We caught up with illustrator Prates "POP” Songtieng featured in our previous feature of “Three Timeless Illustrators You Should Know and got his pop on the current state of things. He is currently stuck in Thailand with family but genuinely missing NYc. Pop is known across several industries not only as a talented illustrator but as an impeccably dressed guy. I’ve always said that the best dressed guys get best dressed on their way to something. Dressing up for the sake of dressing up gets old quick.
On the state of the world right now.
'What on earth is happening right now, I don't know but all I know is I’ve learnt a lot from this pandemic.
I booked a flight to Thailand to visit my family months before the pandemic started. I got to Thailand the same week New York got crazy with the spread of the virus. I did not see it coming, I felt lucky that I got to stay-in and lockdown with my parents. It is safer here but a piece of my heart is still in New York. I am worried about my partner and my friends, I keep checking with them to see if they are ok or if they need anything.
What was the first week like?
In the first week of quarantine, it was hard...I felt exhausted, worried, overwhelmed and anxiety took over me. I realized that to be healthy and to have freedom is precious and a luxury. Especially if you live in a big city like New York, to be able to get to places 24/7 and do whatever you want. The city has spoiled me. But now I am getting used to it. I actually really enjoy being with myself, I have learned to work on me. I've actually taken a lot of time to be more creative since I have all the time in the world- exploration through painting in different mediums, making crafts.
And work, how’s that been affected.
I am grateful to be actively working, I am working on a few projects these days so it's keeping me busy and focused. And to know that my loved ones are safe when there's so much uncertainty. My heart is heavy for anyone that isn't and I hope that people will realize that a virus doesn't care about race, age, gender, sexual orientation, or a financial status -- that we are in this situation together and created equally so we ought to start loving and treating one another as such. I also learned to be more thankful for the basic things in life, friendships, family to feel connected to my circle of friends.
New York, I miss you already! I'll see you soon.
photo credit: featured image Cesarin Mateo | story images: by Gem.