[Last edited October, 2016]
I was born in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, where I grew up drawing, devouring books, imbibing animated films and playing out stories. I have lived longer in London now than in Chiang Mai, but I still haven’t stopped doing those things; except that the playing out of stories is more confined to images on paper. I may have been sorely tempted once to audition for the chorus of an amateur Gilbert and Sullivan production, but the thought was quickly extinguished by the horror of having to perform publicly.
My work is fed by my lifelong love of literature, folklore, history, the arts, and the natural world. Like everyone else, every new artist I discover inspires and depresses me afresh in equal measure, though my strongest influences (in other words, those from whom I purloin most) are the ‘Golden Age’ illustrators, Chinese painting, Japanese prints, and Persian miniatures.
In late 2009/early 2010, six of my illustrations for the Folio Society’s 150th anniversary edition of Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám were exhibited in the Folio Society Gallery at the British Library. I was also awarded the Bronze prize in the Books category of the Association of Illustrators Images awards in 2010. I daresay they must have lacked a deal of choice in both cases.
My (cumbersome) formal name is Niroot Puttapipat, but I prefer ‘Natee’ (นัทที/นที), which was in fact the very first name my parents gave me before a change was voted upon by family elders. It’s complicated. Or I’m also happy with my Thai (more specifically, Lanna) nickname, ‘Peng’ (เป้ง).
‘Himmapaan’ is the name of a forest in Thai mythology, itself derived from its Hindu origin of Himavanta. I chose it as my handle upon first entering the murky world of the internet. It suited me and it stuck, and so I kept it for this blog, too.
One last — and rather important — thing. I am gender dysphoric, and whilst I identify more as female, I have chosen to be reconciled (for want of a better description) with a non-binary gender identity. Avoidance of male pronouns, titles, and honorifics in favour of my preferred name(s) or the singular ‘they’ will be met with an eternity of gratitude by yours, truly. 🙂
P. S. I’m much too fond of parentheses. As you see.