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Cinyee Chiu

Cinyee Chiu

Meet illustrator from Taiwan, Cinyee Chiu.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello, I’m Cinyee Chiu, a Taiwanese illustrator. My style is a combination of traditional and digital materials. I draw for picture books, editorials, product packages, and animations. I enjoy drawing nature. I just finished a 1.5-year world traveling digital nomad life with my husband.

 

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

Taoyuan is where the international airport is located. Because it’s close to Taipei, many people choose to live in Taoyuan and commute to Taipei because housing is much more affordable here.

 

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

The best is being close to Taipei. The worst is having not much to do. But everywhere in Taiwan has a lot of places to eat so it’s not that bad.

 

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

desert, trivia, growing

 

How did you start your career in art?

I majored in economics in undergrad, but after graduation, I realized I didn’t want to do related jobs at all. I found a job that allowed me to draw in a game company, and after three years I went to study illustration in the US at Maryland Institute College of Art. After I got my MFA degree, I started to work as a freelance illustrator. I was lucky that my artworks on social media brought some attention, and it didn’t take long before I could live on freelancing.

 

I was lucky that my artworks on social media brought some attention, and it didn’t take long before I could live on freelancing.

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

At first no. My parents are from a law background and had no idea how can a person live on drawing. I first proved that someone is willing to hire me when I got into the game company, then I proved I’m the kind of good that got accepted by many art schools. Now they are very proud of me and they see me live on drawing and having a good life.

 

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

I want to develop my style in a way that relies less on digital and produce picture books regularly. For work, I haven’t tried making an illustration for game apps, I might like to try this once.

 

I want to develop my style in a way that relies less on digital and produce picture books regularly. For work, I haven’t tried making an illustration for game apps, I might like to try this once.

 

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

It took me a long time to answer this one…. I think maybe Emma Waston. She is a feminist icon and cares about the environment and human rights, the values I care most about. Not sure what we can do together yet, but I’ll feel honored helping raising more public awareness about these issues.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Well, there are many different types, even just in my family. But my mom is the one I admire the most, she’s strong and independent. She puts a lot of effort in the family, at the same time devotes to her law career and always works hard to move the field in a better direction. She is fearless and dares to say and do things even while others keep silent.

 

She is fearless and dares to say and do things even while others keep silent.

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

There are not many known local female creatives when I was a kid (tears). The creatives grabbed my attention were all males, some from Taiwan some from Japan.

 

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

Not really, I haven’t faced any issues because of my gender. I actually feel there are more women than men in the illustration field. But oddly, there seem to be more FAMOUS male illustrators, or at least not proportional.

 

Be confident, know you are good. Don’t get frustrated and give up too easily. Know that you always have room to improve, and always challenge yourself.

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

Be confident, know you are good. Don’t get frustrated and give up too easily. Know that you always have room to improve, and always challenge yourself.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Cinyee Chiu.

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