Energy and joy, that’s what the artwork of Thai illustrator Sippa Rananand boils down to. Vibrant pastel colors, fast lines, and bubbly characters are piled on top of each other in silly shapes and with comical bends. A shaved teddy bear hugs a baby vomiting neon green fluids, an over-caffeinated scooter driver frantically flees a doting Siamese kitten, and Santa smokes a spliff with alien Jesus while one of his drunken elves gropes a sex doll. His work is wild and fun, always surprising, and hard to look away from.
Rananand was born and raised in Bangkok and has been working in this style for about three years now. Although the majority of his work is digital, he also paints canvases and does street art, which is at the root of his style. “Street art made me want to create my own unique character so I could catch people’s attention,” he says. “It can be seen everywhere. It’s an easy and straightforward way to reach people.” His aerosol work can be found around town, usually in collaboration with other artists, each of their characters mushed together in a dense jumble of bright color.
Rananand takes those street art impulses and builds out new worlds around them in his digital work. Instead of just one character, his pieces are packed with dozens, filling the space like a mismatched jigsaw puzzle. His digital work was further inspired by the Thai NFT scene, which is the most active in Southeast Asia. “I saw what other people were doing and it pushed me to develop my own work even further,” he says.
There are a bunch of themes and characters that reappear throughout Rananand’s art. Pets and stuffed animals, musicians and artists, sweet snacks and high-grade weed. His work is a visual sweet tooth, an excess of the little things that make life worth living. “Stuff like candy and snacks bring joy,” he explains. “They’re useless in the scheme of things, but we all work to make money just to buy them. What seems to matters most is finding happiness.”