Purple dragons fly around neon green flames and fluorescent yellow smoke, weaving between angels, demons, Buddhas, and even Zeus. At the center of all this is Boss Bitch, a character colored in cherry red and bombastic pink, with lasers exploding from her eyes and a halo floating around her spiked hair. This illustration is a new stage in the work of Thai illustrator Suwimon Numsawad, better known by her artist pseudonym NZYME.
只见在荧光绿火焰和亮黄色烟雾中，紫色龙群翱翔于天使、恶魔、佛陀和宙斯身边。酷女孩“Boss Bitch”位于画面正中，樱桃红和亮眼粉色加饰全身，激光从她的眼中发射，光环悬浮于尖刺发型之上。这幅作品标志着泰国插画家 Suwimon Numsawad（化名 NZYME）在创作上的全新阶段。
这幅插图将 Suwimon 以往和如今的创作风格联通成线。纷繁画面上那个名为 Boss Bitch 的角色，来源于一次她与其他艺术家展开的一场角色创作比赛。比赛中，艺术家们分别创作英雄或大反派来作以创作上的比拼。而她与笔下这位 Boss Bitch 的故事也从那场比赛展开。
Raised in Suphanburi province outside of Bangkok, Numsawad was isolated as an artist. “My hometown doesn’t have any art schools, galleries, or museums, so comics were my art school,” she laughs. Thai comics and Japanese Shonen manga became her earliest entryways into the art world, and she started drawing by imitating their styles. Eventually she went to university to major in animation design, but her original influences are still clear in her style to this day, whether it be the halftone shading, flamboyant characters, comic-panel composition, or the inclusion of bold text. “I think text makes my work more fun and presents a message clearly,” she says. “It also helps add variety to empty space. I prefer English to Thai because it’s not so busy and distracting, but also because it’s the most universal language.”
Numsawad’s work often incorporates feminist themes. The 2020 competition she created Boss Bitch for was a “character battle,” where artists challenged each other to create the winning hero (or anti-hero), but it was overwhelmingly comprised of male characters. “I designed her with the concept that ‘God is a woman’ and she has to be kind of badass,” she says.
In a similarly empowering fashion, Sorry Mom riffs off a 1995 interview with American pop singer Cher, who said that when her mom told her to marry a rich man, she replied that she’s a rich man herself. “I think that Santa Claus must be wealthier than any rich man to buy gifts for all the children around the world,” Numsawad says. “So I drew Santa as a badass girl saying, ‘Mom, I am Santa Claus!'”
Suwimon 的作品经常与女权话题联系在一起。2020 年，她带着 Boss Bitch 这个角色参赛时，参赛作品中绝大多数角色还都是男性。她说：“创作灵感来自‘上帝是女人’这句话，我想她一定是个女魔头。”
带有时尚意味的作品《对不住了，老妈》（Sorry Mom），体现了同样的女性赋权主题。其灵感源于 1995 年美国流行歌手 Cher 的一篇采访。Cher 提到，她妈曾表示女儿要嫁给有富人，她却反驳认为自己本身就是个有钱人。Suwimon 接着说：“我觉得圣诞老人肯定比世界上任何人都更有钱，毕竟可以为全世界小孩准备礼物。所以我画了一位很酷的女生版圣诞老人，还附上一句话，‘妈，我自己就是圣诞老人！（我拥有全天下所有礼物）’”
Her Yellow Fever piece carried a similar message, with a woman front and center, staring out at the viewer with a vengeful gaze. It was created as fan art for a music video by local musician Pyra where the rapper verbally eviscerates white men who view her home city as a sex tourist hotspot. Seeing how the video included so many motifs from local Thai culture, it inspired Numsawad to have more confidence in her heritage too. Since then, she’s increasingly been adding elements found across Thailand into her work. She notes that the Web3 community has responded positively to this new artistic direction: “Without NFTs, I don’t know if anyone in my country would have bought my art. Plus, the price isn’t based on the Thai economy, so I get compensated higher.”
Numsawad had previously added Thai features to her work, but it was a much less frequent affair. A Halloween-themed piece, for example, flipped the US holiday on its head by featuring a medley of malevolent creatures from local myths: “I really like the festival, even though it’s not celebrated in Thailand. So my Halloween characters are all ghosts from Thai folklore.” There’s Phi Krasue, a ghost that removes her head and entrails from her body to float out to eat rotten food and poultry at night. And there’s also Mae Nak, a ghost that died during pregnancy.
Suwimon 在之前的作品中也会加入泰国元素，只是从未如此明显。她笔下的万圣节主题作品，以泰国本土民间传说中的鬼怪，重新演绎这个来自美国的节日：“泰国本地没有这个节日，但我很喜欢万圣节。”这些角色中，有“Phi Krasue”，一只可以把头从身体上摘下来的女鬼，她的头会在晚上四处漂浮，吃各种腐烂的食物和家禽；还有 “Mae Nak”，一只在怀孕期间死亡的鬼魂。
For most of her creative life, Numsawad has been a lone wolf. In university, she befriended a few fellow art students and chatted to some others on Instagram, but these connections were often surface level. With the Thai NFT community in full swing, she says she feels much more connected now. Seeing her efforts and individuality rewarded has given her a newfound confidence. “Everyone’s very supportive of each other, whether they’re an old artist or a new one.”
在她创作生涯的大部分时间里，Suwimon 一直独来独往。大学里，她结识了几名艺术系学生，也在 Instagram 上与他人建立往来，但这些往往都只是泛泛之交。随着泰国 NFT 圈子的兴起，她感觉当下人与人有了更多连接：“无论是资深艺术家或是艺术新人，彼此之间都能互相支持。”
In addition to creating a welcoming community, NFT sales have freed Numsawad from the limits imposed by clients for graphic design and commission work. “It’s given me the courage to express myself more, I can be myself and earn money at the same time,” she explains. “My work has become much more detailed because I can put any idea into a piece that I want and there are many people ready to support me. It has allowed my work to reach people around the world.”
除了作为交友社区外，NFT 平台还为 Suwimon 提供了销售渠道，让她得以摆脱创作和客户委托时的外界限制。她解释道：“我更敢于去表达，创作上更随心所欲，同时又能赚到钱。我可以创作更加细致的作品，因为我可以将所有想法都放入作品中，并有很多人支持我。它让我的作品能与世界各地的观众连接。”
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Contributor: Mike Steyels
Chinese Translation: Yang Young
供稿人: Mike Steyels
英译中: Yang Young