So You Think You Can Paint?


My Take

I thought I could but after seeing So Yoon Lym’s work ,  I’m starting to doubt myself. I seriously  need to step my game up. Not so much to do what she does with a brush but to obtain the level of dedication it takes to create such photographic images. Talent is one thing but dedication is another and might be the key ruling ingredient for success. Yes, dedication and/or ambition trumps talent any day.

When I initially saw these works of art my 1st thought was, ‘Cool photos.’ But when I read that they were actually paintings I became even more intrigued. I’ve seen great paintings before, I’ve seen great photographs before and I’ve seen great photographic paintings before but this was different. As with the latter I’d already been informed I was watching a painstakingly painted image that bore a striking resembles to reality. But in this instances it’s different because I started out on an assumption and then later came to a realistion. This way, for me  the images live in 2 worlds and can have a multilayered significance.

But there is another reason why these images caught my eye. I braid hair. So on many occasions I’ve created such designs for numerous  men & women. And if you’ve ever braided hair then you know how taxing hours of braiding can be on the body. Not only on your fingers but also  your neck, your lower back and even the heels. Midway I’d sometimes contemplate running away and leaving the work incomplete. So obviously I was glad when it was all done. But in a matters hours I was done. I doubt that this was the case for So Yoon Lym.  This is not a day’s work but days and days of work. And that is why these drawings will get more uuuuuh’s & aaaaah’s then anything I’ve ever braided in anyones hair.

SIDENOTE: Shout out to hairstylist(s) that created these looks in the medium of hair.

The Work

Acrylic on Paper 22″ x 30″ 2010

In the summer of 2008, So Yoon Lym started to paint images of conrowed hair. Driven by her interest in cultural and social relationships.

 “The Dreamtime”, consists of a series of aerial paintings. Inspired by pre-colonial Aboriginal Australian‘s understanding of their Dreamtime.

See more of her work at

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