At a gig for Spooky Wet Dreams’ EP launch, I discovered DIF/CULT, a collective of creative artists working together to make art.
They had set up a booth at the gig to sell their illustrations, designs, and prints on postcards, badges as well as stickers. As per usual, I bought about a 100 of them because I have no self-control. I found it interesting and refreshing that the artists in DIF/CULT had such different styles from one another.
So I got in touch with Lizzie Zany, their newest member, to talk about art, Spooky Wet Dreams and more.
My name is Lizzie Zany. I’m 19 and currently studying Fine Arts. I’m pretty good at making cat sounds and I like cute stuff.
What is DIF/CULT? What is the significance behind the name?
It actually stands for ‘Different Culture’ in shorter terms. Each of us portrays different cultures in our art styles.
How did everyone come together to form DIF/CULT?
The power of the internet! Everyone met online and I’m their newest member.
Although Lizzie may be the newest member of DIF/CULT, her artwork, particularly her comics; have made their rounds on Twitter.
DIF/CULT has been at a number of art bazaars, exhibitions and festivals, which event, in your opinion, was the most fun and memorable?
Festival Hari Belia 2015. Pekan Frinjan gave us this space for our gallery ‘Lutsinar’. The name of the gallery itself is about transparency; as in being transparent with yourself. It was my first time exhibiting at a festival with Dif/Cult and I had a great time!
Has anybody ever compared your work to Bryan Lee O’Malley’s work for Scott Pilgrim? If so, how do you feel about it?
Aha, yes, many times actually! To be honest, I’ve never really been influenced by his work, but they’re pretty awesome so I take it as a compliment.
How has your work developed since you started?
Well, my work has more depth to it now as compared to how it used to be. It feels more meaningful and relatable now. Before I realized I could reach out to other people with my doodles, it used to be personal, something I’d do for my close friends and family only.
What is your dream project?
I want to make/design a game. Something really cute, but badass at the same time. Also, I’d love to design a theme park; that would be awesome.
Let’s discuss some of the issues you brought up when you curated @twt_seni on Twitter, particularly your thoughts concerning changing the art scene. How do you think the youths in our country can change the public’s perception of art?
The youths can put their work out there on the internet. That’s the best part about the internet, anyone can put up their work. Everyone has to start somewhere, and in this case, the internet is the best.
By posting and sharing their finished or unfinished products, they inspire themselves and others to produce more work; better work. Can you imagine if the arts scene became merrier due to the overwhelming involvement of the youth?
I never thought that my art could affect anyone until I started getting feedback from random people. They told me they were inspired and moved by my work; so in this case, I’d do it through my art.
What under-appreciated artist, gallery or work do you think people should know about?
Spooky Wet Dreams; it’s a band. They play alternative music and I design stuff for them. I really love their music because it’s fresh and nothing like any other bands.
Their tunes are awesome. The best part is that they’re local and their potential is nuclear. I won’t be surprised that in a few years’ time (or less), they’ll blow up the music scene and won’t be considered underrated or under-appreciated anymore.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
“If you feel like shit, work harder.” My fiancé, Ze, told me this.
I hear it in my head whenever I feel like giving up. It always helps me pull through the tough times.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you.
I’ve encountered a lot. Just simple things like youngsters giving up their seat on a crowded train for an older man. But I think one of the most heart-warming ones I witnessed happened recently. This teenage Malay boy helped this Chinese grandma push her broken down motorcycle in the midst of heavy rain. Situations like that drive me to be a better Malaysian and to make art that moves people in a way that I was moved.
List your top 5 favorite places in KL.
I’m gonna mix this with Selangor if you don’t mind because I don’t actually go to KL that frequent (laughs).
In no particular order; first, Amcorp Mall in PJ — the only time I don’t mind being a morning person is if I’m going there for the weekend flea market. Next is Piccadilly, which is also in PJ, the food is good and reasonably priced there. The third is Rumah Titi in Titiwangsa, it’s Pekan Frinjan’s base. I love everything in it and the vibe of the place. I also like IKEA; not for the meatballs but for the plushies, daydreaming space, and the scent of wood. Lastly, KL Sentral because I’ve witnessed a lot of small little things that inspired me there.
Do you have any upcoming projects or plans?
Yes, I recently worked with Spooky Wet Dreams for their latest music video ‘Stepmother’. It’s something patriotic. Additionally, I’ll be making more merchandise and artwork for 2016.
If you liked what you see, check out more of Lizzie’s work on her Tumblr, or follow her on Twitter and Instagram (she occasionally posts her work there). Lizzie also does comics for The Level and she has a booth at the Comic Art Festival this month. Pop by and say hi!
Watch Spooky Wet Dreams’ “Withdrawals” music video, designed and directed by Lizzie and lead singer, Ze!