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CHOPPING BLOCK: TIFFANY LIU

Even though I'm a fully grown adult male, I still like to read comic books, play video games, and watch cartoons. All of my friends and peers are worried about getting married or buying houses, meanwhile I'm lounging around my apartment rocking a Rat Fink t-shirt while chugging Vanilla Coke and playing Dark Souls II on Xbox. You want to know what the weirdest part is? I LOVE IT!

Who wants to settle down and have kids when you're already a big kid? Unfortunately, much to the chagrin of many past relationships, the women in my life can't say the same. Quite the opposite in fact.

That doesn't necessarily mean that all women hate childhood reminders of simpler times or naive wonderment. Take Tiffany Liu for example, she loves to paint all sorts of cute little characters who look like they rode the train straight off the back cover of the My Little Golden Book series... until you go in for a closer look and realize they crashed into a Baskin Robbins to burn it down. D:

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POW: Your paintings that contain delicious confections make me salivate like a hungry dog. Is that an intentional psychological cue to get people to associate your paintings with their positive primal instincts... or do both of us just really love cupcakes?

TIFFANY: I'd have to say yes to both questions! Candies and delicious desserts are often themes in my paintings, I take the idea of eye candy pretty literally. Through bubbly colorful hues and fluffy goodness, I attempt to trick viewers into approaching my work with the nostalgia of more innocent days only to realize in the end that things aren't always what they seem and life is not all sugar and sweet and everything nice. That being said, yes, I really love cupcakes!

TL2CANDYLAND NIBBLE by Tiffany Liu

POW: Despite all of the adorable imagery contained in your paintings, there seems to be a darker context lurking in the shadows. Do you find that people are more receptive to disturbing themes when the message is candy-coated?

TIFFANY: Yes, I definitely believe that people are more receptive. I used to work with very straight-forward dark themes that were a bit jarring to say the least. I later developed a different approach after realizing that I didn't need to paint the scariest and most shocking images to get my point across. Though my paintings are often based on fantasy and magic, there is always a catch and there is always something not quite right. I believe its more of a real statement about life. Within happiness there is always an amount of the opposite reaction and where there is beauty there is always a bit of the ugly.

TL3THE CELEBRATION OF THE MONEY TREE by Tiffany Liu

POW: The depiction of children (or child-like characters) has a firm presence in all of your work. Are there any strong memories from your childhood that you think might have influenced this?

TIFFANY: I really respect children for their ability to be non-prejudice and non-judgmental about life. To them, there are no clear cut boundaries of what adults interpret as wrong versus right. They simply are what they are and don't imagine otherwise. These new eyes give them special vision that allows magic to be at its highest and most potent form. I draw children to remind children from all walks of life to remember what magic was and what it still can be if they choose to believe that it is so.

TL4SEWING MY LITTLE PONY by Tiffany Liu

POW: Given the substance and style of your work, is there a particular process, ritual, or routine that takes place in order to enter a specific mindset needed for you to paint?

TIFFANY: A whole lot of daydreaming and thinking happens before any painting is started. I work out a lot of what I want to voice before I even begin to draw. I teach kids to draw on a daily basis so I definitely am inspired by how they work. To them, the process of drawing a picture is simply a movie or show waiting to happen. I like to approach my work the same way, it is how I have fun! I also like to look at all kinds of different things like story books, photography, movies, etc... for more inspiration. The drawing is the phase I use to study and develop characters, compositions and color themes. This process takes me days to weeks before I start a painting.

TL5KILLERS OF SUGAR SWEET FOREST by Tiffany Liu

POW: With the upcoming release of your limited edition wood-print, could you tell us how you came to be involved with Prints On Wood, as well as the story behind this painting?

TIFFANY: I met the founders, Derric and Erin Swinfard of Prints On Wood at the Twice-Told Tales group art show I was taking a part in at Flower-Pepper Gallery. I spent a lot of time talking to them during the show, they were very engaging and really cool people. I was happily surprised to find out they had purchased my piece and even more happy to be asked to contribute to Prints On Wood.

The piece that will be released is called, "Killers of Sugar Sweet Forest". It is my interpretation of the beloved story of "Hansel and Gretel". I was really excited to work with this theme because I have always been mesmerized by the idea that I could one day walk into a candy house of my own, that I could eat!! I have always loved how Grimm stories could be at once so innocently sweet, but alas, so very grim. However, I didn't want to simply say what had been already said. I wanted the story to be mine, so I changed it a little. In my re-telling of the tale, there is no witch. Instead, the candies and desserts are the monsters and the antagonist that trap the children into a not so nice ending. Right now, sugar is a hot topic and the reason for so many cases of diabetes and obesity world wide. I want my story to not only tell the tale of these two children, but also remind us of what evil is hidden everyday in our lives.

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Prints on Wood's newest artist release, Killers of Sugar Sweet Forest by Tiffany Liu, goes on sale Thursday, March 20th, and and will be limited up to 75 prints. This 11" x 14" print will be offered on our 3/4" bright white wood canvas and will retail for $75.

For more information on Tiffany Liu, please visit her website at: http://www.tiffanyliu.com/

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