We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Vo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“We all pretend to be the heroes on the good side, but what if we’re the villains on the other?” These lyrics from Stella Jang’s track Villain often prompted me to introspect on my thoughts, decisions, and experiences. It reminded me to observe myself and strive to be more empathetic towards others. On the flip side, “You are not how other people see you […] the real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself” is a quote that resonates with me right now. In response to my own conflicting thoughts, I am left with uncertainties about my authenticity as an artist. Though these phrases may not be complete affirmations, they’re valuable for me as I’m learning how to enjoy the process of the unknown.Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I express colorful emotions, interpreted through movement, by creating color studies that experiment with palettes, placement, and form. My work utilizes overall simplicity in form with attention to colorful details such as wavy lines, dots, and abstract shapes. I use these shapes as my visual language because I am fascinated by how they could become simple and, when put together collectively, complex. Through using this language, my work often emphasizes interpersonal moments and poses hypothetical questions that challenge the viewer’s stance topics related to mental and emotional wellbeing. Through audiovisual animations and objects, I create conversations about the uncertainties in relationships. I also call attention to the quiet moments that are often overlooked but are encountered daily and can influence one’s overall happiness. My work suggests taking a moment to stop and process scenes that the viewer considers beautiful, and in doing so, evokes a sense of appreciation for the simple joys of life. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I am always learning and shaping how I want my profession to be. In addition, as my life transitions, some notable lessons that I learned along the way is that “if there’s ever a choice you’ve made that you no longer agree with, you can make another choice.” (Jonathan Maberry) Another is to accept and love the me from the past, and allow myself to live with regret but not let it consume me. Lastly, is that my purpose in life is not to love myself, but to love being myself.Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Assuming my best friend had the exact same interests as me, my ideal itinerary around Houston would be to gorge on delicious food, read some books, enjoy the scenery, create some art, and then sing! We’d start our day in Bellaire to eat Vietnamese sandwiches at Nguyen Ngo along with tofu next door and drink milk tea from either Long Coffee, Teatop, or Yumcha. If we still had the munchies we’d stop by Beard Papa for some cream puffs too. After eating we’d drop by either Barnes & Noble, Half Price Books, Kinokuniya, or our local library to read books. Once our stomachs settled, we’d walk around the McGovern Centennial Gardens to enjoy the scenery. Afterwards, if needed, we’d grab some art supplies from either Jerry’s Artarama, Texas Art Supply, etc. and sit in a coffee shop to create art together. Once it’s evening time, we’d grab dinner somewhere and head off to go sing at a karaoke bar, such as Soju101, until we’re satisfied for the night. Of course, this would be the perfect hangout once we’re all safe and COVID-19 has been eradicated. Begone COVID!Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support from my creative friends from middle school. Thank you for encouraging me back then to keep creating art, despite my feelings of inadequacy, you’ve ignited a passion in my life which would’ve been overlooked if I hadn’t met y’all. Shoutout to my family, friends, and everybody who’ve viewed, expressed interest, and interacted with me about my passion for art. I intend to continue creating and sharing it with all of y’all!