Friday Future Lister: Phannapast Taychamaythakool: The Artist Who Brings Whimsical Worlds to Life

Koktail Magazine

07 Jun 2024

Peer into a whimsical world of fantasy and illustrations with this week’s Friday Future Lister, Phannapast “Yoon” Taychamaythakool.

'The Future List 100' project is where we annually curate a list of 100 individuals who are making positive contributions to Thailand.

Check out this link to see our e-magazine for The Future List 2024.

This Thai artist and illustrator gained international acclaim through her collaboration with Gucci on the 'Le Marché des Merveilles' collection in 2017. This partnership came to fruition after her Instagram illustrations of animals in Gucci outfits caught the brand's attention.


Phannapast's unique style, combining whimsical Asian folklore, mythological animals, and nature, reflects her inner emotions and facets of her personality.

With a fashion design degree from Chulalongkorn University and experience as a creative director, she eventually found that illustrations allowed her more freedom for self-expression.

She describes her artwork as an alternative to a diary, filled with questions and open to interpretation. Her pieces are known for their vibrant and feminine aesthetics, challenging traditional gender norms. Her Chinese heritage shapes her fascination with legends and myths, which she uses to explore the human psyche. Recently, she has experimented with different artistic techniques, including NFTs and lenticular effects.

Illustrations for Gucci

When asked about seeing her illustrations come to life in Gucci's collection, Phannapast shared,

"I feel incredibly proud, thankful, and appreciative to see my illustrations featured in such a prominent fashion collection. It opened up new doors and paths for me to continue exploring my art in different mediums and building a fuller living universe."

She emphasised that art should be accessible and enjoyable, not confined to one format.

“Art shouldn't be seen as untouchable or inaccessible - it should be a relatable, enjoyable part of people's daily lives. Seeing my illustrations come to life in this collection was an exciting way for more people to experience the joy and vision of my fantastical worlds,”

she added.


Breaking Down Gender Barriers Through Art

Phannapast's vibrant and feminine style is an aesthetic choice and an effort to challenge gender norms.

"When I create my art, I don't consciously think about crafting a feminine style, but rather aim to balance out my own masculine and feminine sides. Breaking down gender barriers is an important part of art and culture,"

Phannapast explained. She recounted a story about a friend’s son who was discouraged from wearing pink, illustrating the persistent stigma around gendered colours. 

"In my work, I want to challenge those outdated notions and celebrate all aspects of identity and heritage."

Her illustrations reflect her personal journey of self-discovery and authenticity.

"My art is about being true to myself, experimenting, and taking risks. I hope my art can help navigate the complexities of coming to terms with one's own place in society,"

she said.

For Phannapast, art is a space free from gender constraints, where colours and styles are for everyone.

"If my vibrant, feminine aesthetic helps break down barriers and make someone feel more comfortable embracing their true self, then I've done my job as an artist. The more we expose people to diverse forms of beauty and identity, the more accepting society will become."

The Role of Technology in Art

Phannapast is optimistic about the role of technology in art, especially AI.

"I believe AI and other emerging technologies have immense potential to aid artists in new ways,"

she said.

Rather than fearing AI's ability to generate art, she sees it as a tool to organise thoughts, gain new perspectives, and challenge herself creatively.

"AI is a brand new being navigating its own identity in modern society, which I find fascinating and relatable,"

she noted. 

Although she does not use AI to generate images, she uses it to uncover deeper feelings and messages for her fantastical worlds. Technology, she believes, is invaluable in the brainstorming and conceptualization phases of art.


Advice for Aspiring Artists

For aspiring artists, Phannapast offers practical advice.

"Keep your core voice and style, but be open to adjusting your communication language to better connect with your audience,"

she advised. She stressed that art is a medium of storytelling that must be fine-tuned to reflect the artist, the art, and the viewer.


Constructive feedback is crucial, and artists should consider rephrasing or reframing their ideas if their message isn't resonating rather than changing your fundamental style.

"The hard work is in finding the right way to express your unique perspective in a way that resonates and sparks the imagination."

Upcoming Projects and Collaborations

Looking ahead, Phannapast is excited about her upcoming projects for the holiday season.

"I'm thrilled to be working on some festive projects that will transport viewers into enchanting realms of wonder and joy,"

she shared.

While she couldn't reveal too many details, she expressed her excitement about expanding her artistic universe in new directions.

"The holiday season is a time when people come together to celebrate love, life, and unity - themes that are core to my work and beliefs. My dream is to create art that brings people together and sparks their imagination. I’m honoured by the trust and support of my community, and I can’t wait to share my imagination with the world."

Phannapast Taychamaythakool challenges norms and explores new frontiers in her art, always with the aim of making it an accessible and joyous part of everyday life.