Yaoyao Ma Van As's illustrations depict the subtle joys of living alone, like being able to take a long bath or just cuddling your pet in bed.
Many people conflate being alone with loneliness. Being alone is something someone does by choice while being lonely is not really an option. The thing is, spending time with people all the time can get hectic and drain the energy out of you. It's always great to get some time to yourself, and the best way to do that is by staying alone. Sure, not every day is going to be a blast when you're living alone, but for the most part, it is an amazing feeling.
Yaoyao Ma Van As, a 34-year-old painter and illustrator in Los Angeles, has managed to perfectly capture the subtle joys of being alone and she's converted them into illustrations that all of us can relate to. Ma Van As, who is now married and has done background art for shows like Rick and Morty and BoJack Horseman, drew the compelling pieces because she felt it was high time that she started doing something just for herself.
“Despite working in the industry, I barely had time to draw for myself,” Ma Van As told HuffPost. “Before I knew it, I started drawing experiences from my life because it was just so easy for me to portray.” The illustrations basically are instances from her life when she was living alone with her little dog Parker. The cute pupper has been featured in several of her illustrations, and it shows just how important Parker is.
“Living alone isn’t as scary as it seems!” the artist said. “Yes, there were definitely times that it sucked, but there were also countless amazing moments as well. It’s knowing that you’re on your own, and each decision you make is directly affecting how you move forward with your life,” she added, “Each day you learn to be more independent than the day before. It’s definitely an experience that should be embraced.“
Ma Van As’ art focuses on her favorite aspects of being alone. “My favorite part [of living alone] was playing music and let it echo through the apartment. Sometimes I’d take a bath, or draw, and get completely lost in the moment of just being by myself.” The main thing that Ma Van As hopes to convey through her illustrations is that living on your own is not really scary. In fact, it's quite the opposite; it's liberating.
“Alone does not mean lonely! Sometimes you can be surrounded by hundreds of people but still feel totally isolated,” she exclaimed, “It’s healthy to be around others, but it’s also healthy to be comfortable enough to spend time by yourself.” Be it cleaning the house according to your convenience or waking up as you please, there are things you can only experience if you live alone. You get to learn a lot, about yourself and about life and it's quite blissful!