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Aki Jiang

Aki Jiang

Meet illustrator and designer from Shanghai, Aki Jiang.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, I’m AKI JIANG. I was born in 1993 and graduated from visual and communication department. I now live in Shanghai as an illustrator and designer and I have a studio in Shanghai as well. Some of my clients include the British Library, Apple, Alipay, MUJI, DW, etc. I am a travel lover but I am also fond of staying at home. In other words, I’m curious about this fantastic world, and also enjoy my daily life.

 

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

I live in Shanghai which is an enormous city, but we are so lucky that transportation here is convenient. In the last century, Shanghai experienced a lot of foreign culture shocks, so it has slowly become a multicultural city and had rapid developments in the economy. There are both modern and ancient buildings, with many art exhibitions and fresh things. I think Shanghai is a vibrant city. Its rhythm is fast but cruel, so I must be awake to keep up with Shanghai’s rhythm.

 

I live in Shanghai which is an enormous city, but we are so lucky that transportation here is convenient. In the last century, Shanghai experienced a lot of foreign culture shocks, so it has slowly become a multicultural city and had rapid developments in the economy.

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?

The worst thing is bad weather, hot summers, and cold winter winds. The best thing is that the city is well developed. There are more and better opportunities with the creative environment.

 

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.

passionate, random, cultural fusion

 

How did you start your career in art?

I have been very fond of painting since I was a child. In kindergarten, the teacher told my parents that I was talented in painting and it should be trained. My parents have always supported me to paint. I am very thankful for their support. I went to an art college and started my illustration works after graduation and I became a freelance illustrator three years ago.

 

I went to an art college and started my illustration works after graduation and I became a freelance illustrator three years ago.

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

Yes. Most of my friends are also creators, and I also have support from my family. My parents always hoped that I can do whatever I like and never forced me to do something I dislike.

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?

My workpieces are mainly 2D graphics. In the future, I want to try to create some animation. I want to try more free creations and continue to complete more meaningful illustrations. I am hoping to bring happiness and strength to people.

 

I want to try more free creations and continue to complete more meaningful illustrations. I am hoping to bring happiness and strength to people.

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?

I am very much looking forward to different collaborations in any field, but if I must choose one, I’d like to work with the director, Wes Anderson. His films or animated films are wonderful cross-culture stories, and he regarded details as his life. I really want to know if I will go crazy under his torture when I cooperate with him.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Most of my female friends are engaged in creative work. Some are designers, some are photographers, and text editors. Their commonality is their ideas and abilities in their careers. Besides this, having their own businesses and constantly thinking of new ideas makes these girls full of confidence.

 

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

There are many female creative people around me, and I’m very happy to chat with them, to explore and get inspiration for my work. I also follow many female creators on social networks, when they release their new project, I’m always inspired a lot!

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?

I have read an interview report: “Nearly 70% of creative students are women, but only 5% – 11% of creative director positions are held by women, and only 0.1% creative institutions are held by female leaders. So what does it mean when faced with a female-dominated (80%) consumer purchase behavior?” This is a question worth considering, and women may need more voice in the future.

 

Keep independent thinking. Jump out of your comfort zone bravely. Be diligent and patient to yourself.

Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?

Keep independent thinking. Jump out of your comfort zone bravely. Be diligent and patient to yourself.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Aki Jiang.

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