand.
She started writing poetry at the incredibly young age of nine, and she has been honing her talent for expressing emotion through the medium ever since, having had her work published on numerous Internet ports-of-call.
In light of the sheer quality and quantity of her output, it will surely be only a matter of time before Veera attains the international acclaim she so deserves for her life-enhancing work.
Here, in an exclusive interview with Steve, she chats candidly about life in Bangkok, her time spent abroad, and how experience and imagination has shaped the bulk of her past forays into the hypnotising realms of poetry and painting…
HI VEERA, HOW ARE YOU?
I’m great thanks. I’ve just been chilling out on a normal Sunday. I’ll be working on another painting real soon and have it uploaded on my fan-page. I really love to stay in and paint in my spare time.
YOU LIVE AND STUDY IN BANGKOK. HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED IN THAILAND, AND WHAT ARE THE BEST AND WORST ASPECTS OF LIVING IN THE COUNTRY’S CHAOTIC CAPITAL CITY?
As a matter of fact, I have not always lived in Thailand. At the age of six I went with my family to study in London, England. Then I came back to Bangkok and went to an international school. Last year I was on an exchange program at UCLA (Los Angeles, California) majoring in Comparative Literature. I have been abroad several times so I know a lot about western culture. As for living in Bangkok, the good bit is that the city ‘never sleeps.’ You can always go out with your friends and have a good time at night if you have a lot of work to do in the evening. I like seeing live bands in international venues, for I have always been a big fan of rock music. The bad bit about living in Bangkok is that the city has a lot of pollution and traffic. Sometimes when I sit in a bus and get caught in traffic jams, I get a little agitated. Nonetheless, Bangkok is a great place for those who like to party.
YOU WRITE POETRY AND INDULGE IN A LOT OF PAINTING. HAS THAI CULTURE HAD MUCH OF AN IMPACT ON YOUR WORK, OR DO YOU GENERALLY LOOK TOWARDS WESTERN CULTURE FOR INSPIRATION?
It’s not so much about the culture, Steve. As a matter of fact, it’s more about experience and imagination. My artwork reflects my emotions and my vivid imagination as an artist. If speaking of portraits, they are reflections of the people I meet. When painting a portrait, I like to capture the best bits of a person’s character, bringing out his or her best facial features. If you notice, I’m starting to experiment with landscape and abstract expressionism, combining both genres in my latest works. I hope to elevate my artwork to another level whilst maintaining originality.
WHAT FIRST SNARED YOUR INTEREST IN THE ARTS?
I guess it stemmed from the desire to ‘create.’ I remember having a boring summer in Bangkok, and therefore decided to do something to pass the time. I started picking up my acrylic set that I once had to use for an Art History project and started experimenting with the paints again. After that, I decided to do something creatively original: I started painting over my Manga portraits and became quite satisfied with the results. Then I continued to sketch and paint until I was able to produce the pieces I had always wanted to produce.
DO YOU FIND IT EQUALLY AS EASY AND SATISFYING TO EXPRESS YOUR EMOTIONS THROUGH WRITING AS YOU DO PAINTING?
To be honest, I would consider myself more of a writer than an artist. I’ve been writing poetry since the age of nine; this is why my poetry skills are somewhat better than my art skills. Through creative writing and poetry, I find it very easy to express my emotions and hidden sentiments. With art however, it is more difficult to express my emotions seeing that I sometimes don’t get the right colours or the right contours according to what I initially wanted. I’d say that writing is perhaps my real talent.
HAVE YOU EVER HAD ANY WRITING PUBLISHED OR PAINTINGS EXHIBITED IN THAILAND?
I have some poetry as well as an art piece published in Mind’s Eye Magazine (based in the US). As for art exhibitions, I’m still looking for a curator.
HAVE YOU FOUND IT DIFFICULT TO DEVELOP YOUR OWN ‘VOICE’ THROUGH YOUR WORK?
No, I’ve always found it easy to write and paint in my own style in the sense that I tend to be unconventional yet creative. I believe that every piece of writing or artwork should be original, meaning that the devoted audience should be able to recognize your work straight away; that is, they know that it is yours because they remember your style.
WHAT ARE YOUR LONG-TERM PLANS? DO YOU HOPE TO STAY IN THAILAND AFTER YOU COMPLETE YOUR STUDIES, OR DOES THE WIDER WORLD AT LARGE BECKON?
I am planning on doing my Masters in another foreign country. As a solid student, I am looking for scholarship opportunities at the moment. I would like to see more of the world and, if possible, do a Euro-trip in the near future. I’ve always dreamed about that.
WRITING AND PAINTING ASIDE, ARE THERE ANY OTHER ‘ARTS’ IN WHICH YOU ARE INTERESTED?
I am interested in sculpture but I would first need to find the right media for it. I remember seeing pictures of snow sculptures on a site and was entirely fascinated by their beauty, wondering how the sculptor managed to produce something wonderful yet ephemeral. I am also interested in music and songwriting. I would have turned some of my poems into songs if I was really good with musical instruments.
FINALLY, HOW CAN PEOPLE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR WORK?
My fan-page on Facebook is where I spread the word. I also contribute to a few sites like the Mind’s Eye Magazine site, the Cold Coffee site, and the Behance Networking site. I also have a poetry group on Facebook called ‘Parcels of Fading Memories,’ which is where I’ve posted my poetry collection since 2008. I hope viewers enjoy my work.
(Questions by Steve Rudd; Answers by Veera Spinnt)