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Deer Jan

Deer Jan

Meet illustrator from Taiwan, Deer Jan.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a freelance illustrator. My debut picture book, Dear, came out in 2018. A collaborative children’s book, Don’t Cut My Hair, just released this July. I like to do some quick sketches of street views or landscapes while I travel, and then write stories based on these scenes. Primarily I use colored pencil and watercolor but also try to mix with other drawing materials. When I am not working, I go jogging and wandering around streets nearby.

 

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

Taoyuan is a peaceful city where families usually choose to live in and commute to city Taipei. Taking an outing to some farms in suburbs or biking along the riverbank are quite common activities on the weekend.

 

Taoyuan is a peaceful city where families usually choose to live in and commute to city Taipei. Taking an outing to some farms in suburbs or biking along the riverbank are quite common activities on the weekend.

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

The best thing is that we have the national airport here in Taoyuan! It’s so convenient to fly abroad or pick up friends who come visiting Taiwan. But the worst thing is that they usually pass by Taoyuan and go straight to Taipei short after their arrivals.

 

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

Laid-back. Harmonious.Healthy.

 

How did you start your career in art?

After completing a Master’s Degree in illustration, I tried to have some commission works. When I presented my personal works to a publishing house, the editors were very interested in my picture book and managed to get it published. Fortunately, the book received positive feedback after release which also brought me some other commissions. That’s how I started my career.

 

When I presented my personal works to a publishing house, the editors were very interested in my picture book and managed to get it published. Fortunately, the book received positive feedback after release which also brought me some other commissions. That’s how I started my career.

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

My family was so worried about me, and they used to persuade me to take other kinds of jobs. I really appreciated their care and sometimes I follow their advice whenever I was financially unstable.

 

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

No specific goals on my list. I don’t really plan my future. If I have the urge to do my personal works, then I’ll do. If others provide me commissions which seem really intriguing, then I’ll take it.

 

No specific goals on my list. I don’t really plan my future. If I have the urge to do my personal works, then I’ll do. If others provide me commissions which seem really intriguing, then I’ll take it.

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

Anyone. As long as the project is interesting and I can fully take part in.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Women in my family are very capable and realistic. I inherited the spirit from them to live a practical life and saved my imagination only in my drawings.

 

Women in my family are very capable and realistic.

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

My high school teacher is the one I’m always admiring. She was dedicated to her work and enjoyed exploring new things in different fields. Her thirst for knowledge greatly influenced me, I felt that learning and staying curious were the core of life.

 

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

Perhaps it’s a bit easier for females to be illustrators because most of the readers and viewers are females as well. We have so much in common. Thinking or feelings which I convey through my works are easily accepted and welcomed.

 

Be happy with what you’re doing.

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

Be happy with what you’re doing.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Deer Jan

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