The Musings of Kucing Miso | #ytwalkoflife
There’s something about Dianne Tahir’s drawings that is instantly endearing. Never glossing over the awkward or the unglamorous, we recognize bits of ourselves reflected in the tiny characters that peek out of her drawings. These are the parts of ourselves that we try to shelve away for private moments, while we present a perfectly crafted, I’ve-got-my-life-together, no-the-world-isn’t-crumbling-at-my-feet front to the world at large. Just like her art, Dianne carries herself with the ease of someone who is utterly comfortable with the components of her being. Quirky, candid and down to Earth, it is no trouble mirroring the art to the artist. Meeting Dianne for the first time feels like reconnecting with an old friend, her inquisitive and inclusive attitude both calming and invigorating at the same time.

Dianne is wearing YT x ALIA Emily Mules
Better known by her Instagram handle, @kucingmiso and her work with lifestyle brand Snackfood, Dianne doesn’t remember the first time she put pencil to paper, because drawing is something she’s been doing all her life. Coming from an upbringing that encouraged hands-on activity, Dianne recalls a childhood where it was commonplace to create things from scratch. Whether cutting vegetables for food or building crates for their pets, the drive to create was instilled from a young age. As such, Dianne found that expressing her thoughts by using her hands to make lines form on paper came more naturally than speaking up.
 
“I wasn’t good at talking, so I felt like drawing was so much easier,” confides Dianne, with a chuckle. “When I would fight with my sister, I wouldn’t argue or yell, instead I’d just draw her grave, or something really morbid like that.”
 
When Dianne started living alone in her late teens, drawing took on a bigger role in her life. Without the ruckus of family life, intense silence began to take root in her home, and she turned to music for reprieve. The company of music became a balm, then a source of inspiration, but she felt disinclined to compose any songs of her own, believing that she lacked the musical capabilities. Instead she reacted in the best way she knew how: “I loved the beauty of sound, but I didn’t know how to translate it in my own way. I needed some sort of release from it, so I started drawing in response to the songs I hear”
 
The limitlessness of drawing is what keeps Dianne in love with the craft. Without being confined to a set of rules, she figured out early on that there were endless shapes, mediums and ideas to explore on a page. Her lack of formal art education means that she never felt the need to model her work on an existing blueprint or – as she puts it – grid. Her thoughts were given room to tumble and take shape directly onto the page without filter or expectation.
Dianne is wearing Hayley Flatform
It is while drawing that Dianne experiences the most freedom – something she appreciates and cherishes. She recognizes this freedom in the creative process as well as her subject matter. The desire to capture and convey this sense of freedom is what motivates her to create raw and honest images, never seeking to embellish, but to be content with the strange, awkward and beautiful struggle of everyday existence. Whether her art inspires a giggle or resonates someplace deeper, she hopes that those undertones are heard and felt.
 
“You remember things because you feel. You like someone because you feel. That’s a good way to start living. If you feel yourself and you feel every inch of your body, heart and mind – that’s when we become endless. That’s what I want to capture in everything I do. It doesn’t matter if it’s drawing or talking to people, working or sleeping.”
 
The honesty that permeates Dianne’s work is evident in her representations of women. Often depicted in the nude, Dianne explores the many shapes, sizes and colors we possess. She is interested in the intimate, quiet moments of womanhood, the balancing act of our anger and our charm, our silly and our serious. Some of her women recline in solitary contemplation, while others frolic in suspended space together, like a gathering of mythological beings.
Dianne is wearing Hayley Flatform
 
“Being a woman is a powerful thing. Every woman I meet has a superpower,” says Dianne, “In a woman’s life, it's never the same day. We’re always multitasking. Most of the time we don’t know who we are and yet we know who we are. It’s a magical thing.”
 
The majority of her artwork consists of line drawings, rendered with a black pen or pencil on any blank surface. More recently however, she has ventured into experimenting with colors in her drawings, sometimes expanding to full-fledged paintings where vast planes of color and texture are free to languidly spread. Elaborating on her initial hesitance to add color to her work, she explains, “I used to be afraid of colors! There are too many of them”. Beginning her foray into using colors with just two contrasting shades of blue paint, gifted from a friend, she now enjoys the uncertainty and challenge offered by a broader color palette.
 
Dianne’s art is a catalogue of satirical but truthful expressions of our attempts at navigating this thing called life. In the future, she hopes to facilitate community-based art projects, starting with family and then expanding to a larger scope. On a personal level, she looks forward to taking her art out of the studio and onto a larger platform, putting together her first exhibition. We look forward to being further enlightened by her unique perspective, refreshing vitality and self-awareness as she develops her visual vocabulary, always reminding us of what’s real.
Artwork by Dianne Tahir
 
Here’s what Dianne Tahir has to say about Yoke & Theam shoes!
 
You got to try our shoes during the shoot. Which pair was your favorite? Can you tell us a little about it?
My favorite pair was the mules. (I call them lady shoes with strings lol) As someone who wears sneakers all year round, it was an amusing change. I'm usually reluctant to wear lady shoes because I am afraid I can’t take over the town in it but this one felt appropriate and magical. I felt like Thumbelina. 
 
As an on-the-go artist, do you think our shoes can ensure support and style for practical situations and fancy events? 
I think everyone likes to have their personality on what they wear. The mules are an awesome pick. It allows me to be expressive in the smallest details. 
On day to day I wear things that make me feel active and fun. I can move about confidently, through days and weeks. I think I would see myself using more of the slip-ons for a normal day.
 
Do you think our shoes compliment your personal style? 
It does. I just need to grow with them. Just like how I do with everything else.
 
The #ytwalkoflife campaign is an initiative to connect with ambitious, empowered women and share their unique perspectives with the world so that they can continue to inspire others. What are your thoughts on this?
I think sharing should never stop. Sharing makes the problem we face not seem so overwhelmingly large and ourselves disproportionately small. Everybody affects irrevocably for the better lives of people around them. 
 
When I am feeling down I would watch documentaries and interviews on other people – it doesn’t matter if they are artists or not. When they share the truth about themselves and how mad they are about the work they do, it emancipates my desire for action. 
 
 
Photography: Amani Azlin
Styling: Saerah Ridzuan & Yasmin Ahmad
Wardrobe: Cassey Gan and Dianne's own
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Yoke & Theam Walk of Life
We celebrate strong and independent women of all age, gender, race and sexuality. #ytwalkoflife is our very own initiative to showcase aspiring personalities to our consumers whom we consider our loyal friends. Our belief is that each individual possesses compelling stories that are unique and inspiring - from fashion darlings to expressive artists, to everyday people - let their life narratives play a part in filling the pages in your book of journey. Take a glance at what it's like to be in their shoes as we feature one personality each month.

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