Mobile Art – APPart Interview with Wanphen Sangkamee aka: Gummy
We are huge fans of Wanphen Sangkamee aka: Gummy’s mobile artwork here at TheAppWhisperer and absolutely adore this interview between our APPart editor, Bobbi McMurry and Gummy. Please sit down, put your feet up and enjoy this wonderful article with us, for a few minutes in your day (foreword by Joanne Carter).
I love animals though cows and fish aren’t likely to be top of mind when I think of them that is unless they created by Wanphen Sangamee. There’s a sense of childlike honesty in her painterly strokes and simplistic palette that I don’t see very often within the realms of mobile art. Picasso once said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a life time to paint like a child”. Gummy doesn’t take herself too seriously and her intuitive work reveals an openness to maintain a sense of innocent curiosity so many “grow out of” as we become adults. She has intentionally created a lifestyle for herself that embraces her need to experience the world purely and to pour that virtue into her art. I trust you’ll enjoy getting to know a little bit about her.
Self Portrait – ©Wanphen Sangkamee aka: Gummy
Would you tell us more about your art background and transition (if appropriate) to working with mobile hardware, i.e. iPhone, iPad, tablets.
I’ve loved drawing and photography since childhood and have a BA degree in Advertising, Journalism, and Mass Communications from Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand. After graduating, I became a media planner, and worked in an advertising agency for five years. It was stressful; I worked long hours going in early and coming home late. I came to realize that a simple life; a lifestyle that put happiness before money was what I really wanted. So at age 28, I moved to a small town in northern Thailand called Pai and happily left the big city behind. This is also the concept of my art… simplicity and happiness is all one needs.
I’ve lived in Pai for 21 years now and do what I really enjoy. My husband is also an artist and we opened a small art shop selling souvenirs made from my photographs and paintings. After 18 years, we closed up shop in search of an even more independent life!
I used to paint in both oil and acrylic on frames and enjoyed shooting on my Lomo camera. After getting an iPhone 3S, I began to be inspired by iPhone art especially the work of Cindy Patrick, Sarah Jarrett, and Karen Divine. Seeing what was possible on my new phone made choosing to create that way an easy decision.
‘Cow Series 9’ – ©Wanphen Sangkamee aka: Gummy
Please describe your style of art and your portrayals.
Art is my life. Art all is around me. I love photography, love painting, and just about every other kind of art. I love texture, nonsense, abstract, and the forms found in nature. I want to put that love into my digital art through improvisation. I create each day beginning with a blank canvas in either Art Set Pro or Procreate. I also spend time taking photos around my town. I don’t restrict myself, anything and everything is game. The most important consideration to me is: whether it’s interesting and engaging.
‘Cow Series 10’ ©Wanphen Sangkamee aka: Gummy
How are you inspired, motivated and nourished in your work?
My Inspiration is all around me, in my rice, fishes, cats, dogs, cows, and in my home. There is beauty to be found everywhere and in everything; it’s just a matter of looking at things differently. I also find so much inspiration within social media.
‘Fishy 8’ ©Wanphen Sangkamee aka: Gummy
How often do you create images? Do you feel under pressure to produce more and more or do you not subscribe to this? If yes, does this sense of urgency help you in your creation process?
I do art like I eat … everyday. Some images are complete in minutes, some in a month, and some are never done. I don’t feel any pressure to create, there is no deadline, I create to delight myself.
‘Gummy Paint Daily 4’ ©Wanphen Sangkamee aka: Gummy
Do you adapt a similar ‘routine’ to creating your images or do you change and vary your process depending on the piece?
I usually create my work in a series consisting of about 5 images or more, I keep working on that series until I can no longer think of new ideas on the topic, then I begin with new content, new concepts. I always find something to do next.
Untitled ©Wanphen Sangkamee aka: Gummy
Do you have a particular methodology in your work?
Drawing daily, inspired from my surroundings is always my intention. I draw what I see, what I feel, and improvise while painting. Sometimes I select images taken on my iPhone 6+ and experiment with combining them in different ways. I draw into them to see what happens as if I’m playing a game! Other times I begin on a blank “canvas” and see what develops.
Untitled – ©Wanphen Sangkamee aka: Gummy
What are your favorite apps? Have your favorites changed over time?
My favorite apps are Art Set Pro, Procreate, Snapseed, Formulas, RipPix, and Hipstamatic.
Currently my top two are Art Set Pro, and Procreate. I’m always experimenting with new apps to see if they can create new effects, and when I find something I like, I use that too.
It’s interesting that while we all use the same apps our images hold diverse aesthetics depending upon the artist. We all have different eyes or backgrounds and we see things differently which unfolds in our work.
Untitled – ©Wanphen Sangkamee aka: Gummy
Do you allow a specific time frame to complete an image?
No, I happily and intentionally left the life of deadlines and stress behind a long time ago. It’s very rare that the desire to draw is not there, but when I have that kind of moment, I will travel, read books, and view artworks online.
Untitled – ©Wanphen Sangkamee aka: Gummy
Do you need to work in a certain creative environment?
I love to work at home because it’s very quiet and peaceful. I enjoy working slowly and when I’m relaxed. While my intention is to work daily, I put my iPad away when I am upset or sick.
‘Woman with Cat’ ©Wanphen Sangkamee aka: Gummy
Do you use any additional hardware to help you create your art, such as a stylus? Can you also tell us about any other hardware you use including, software, accessories including batteries, chargers, lenses, storage. Do you have a favourite tool?
When taking photos, I use an iPhone 6+, and all my editing and creating is done on an iPad pro 9.7. I keep backups of all my images on a passport external hard drive, as well as Google storage.
‘Gummy’ ©Wanphen Sangkamee aka: Gummy
Where do you share your images within social media channels?
I share my images on
‘Mind Portrait 10’ ©Wanphen Sangkamee aka: Gummy
Are you motivated by competitions/competitiveness or does your satisfaction come from within? How do you involve yourself in competitions, shows, challenges and what are your reasons for doing so?
Art makes me happy, that is the reason I make art. I don’t create for contests, but if I believe my images can compete, I occasionally enter my work.
‘Fishy number 9’ ©Wanphen Sangkamee aka: Gummy
How has TheAppWhisperer.com helped you with your art?
As you know, I live in Thailand and we don’t have groups like iPhone artist’s societies and such, it’s pretty lonely. I’m grateful to be part of TheAppWhisperer’s world, and I’ve learned so much through the tutorials, interviews, Flickr group and all the other information here. It’s really opened my eyes to new possibilities.
Many thanks to Bobbi and Joanne for this opportunity!
‘Lady in McDonald’ ©Wanphen Sangkamee aka: Gummy
Do you have a website?
‘Black Cat’ ©Wanphen Sangkamee aka: Gummy
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Love Bobbi’s edit interview and your article. That make me see myself clearly. So many thanks.
Another wonderful interview! I love Gummy’s take on life and art: she chose to take control of her own lifestyle and how she wanted to make art. The two are inextricably linked and the result is art that is fresh and authentically her own.