Drawing Hope: An interview with artist Pazut Wutigornsombatkul

 

The work of artist Pazut Wutigornsombatkul, known to his friends as Ou, has gone viral since June 27, when he first tried to capture Thai people’s hope that the 12 boys and coach of the Moo Pa (Wild Boars) football club would be found alive in Luang cave.

His drawings in the days since have captured the fulfillment of that hope as eight of the four boys have been rescued by Thai and international divers, doctors, and other rescuers.

Coconuts spoke to the artist about his career and his unique way of supporting the effort to save the Moo Pa boys.

Coconuts: Tell us about your history as an artist. What subjects do you like to illustrate? What feelings do you try to convey?

Ou: I started drawing when I was young, and I used to draw in a lot of style of cartoon. After I graduated with a degree in interior design, I worked in that field for two or three years; I felt I didn’t like it that much. Then, I decided to start drawing cartoons and wanted to be a cartoonist.

Over the next few months, I started creating my own style of characters, and in my head, I thought: “It has to be simple.”

But I still had to try many times before I got the final character. In the end, I decided to draw under the name TuagomStudio. “Taugom” means a boy who’s very circular – big head and fat.

When did you decide to do your first illustration of the Moo Pa boys? Why?

First, when I heard news from social media, I felt many people starting [to] panic and get stressed. So, my first idea was that I wanted to help people calm down and relax, so I started drawing.

My first illustration is about hope. I drew the boys and coach inside the cave with four Thai cave rescuers looking and working to find the Moo Pa boys.

The second one is about the English divers finding the Moo Pa boys. Everybody was very excited to hear this news – that’s why I made it into my second illustration. It looks almost the same as he first one, but with more happiness. I included a Thai Navy SEAL in this picture to give moral support to every worker involved.

What inspired you draw a portrait of Governor Narongsak, the chief of the rescue operations?

He’s a very kind, cute adult. I’ve seen him on social media working harder and harder. He shows how to be a leader.

ณรงค์ศักดิ์ โอสถธนากร (ผู้ว่าราชการจังหวัดเชียงราย) . . . 👨🏻‍🎓 ป.ตรี – วิศวกรรมโยธา ม.เกษตร – นิติศาสตร์บัณฑิต และประกาศนียบัตรกฎหมายการที่ดินและทรัพย์สิน ม.สุโขทัยธรรมมาธิราช – เทคโนโลยีสารสนเทศธุรกิจ ม.สุโขทัย -รัฐประศาสนศาสตร์บัณฑิต ม.สุโขทัย 👨🏻‍🎓 ป.โท – Master of Science, The Ohio State University 📝 ประวัติการทำงาน – อนุกรรมการในอนุกรรมการพัฒนาระบบภูมิสารสนเทศพื้นฐาน สำนักงานพัฒนาเทคโนโลยีอวกาศและ ภูมิสารสนเทศ GISTDA – ผู้ทรงคุณวุฒิด้านวิศวกรรมสำรวจ ในคณะทำงานด้านระบบดาวเทียมเพื่อการนำทาง (GNSS) สำนักงานพัฒนาเทคโนโลยีอวกาศ . . . #เฉียบ #idol #ท่านผู้ว่าเชียงราย #ตัวกลมสตูดิโอ #ถ้ำหลวง #ทีมหมูป่า #พิมมือหงิก

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Your Moo Pa drawings have gone viral. What responses have you received?

I’ve gotten responses from everywhere in the world, both comments and inbox messages. Mostly very, very good comments. Many people are saying the best things they can. Everyone respects the Thai workers as well as the international workers. They have been working so hard.

I can see the power of humanity – it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life. We’ve gotten support from around the world. I want to say thank you and that I have so much appreciation for the workers who have sacrificed, for the support pages, and also for the journalists covering this story.


Pazut Wutigornsombatkul is a freelance artist drawing under the name TuagomStudio. His work can be viewed on Instagram, and he can be reached through his Facebook page.

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