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Amy Nguyen

Amy Nguyen

Meet Vietnamese illustrator, Amy Nguyen.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My birth name is Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, however people know me as Amy Nguyen and my friends call me “Amynyan” which represents a cat’s sound (Nyan). I was born and grew up in Sai Gon, a heartwarming name for Ho Chi Minh City. My work as an artist involves character design, visual development, and illustration. I have a great passion for animation and I am on my way of realizing the dream of making my own movie one day! Although I am living in a developing country where art is not appreciated or easily approached by most people, I have been lucky enough to have an “artsy” family with a comfortable lifestyle. My dad used to be a mime artist when my mom was a famous actress in the ’90s. I guess this is the reason why art has approached me in a very natural way. I’m still in the journey to define myself, to find out who I am, and I know it is a long and difficult journey but I have the confidence that one day I will make my dream come true.

 

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

Ho Chi Minh City, also known by its former name of Saigon, is a vivid and dynamic city that everything seems to be in a rush, yet sometimes you could find it unexpectedly peaceful. The government and the people are increasingly concerned about the art that the artists could expect a brighter future for themselves. What I love most here is food, especially street food. The food is incredibly cheap and delicious which can satisfy the most difficult gourmet. Imagine that with only one dollar you could enjoy a tasty dish with hot steak and rice or a big bowl of tropical vegetables.

 

I’m still in the journey to define myself, to find out who I am, and I know it is a long and difficult journey but I have the confidence that one day I will make my dream come true.

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

When the best thing in my city is the food, the worst thing in my opinion is the ever-increasing pollution due to the overpopulation and excessive industrial exhaust.

 

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

Unrecognized, supportive, challenging

 

How did you start your career in art?

Since I knew how to hold a pencil, I have always loved drawing. During my childhood, drawing was the one thing that gave me the most joy of life and now, it has become my career. In fact, at some level, I was inspired by my mom who used to draw at a young age.

 

Since I knew how to hold a pencil, I have always loved drawing.

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

To be honest, I have to admit that I am so lucky that I have a family with both parents working in the art/entertainment industry. They are great supporters of my career path. Also, a huge appreciation to all of my friends and colleagues who are always beside me with much advice and supports to help me with any obstacles that I’m facing in life or at work.

 

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

I am on my way to becoming a great animator and a director, to pursue my dream of making my movie. That is my long-term goal and it is a tough and challenging journey. In short term, I will keep cultivating my skills and looking for opportunities to work in big studios such as Pixar or Sony. There’s still so much to learn.

 

I am on my way to becoming a great animator and a director, to pursue my dream of making my movie.

 

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

There are so many great artists working in the industry and I admire all of them. Each of those artists has very unique skills and characteristics so the luck to work with them is an equally amazing experience.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

We are marching to the new era where women are much stronger; they support and protect each other everywhere from daily life to work. I’m glad that I am living in this special transitive movement.

 

We are marching to the new era where women are much stronger; they support and protect each other everywhere from daily life to work. I’m glad that I am living in this special transitive movement.

 

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

Being a professional artist was my own decision when I came to adulthood so there was not any model for me to look up to.

 

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

There is still a stereotype, a prejudice that a woman’s place is at home with household chores. It slows down the movement of gender equality in modern society. Women should be given equal opportunities for equal talents.

 

Stay strong, work hard, find your role in your life and don’t let other people degrade you.

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

Stay strong, work hard, find your role in your life and don’t let other people degrade you.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Amy Nguyen.

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