Born and raised in Hong Kong, Little Thunder 門小雷 is the talented illustrator behind the amazing tattooed breastfeeding mama on the cover of Issue #34 of The Natural Parent Magazine, which is out on New Zealand shelves now. Her work often depicts strong female subjects, and draws on Japanese manga, American pin-up art, and her own cultural history. We spoke to Little Thunder to learn more about her, and about her work.
We absolutely loved your piece depicting a breastfeeding mother – for obvious reasons – what inspired you to create this piece?
Thank you. I think that breastfeeding and tattooing are still not widely accepted by the society. It is a very strange thing. Tattoo is a declaration, a commitment to oneself, and breastfeeding is a very natural behavior that human beings are born with. Both are actually a way of expressing love, and it is a very personal matter. Creating this piece is to bring out a seemingly strange but warm picture.
What does your work aim to say?
I like to paint strong and confident women, not necessarily the “strong” kind of “strong”, but believe that one is strong, the woman who knows herself and is honest, is the sexiest. I hope I can show it by painting.
Tattoo is a declaration, a commitment to oneself, and breastfeeding is a very natural behavior that human beings are born with. Both are actually a way of expressing love, and it is a very personal matter.
Women, seem to play a significant part in your artwork. Would you say that’s true? How does your work comment on current social or political issues?
Sometimes I paint some sexy and charming girls, and I will be judged on the Internet, saying that I should not materialize women. I have never planned to materialize women. The “feminism” in my mind is that women can do whatever they like, even if they are car girls and strippers, as long as they really want to do it, it is right.
Who are your biggest influences?
Every period has a very influence on my work. Recently, “Tuzuka Osamu” of “Buddha” has been shocked again and constantly thinking about life.
Which current art world trends are you following?
This question has been thinking about me for a long time. Is there any artistic trend I am following? It is indeed inspired by other painters, but it is not because of the trend that affects me. It seems that art has no time limit, and suddenly it can touch you.