MaryAnn Loo

Art Series: “PenguinGirl & Friends”

“Once upon a sky there was a PenguinGirl,
Who was quirky, curious and confused about the world.
She lived with her Penguins in the clouds and open spaces,
And couldn’t help looking for love in lost places.”

“PenguinGirl & Friends” is a series of character-based illustrations featuring moments from PenguinGirl’s attempts to navigate her way through life and love.

PenguinGirl’s antithesis is the NightFaun, an antlered deer-girl creature who lives in the forest.

The stories of PenguinGirl and NightFaun are still evolving as the illustrations come along, so stay tuned to see what they turn into!

Check out available art from this series here.

Art Series: “PenguinGirl in Famous Artworks

This series emerged as a creative response to the age-old question: “Who am I?”

It began in 2018, when I placed PenguinGirl in various master artworks, in search of an answer to: “What kind of artist am I?”

What I didn’t know then was that every artist goes through phases of figuring out who they are and what their work is all about. This is also the same for every human being in the world.

Thus PenguinGirl (as a character who represents me) is simultaneously a symbol for all for who long to find their place in this world, and to discover who they truly are.

Check out available art from this series here.

Art Series: “PenguinGirl in Wonderland”

The penguins in my work are a universal representation of humanity as our true selves. Thus, in the series “PenguinGirl in Wonderland”, these penguin-hybrids are untrue versions of ourselves, and contribute to the chaos and madness around PenguinGIrl, like what Alice experiences in Wonderland.

While the series wasn’t intended as a commentary on the COVID-19 pandemic, these illustrations were created in March to April 2020, at the beginnings of this time of confusion and uncertainty in the world. Yet even without the current crisis, the idea of stability and certainty in life is an illusion. Whether we realise it or not, we are always questioning who we are, what our purpose is, what life is all about… and uncertainty and confusion has always been part of our evolutionary journey.

Though the use of bright colours and cute characters, my work portrays this journey with whimsy and lightness, reminding us that the unknown is not to be feared, but to be embraced as part of the process of learning to go with the flow, and making the best of what we get along the way. And each obstacle is an opportunity for growth, new adventure, and discovering more of our true selves.

These works were exhibited at the Elisabeth Jones Arts Center in Portland, Oregon, USA, from January to March 2021.

View my other galleries:

Project: 100 Dream Trees

Art Series: Little Dreamers

Art Series: Dreaming Penguins

Art Series: Illustrated Travel Stories