Celebrating The Female Form (and cats!) with Ripplett
We at X-Purr are so excited to be collaborating with Singaporean (by way of Malaysia) illustrator Ripplett. Her minimal illustrations of pole dancers are lush with sensuality, humor and irreverence, and perfectly embody the ‘less is more’ aesthetic. We are honored to bring her “Purr More, Hiss Less” illustration to life in this exclusive X-Purr x Ripplett tank top, now available on our website.
Ripplett (real name Joyce Tan) was kind enough to share her creative journey, pole life and aspirations for Ripplett in this interview with X-Purr.
X-Purr: How and when did you start drawing?
Ripplett: I’ve been drawing a lot more since I was eight, but it goes way back. There’s a funny story my sister told me. I grew up spending a lot of time at my nanny’s place, so there were lots of other kids around. One time, I used a crayon and doodled on my nanny’s daughter’s piano. When we were asked who did it, I blamed it on the other boy. They found out it was me by asking us to draw — I could and he couldn’t. I would say I’ve been drawing since I was very young. I was first exposed to “digital drawing” when I was 11. I used the ‘Curve tool’ in Microsoft Paint.
X-Purr: How and when did you start pole, and where do you currently train?
Ripplett: I have never gone through the whole transition of accepting pole. I just think pole dancing is so cool. My parents didn’t limit TV content so I watched all kinds of scary, horror or mature films together with them since I was a kid. I know it is not the best way of parenting but because of that, sexy dancing is just sexy to me. I never had issue with showing my skin. I just want to be that sexy lady on the pole. That’s when my best friend and I started pole dancing together. After some research, we chose Bobbi’s for the obvious reason. I had to give it up for a year partly due to health issues and became really active since July 2014. I am training at SLAP Dance Studio in Singapore currently.
X-Purr: How did the name ‘Ripplett’ come about?
Ripplett: I originally wanted just the name ‘Ripple’ because it is from the last character of my Chinese name (Lian) which was given by my late grandfather. It literally means Ripple. However, I couldn’t get ripple.com so it ended up becoming Ripplett with double ‘t’. I like to put it this way, Ripplett means a tiny ripple that spreads its love and creativity constantly with a drop of enthusiasm. I want my drawings to bring happiness and love to the people who receive them.
X-Purr: What was the inspiration behind “Purr More, Hiss Less”?
Rippett: It started off when I had this idea of illustrating pole tricks accompanied by an animal name like Iguana, Brass Monkey, Butterfly, etc. and Cat Pounce was one of them. I understand that not every studio calls the same name for every trick so I am drawing based on the trick’s names that I know. Those tricks do resemble the particular animal that was named after them to me, so I try to illustrate them in a way that represents the animals. To add more meaning to it, I add in inspirational quotes based on the animals or the tricks. For example, Brass Monkey “Hang in there!”, Cat Pounce “Purr more, hiss less.” At the same time, it serves as a reminder for the receiver mostly a poler to hang in there, stay happy and don’t get angry easily.
X-Purr: How would you describe your style of art?
Ripplett: I like clean lines with just a touch of colours. I love naked body. I think nude or human body is beautiful. One simple curve thick and thin line could create so much details.
X-Purr: Are you inspired by any particular illustrators or artists?
Ripplett: I draw inspirations from everywhere but there is this one particular Instagram account I would like to share. It is called @differantly . They are duo artists. They create things and animals with one minimal line. It is amazing.
X-Purr: Is illustration your main career? Do you do anything else?
Ripplett: I studied Visual Communication. I am a brand designer and used to work in an agency. I started Ripplett because I lost touch with drawing for quite awhile and figured that I want to start drawing again. You don’t always get to draw working as a designer. Right now I am completing a yoga teacher training, unsure if I will be teaching because I took it to make myself a better practitioner. I am a freelance designer currently. One thing for sure though, I don’t think I will give up my design career or Ripplett.
X-Purr: Do you have any other hobbies or passions?
Ripplett: I don’t think I have other hobbies! Pole and Yoga are my hobbies and passions.
X-Purr: Describe your upbringing in Malaysia. How did you make your way to Singapore?
Ripplett: I am the youngest in my family. I have an elder brother and sister who are 11 and 9 years apart from me respectively. I considered myself lucky that I get to choose what I want to study. I almost have to serve three months of national service back when I was 18 and had just graduated from high school. The government implemented it a few years before I turned 18. It was by lottery, the ‘lucky’ ones get picked and have to serve three months. As I was waiting for my enlistment, it dragged on nine more months, so I couldn’t wait any longer. I applied for a college at Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. I am from Malacca. Four months into my study, I decided to move to Singapore because my ex-boyfriend whom I met through online gaming was a Singaporean. I know it sounds bizarre but that’s the story of how I ended up in Singapore.
X-Purr: What is the Singaporean pole community like?
Ripplett: I would say I love the pole community in general, because it is a very close-knit community. I’m not sure if it’s the same in other parts of the world, but in Singapore, beginner polers are generally very shy except for one or two shameless ones like myself. I’ve met many pole friends who I adore because there is no judgement. I think different studios have different kinds of culture though. But in general, we are fellow pole dancers when we’re in the studio regardless of our background, which is great.
X-Purr: Why did you agree to collaborate with X-Purr on the ‘Purr More, Hiss Less’ illustration?
Ripplett: To be honest, I was thrilled when Natasha texted me. It is an honour to me that my drawing is recognised. I appreciate the opportunity to spread some love with fellow polers around the world.
X-Purr: What do you have planned in store for the future of Ripplett?
Ripplett: I see Ripplett as a platform for me to keep drawing. I plan to develop a website at some point to sell my prints or perhaps some products or services. Right now I am using Etsy instead.
X-Purr: How can we find you on social media?
To purchase the X-Purr x Ripplett “Purr More, Hiss Less” tank: http://xpurr.com/purr-more-hiss-less-flowy-tank
To purchase prints of Ripplett’s work on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/sg-en/shop/Ripplett