Breakfast Beauty | The Most Important Meal of the Day, Made Up
Fact: Everybody loves breakfast. Or at least, everybody loves breakfast food. Who isn’t constantly thinking about blueberry pancakes smothered in syrup, or creamy eggs benedict? Or a banana nut muffin and a piping hot latte? If you’re not thinking how MessyMsxi is thinking, you should probably do something about that, pronto.
Breakfast styling is something ActuallyMAG has recently become deeply enamoured with through the updates of MessyMsxi on her Instagram. With this new found affection, we have decided to feature her, purveyor of all things breakfast and art.
Aside from her penchant for toast and the like, Msxi is also an designer with incredibly full-fledged artistic vision and a whole load of talent to boot. She brings awareness to touchy topics like anorexia and genetic conditions through her communicative art.
ActuallyMAG speaks to her to find out more about her work, inspirations and plans for the future.
Hi Msxi! How are you today?
Still feeling slightly full from yesterday’s ramen dinner.
So tell us a little bit about yourself!
My chinese name is Zi Xi, I am 26 and an illustrator/artist. I graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2009 and currently based in Singapore. When I was studying in London, people always got my name, Zixi wrong so I had to cook up another moniker. I actually get really messy when I work and Messymsxi rhymes better than Messyzixi so that husking of stuck since.
How did you get into art and illustration?
I have always had a naive ambition of wanting to be an artist because my dad is a Chinese painter himself. Then, when I was doing my diploma in Visual Communication, I enjoyed doing my work most when I am using my drawings to help communicate my messages. Through my illustrations I am able to share worthy issues which I am most concerned with. Drawing is definitely my passion, and being able to build my career upon my passion is a blessing.
What is a typical day for you like?
I am a morning bird (when I do not need to work round the clock or when suffering from insomnia), and I love getting up early to make breakfast and to catch up on some videos or updates online. I live and work from home, so I do not usually travel out for lunch but I tend to snack a lot during the working hours from 10:00 – 18:00 just to fuel my brain. I would usually have a better meal during dinner time, a meet up with friends or I would take Molly (my bicycle) out for an evening ride to clear the head.
How did you get started with breakfast styling?
I am a believer in the importance of Breakfast, and to be honest, I think it’s simply because I enjoy having a welcoming meal that prepares me for the coming day. Documenting my breakfast has also become a ritual, which I frequently share with friends on my blog and Instagram.
What kind of work inspires you?/What are your inspirations?
I find beauty in the vernacular, I find misadventures intriguing and I enjoy watching documentaries on modern issues. I am intrigued by one’s (sometimes my own) unusual experience or mishaps. There is always something really quirky in these incidents that informs the stories in my work. To me, being able to smile or laugh about an unfortunate incident really helps make life that bit lighter and in my work especially when I address serious topics.
Who are some illustrators or artists that you admire?
Yoshitomo Nara has always been one of my heros, I admire his humility, spirit and the sincerity in his work. Andy Warhol who was amazingly prolific and productive, whose output was constantly evolving which led to works that has helped shaped our modern identity. I have a few local heroes too who have been so kind and encouraging to me. Overall, I am motivated by people who dream big but are down to earth, who strive for their beliefs and above all, people who are unafraid to share.
What kind of showcases or projects have you done before?
Most of my personal work deals a lot with the ugly side of modern society and issues of worthy concern. For example, “I Am What I Eat” is a series about the Anorexia Nervosa. An increasingly prevalent disease amongst women and men alike. It causes an irrational fear of becoming fat with a pursuit and obsession for thinness. In this series, I attempted to take a more honest approach by presenting the psychology of victims; how they felt about the infliction, their thoughts and how they deal with their problems in hopes that audiences be able to sympathize more and see things from the victims’ perspectives.
Works like “Anomaly” started with my own long limbs. I was always teased about it in high school so I have a kind of affinity with being physically odd. Also, I think it is really disturbing how we are brought up needing to look and be ‘perfect’ or ‘normal’.
However after working on these few painful and depressing subjects, I thought it would be nice to do something different, so I have most recently started working on a personal project, to create a ‘Breakfast Series’. First up for me is “MessyMsxi’s Breakfast Barter”, an interactive concept, whereby visitors can draw their ideal breakfast or a breakfast representation on the standard template which I prepared, in exchange for one of my breakfast postcard. Despite the project being non-profitable, the biggest reward was having our roles swapped; it was the visitors illustrating their breakfast for me. This approach has allowed me to connect friends and strangers over the subject of breakfast, which I deeply enjoy.
What do you hope to do with your talent?
I always try to create meaningful and purposeful work that communicates. I hope the honesty, stories and jokes in my work can touch the audience. I always think that if the work that I do can move someone emotionally, cause someone to smile or even inspire him/her then I have brought back a bit of humanity to our cold efficient world, and in so doing, I have for that little moment, made the world seem a little nicer to be in.
Thanks so much for doing this interview with us! Hope you have a great day, and we’re eager to see what you’re having for breakfast tomorrow!
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