*Cue Supernova Girl by Proto Zoa from Zenon*
‘Sup earthlings! Nebula here…LOL jk (don’t leave)… Are y’all ready for this week’s out of this world Leave Your Mark feature? Introducing the talented, Tuyen Le. This week we not only cover, one but TWO of his passions, art and music. Incorporating his unique style and love for space, Tuyen describes his artwork to be Bob Ross-esque with a twist and his music more closely, but not limited to electronic/synth. With his unique creativity and stellar tunes, I can guarantee this feature will definitely help you escape this planet for a little while.
“Practice doesn’t make perfect without learning from your mistakes.”
Who is Tuyen? Tell us about yourself…
Hiii!! I’m TUYEN! I have a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree. I love making people laugh and I’m always trying to make new jokes. Now that I’ve graduated with an Engineering degree, my mom says I can be a stand-up comedian now. 🙂
I used to be a sushi chef, dressed as a ninja. Then, I was a math instructor for kids. Now, I visit construction sites for mechanical engineering work. Some of my hobbies include drawing, painting, and making music. I love to sing, I love to dance. I love the arts.
Tell us how you first got into music and art and what why?
When I was a kid, I used to draw characters from cartoons and anime that I watched. Friends and teachers would praise me for my work, and it probably was the catalyst. Eventually, I took pride in my work and honed my skills to draw better. In recent years, I wanted to go beyond drawing and experiment with paint.
I picked up the guitar because I wanted to be cool. The movie, School of Rock, inspired me to practice even more! I wasn’t cool enough to be a band though. As I got deeper and deeper into music, I started trying to record my songs. I eventually found it easier to produce electronic music as opposed to recording live instruments. I’m not as physically capable as my mental understanding!
What genre of music and style of art do you consider yourself to be?
My drawings are stylized similarly to anime/manga. My paintings are usually color-popping art. I love colors! My recent paintings are almost like Bob Ross paintings, but with a color twist.
My music could, perhaps, be shortly described briefly as electronic/synth music. I try to avoid becoming too specifically stylized because I didn’t want my sound to become bland. Hopefully there’s at least one tune that vibes with you!
Who or what influenced the galactic theme for your music?
I’ve always loved space. When I started making music, recording live instruments was difficult without proper gear and equipment. It was easier to produce synthesized sounds on the computer. Some people have described my older tracks to sound like video game music. Eventually, my music became refined to have an ethereal sound, ultimately setting the stage for the galactic theme.
Interstellar Drive 5 – my stage name I chose for my electronic/synth music. The stage name was directly influenced from a game Spore, where the name of a spaceship engine was called the interstellar drive. The name was also influenced by Daft Punk’s Interstella 5555.
With the name, Interstellar Drive 5, the music is surely set to sound cosmic.
Name a musician and artist you would like to collaborate with and why?
Lady Gaga! Her music always makes me wanna boogie. Her voice is so vibrant and strong. I loooooove her. Lady Gaga is beyond talented and I admire her vision. She’s both music and artsy! I wish I could do some cosmic-type music with her! OoOoOooOooOoo~ That would be so cool!
If you were to choose one song and one piece of art, which one would you say you resonate with the most?
After taking a leap of faith to start painting, I wanted to be bold and try new things. In this piece, it started to come together as a wintery setting. I was originally hesitant to dot the colored lights, but then I took a shot. I might’ve gotten carried away with the lights, but maybe not! It’s one of my better pieces and I absolutely love that I made this!
One of my favorite tunes I’ve composed is Stardust Sea (see below). It just hits so hard and finishes just enough for me wanting a little more. Maybe I could’ve added another verse or something, but it felt righteous to keep it brief. I love the moment the duet ends and the electronic lead begins. It feels like I’m flying through space! You’d also be surprised to know that the girl’s voice is actually me. 😉
Where can you see yourself progressing with your projects and what would be your goal?
Once your talents have been realized and mastered, the next task is to combine all skills into a masterpiece. I dream of marrying my art and music together. I hope to make animated music videos for my songs. The ultimate goal would be to make an animated movie accompanied with my music as the soundtrack. The difficulty is having the patience & dedication to the craft. That is the way of all artforms.
What role do you have in society and/or how do you wish to contribute?
I currently work in the construction industry, specifically HVAC mechanical systems. I help keep it cool. Hehe.
I hope my artistic vision can be utilized in my career and possibly discover new approaches to the engineering field! Everything is an artform. Art is the way of ways. Artwork is the product of your art.
Explain a time where you’ve used talents to inspire the community and how do you hope to keep doing so?
On occasions, I would invite friends to paint with me or record on a song with me. I love being able to include my friends in my projects and doing things they’ve never done before! It’s kinda cool to have a moment of friendship eternally captured in the energy of the art/music. It’s never about being good at art/music, it’s about having fun because you enjoyed doing it!
Lastly, what is the best piece of advice you can give in life?
Some people aren’t born with natural talents and gifts; they work to develop their skills, refine their form, and hone their talents. Practice doesn’t make perfect without learning from your mistakes. With enough time, anything becomes quite certain. It’s never too late to start today, because it’ll be years ago tomorrow.
Always be proud of your work because it’s the best you can do right now. Growing to realize your old work was imperfect should not lessen the value of your old work. Your old work was the best that got you here where you are today. Sometimes, the beauty is in the simplicity. Don’t seek to emulate somebody else; be yourself. If anything, just be you and do what you love.
Explore Tuyen’s Stellar Socials :
To Tuyen : It’s so exciting for me to finally showcase your amazing gifts!!! I’ve always known how talented you were from the beginning of our friendship (when you painted that glow in the dark dinosaur picture for my sister) and how far you’ve come along throughout these years. I truly appreciate how you’re not afraid to display and incorporate your eccentric personality within your art and music. There’s no doubt that your unique abilities and drive will play a role in your success. I cannot wait to see more of what you can create! Proud of you, bud! Keep being you!
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