Today’s post is for a blog hop called “Artists Around the World”. It’s a fun project that connects people who work in creative fields – artists, designers, writers, illustrators, crafters, and more – from all over the world. Artists are asked 4 questions and post their answers on their blogs. Then link to 1 to 3 other artists to continue the blog hop…
In case you don’t already know me, I’d like to introduce myself a bit first.
I am a Taiwanese illustrator and graphic designer living in New York with my dog Punchy. I create illustrations for children’s books, greeting cards, stationery, and various products. Now I am getting into surface pattern design and planning to write/illustrate my own graphic novel about my dog. I also run an online magazine “Illustration Today” (written in Chinese) where I interview illustrators and write about illustration business. (I was a reporter when I was in Taiwan).
Here is the Q&As.
1. Why do I do what I do?
I love to create ever since my childhood. Like all artists, creating is just something that I NEED to do. If I didn’t draw or write or do anything creative that day, I felt restless and lost. Creativity is fulfilling and joyful to me.
I feel very fortunate that I am able to do what I am passionate about everyday.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My work is “sweet” and “adorable” as people often describe, but sometimes I like to infuse a bit of whimsy and humor to it. The twist in my naive-style illustrations makes my work “mine” and differ from others.
The use of unexpected color palates also makes my art unique.
3. How does my creative process work?
I usually start with writing down keywords that associated with the topic, then do researches online or look through my sketchbooks for inspirations. After getting familiar with the subjects, next step is to draw a lot of small icons/motifs. I use pencils and cheap printer paper to sketch, refine them on tracing paper, retrace and ink the pencil drawing onto translucent layout paper or other smoother paper using pen and ink. Then I bring the inked drawing into Illustrator, finish layout, color, and textures there.
For book, editorial, greeting card, and lettering-style illustrations, I will sketch many thumbnails to figure out the layout before inking and coloring.
When I draw with colored pencil and traditional mediums, I will do pencil sketches on paper, scan them into Photoshop to resize and reposition single elements, print it out, cut and paste the pieces to rearrange the layout if needed. Once the sketch is finalized, I trace it onto a nice drawing paper using the light box or the glass door of my balcony. Then I draw or paint to make the final artwork.
4. What am I working on now?
I have a long list of "wanna do projects"! Developing my hand lettering-style illustrations is one of them. I am also working on a project for my Illustration Today website, but can't say too much about it right now.
The next big thing is entering Lilla Rogers "Global Talent Search", which starts tomorrow!
I hope you enjoy reading my answers. Next week I'd like to invite you to visit my good friend Feng Liang. She's a great Taiwanese surface designer living in New York. I met her four years ago at Surtex. You may check out her beautiful pattern designs on her website and blog.