25, Visual Artist @mrn.a
“I’ve always loved art, I just never thought I’d end up making a living off it,” says Marina A, who’s best known for her signature psychedelic illustrations that bear motifs of women and serpents.
She remembers looking through some artwork with her brother years ago, and jokingly said she could do the same too. Soon after, she submitted an artwork to Noise Singapore, a platform dedicated to developing young artists, and was offered a mentorship and the opportunity for her work to be featured in an exhibition. She hasn’t looked back since.
On top of art exhibitions, her colourful works have also appeared on album covers for local bands. She’s also provided art direction for the music videos of acts like Disco Hue and Jasmine Sokko. What she’s inspired by: “I love reading about Greek mythology and goddesses, so I’m very much inspired by that. And I like the symbolism of women and serpents. There are so many things I can draw from that.” On being an artist in Singapore: “It’s not easy! There were a lot of times when I look at my bank account and think ‘I’m going to die this month.’ It’s very hard to make a living off your art if you don’t have a market or a curator buying your stuff. You also really have to keep up with the scene here, and make sure that what you’re doing is different. I know that [my brand will] die down if I don’t evolve.”
Facing her bullies: “I used to be bullied in school, and when they learnt that I wanted to be an artist… well, the comments I got weren’t very kind. It put me in a really dark place then. I still get people saying some not so nice things about my work. But I realised that at the end of the day, there’s always going to be such comments. You just need to remember that you’ll also have a bunch of people who really love your artwork.”