1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar

Sydney disability support worker and artist, Dentan creates free-hand illustrations and wearable art, predominantly featuring cute and quirky characters with positive messages about love and life

12 April 2019

Designer Spotlight: dentanARTS

visit store

Man of many hats; musician, disability support worker & artist, Dentan: “I find it interesting to be able to make my mark and it is there permanently

My name is Dentan and I am also known as King. King is my middle name. I create original art and wearable art that mostly features cute girls. I am a self-taught artist and I learn by experimenting a lot and scouring the internet for drawing ideas and styles.

I can draw for hours at a time. I work on my own making these creations. I live with my lovely wife and two adorable dogs named King and Coco. Yes, coincidently, one of my rescue dogs is also called King.

Some of Dentan’s hand-illustrated wearable art pieces

I work full time as a disability support practitioner. It can be quite stressful assisting my clients with disabilities and it is great to be able to come home and unwind by making unique creations.

More than a decade ago I was extremely busy working as an art director in Hong Kong creating advertisements for major international clients. I worked about 14 years in advertising with a busy and heavy workload that was unsustainable and affected my health. Then we decided to migrate to Australia in 2007 for a less hectic way of life and to enjoy a better lifestyle too.

 Sydney disability support worker and artist, Dentan creates free-hand illustrations and wearable art, predominantly featuring cute and quirky characters with positive messages about love and life

It is important to me that I have a creative outlet to be able to experiment and create something that people will like to keep and treasure. All of my creations are original art and one of a kind. I think if it is mass-produced then it is not as unique or as interesting.

Cute girl illustration in a handmade wire frame by dentanARTS: ‘I was inspired to make something out of nothing’

I also believe in the motto Less is More. I have always been creating things. My favourite book growing up was a book called Something Out of Nothing. It was very imaginative and created lovely things from ordinary objects. I was inspired to make something out of nothing ever since. Sadly, I cannot find this book anywhere after it went missing.

Dentan at work on a free-flowing artwork in his garden-view living room

I mainly work in the living room at the back of the house where I can see the back garden. Sometimes I look at the fish in the fish pond and it is so calming. It is also exciting at times when my small dog Coco trying her hardest to catch a bird in the garden. She has never been successful. I also draw everywhere around the house because the items I make are not huge in size. I can be on a sofa or the floor anywhere in the house or outside just drawing.

I work mainly with markers and watercolour paper, but I have drawn on pebbles, dried leaves and wood slices. I find it interesting to be able to make my mark and it is there permanently.

A handmade cardboard shadow box with layered illustrations by dentanARTS

I am inspired by anything and anyone around me. Sometimes I will be on Instagram just looking at the countless videos of people’s drawing or painting processes. I find it very interesting and I am also able to learn something new in this way. There is so much talent out there and I am always very impressed.

Some of Dentan’s artworks in progress in his home workspace: ‘I challenge myself and I do not draw any pencil lines or draft beforehand’

I challenge myself and I do not draw any pencil lines or draft beforehand. I will just have an empty page or canvas and then imagine what the creation will be and dive straight in with a marker pen. There have been numerous mistakes, but I have improved with time and now there are rarely mistakes that need me to start over from scratch.

Some of Dentan’s ‘cute girl’ characters cut out ready for colouring: ‘if it is mass-produced then it is not as unique or as interesting’

I come from a family of musicians and lawyers. I started with being a music performer in school bands progressing to performing in pubs and shopping centres for a while. I was dabbling in photography too. That developed into portrait photography and I also sell my images online as stock images. Then I had to decide between playing music or becoming a creative graphic designer.

Colourful characters on canvas by dentanARTS

My dad convinced me to pursue the path of a designer so that is what I studied, and I also completed a degree in Advertising in Perth, Western Australia. Being in the creative field really helped me develop my skills in improving my eye for detail and doing a project from start to finish on my own.

A myriad of hand-illustrated characters by dentanARTS: ‘When people see my creations for the first time, I think they can’t imagine me producing them’

When people see my creations for the first time, I think they can’t imagine me producing them. There have been many genuine surprises along the way. Probably it is because I do not look like someone who makes things like this. But when I create something with my own hands, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. I am creating something unique that I can really call my own to share with the world. It is like therapy for me when I draw something. It relaxes me and helps me maintain my focus.

A range of card-mounted illustrations with positive messages about love and heartbreak

Madeit has given me the opportunity to showcase my creations and it has been great to see the incredible body of work that the Madeit community has been doing. I love that it is highlighting Australian makers too. I have been trying to find a platform that is easy to use, and I think this is what I have been looking for. It is not easy to stand out and be seen, as there are so many talented makers around, so I appreciate this opportunity to showcase my work for everyone to see.



Visit dentanARTS to find one-of-a-kind illustrations and wearable art: Dentanarts

Recent Blog Posts