“A Day in the Life” with multi-disciplinary artist Yen Linh Thai

I’ve known Linh Thai for almost half my life. She is my best friend, supporter, and confidante — an amazing, warm-hearted person I am proud to call my partner. We grew up in neighbouring cities, but met while attending school together. Even then, her passion and aptitude for art was very obvious!

Today, you can find Linh across the GTA working on a variety of artistic projects. Whether it’s public art, illustration, or teaching workshops, Linh’s playful art style and genuine enthusiasm always shines through. Her artwork draws from many inspirations, including the whimsical and fantastical, Vietnamese culture, and a love for animals.

As a non-artist, it is always fascinating to see Linh go from brainstorming a concept to a final product. From an outsider’s perspective, it seems like magic. Throughout the years we’ve been together, I’ve come to learn this is not the case. Years of perseverance and hard work have allowed her to refine her craft and acquire the skills she has today. I am very proud of her accomplishments, and love that she continues to involve herself in the art community in so many ways. Art is something that should be enjoyed and accessible to all; Linh’s warm personality and enthusiasm for her craft makes her a great contributor to this amazing industry.

– Jonathan Leung, partner

artist Yen Linh Thai
Me with my art activation Let’s Eat! for STEPS Initiative and the Toronto Chinatown BIA, photo by Selina McCallum
Painting a mural for High Park Zoo
Painting a mural for High Park Zoo
artist Yen Linh Thai
Dinner with my partner, we love to eat and sushi is one of my favourites
My dogs Bebe, Brownie and Junior on Brownie's 15th Birthday
My dogs Bebe, Brownie and Junior on Brownie’s 15th Birthday
artist Yen Linh Thai
Seeing one of my artist inspirations Sarah Sze at the MOCA pre-covid
My studio space. The artwork on the screens is from when I was working on the Maps of Mississauga project with the city this summer
My studio space. The artwork on the screens is from when I was working on the Maps of Mississauga project with the city this summer
artist Yen Linh Thai
My partner’s makeshift work station to keep me company while I paint
I collect a lot of photos for inspiration. Here's a busy bee on some pretty plants
I collect a lot of photos for inspiration. Here’s a busy bee on some pretty plants

Which ‘hood are you in?

I live in Mississauga, but I will go wherever there is delicious food and adventure!

What do you do?

I am a multi-disciplinary artist, muralist and illustrator. I make whimsical artworks inspired by stories and storytelling. My art practice is primarily drawing-based, but I like to experiment so my work ranges from illustrations and papercuts to stop motion animation and immersive light installations. Sometimes, I teach art workshops. Most recently, I’ve been painting murals!

What are you currently working on?

I am on the tail end of a few awesome projects this fall. First, the art activation with STEPS Initiative and the Toronto Chinatown BIA. I illustrated table top covers for a set picnic tables inspired by the diverse cultures and cuisines in the community. This project made me very hungry but I felt like all the food photos in my phone finally served their purpose!

I spent some time with the animals at High Park Zoo and painted a mural under the watchful eyes of the bison. I was also one of the mentees at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), where we spent 6 weeks painting Michael Lin’s beautiful immersive floor installation. We finished just before the winter lockdown and I hope to visit it when everything opens up again. I plan to spend the winter working on some personal projects, relaxing and recharging in preparation for the new year.

Where can we find your work?

My website yenlinhthai.com and instagram @yenlinh.thai

Recent murals I have done are at High Park Zoo, on the Bell Boxes in front of Graham Park (Toronto) and Sir Adam Beck Junior School (Etobicoke) and on the bike barriers on Scarlett road among 473 barriers by 140 other artists!

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 2072 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography