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Jiaqi Wang

Jiaqi Wang

Meet LA-based illustrator & animator from Shanghai, Jiaqi Wang.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in Suzhou, China. After I graduated from college in Shanghai I went to London and attended a postgraduate course in animation. It was an amazing 2 years.

I tried a lot of interesting stuff which included traveling around Europe. I got my first job in Italy and I applied ing my dream studio in Los Angeles. Here I am now as a freelance illustrator and animator.

 

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

Los Angeles is definitely a city on cars. It is a really spread out city but it’s fun to discover new places almost every day. Also, it’s possibly the most diverse city I lived in. I’ve met lots of talented and passionate people here. Living here makes me feel like I’m swimming in a big river trying to find an island. You need to take a breath from time to time but you have to keep swimming forward.

 

Living here makes me feel like I’m swimming in a big river trying to find an island. You need to take a breath from time to time but you have to keep swimming forward.

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

Traffic is definitely the worst, but to be honest, compared to Shanghai, it’s okay. On the other hand, driving with your friend in the car listening to music probably is the best.

 

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

Motivated, hustle, inspired

 

How did you start your career in art?

My mom sent me to art school since I was like 7. She also encouraged me to choose to study art for college. For me, working as an artist is no doubt what I wanted to do since I was super young. Traveling around gives me a lot of inspiration to convey ideas.

The very first studio I worked with is illo.tv based in Turin, Italy. They taught me a lot about how to animate for motion. Moving to LA for Buck.tv, spuriously started my new ways as an illustrator. These 2 skills allowed me to work in various fields.

 

For me, working as an artist is no doubt what I wanted to do since I was super young.

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

Luckily, my families are really proud of whatever I do, especially my Mom. She is always my role model. I have lots of lovely friends and most of them are working as a creative but they live in different countries. We cheer up each other all the time.

 

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

To keep exploring illustration and polishing my animation skills. I want to do a music video or do more mural art! Also, start an art collective with people I want to work with. Currently, I have an art collective called Have A Drink.

 

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

Tyler The Creator? If it is possible hahaha I am a big fan of his music. And anyone who has a passion for creating something meaningful or powerful.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

I am blessed to be surrounded by women full of wisdom and independence.

 

I am blessed to be surrounded by women full of wisdom and independence.

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

During different periods there are always different females I looked up to. When I was studying in art high school, my art teacher was a working mom and she taught me a lot of skills for traditional painting. When I studied in London my tutor was an amazing independent female filmmaker. She makes product indie animated film every year and encourages me to try anything I want, tells me not to be afraid of any trends, and just have fun with my work. Shout out to Kim Noce.

 

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

I am lucky enough that the people I worked with are all openminded and encouraging. Basically, there is no gender issue for me, but I heard some mistreatment stories. There are lots of groups like you guys supporting female artists in the animation and illustration industry and this feels super welcoming.

 

Have fun, and ALWAYS be honest with yourself. Don’t hesitate to make choices, maybe it is a new path that will allow you to experience more.

 

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

Have fun, and ALWAYS be honest with yourself. Don’t hesitate to make choices, maybe it is a new path that will allow you to experience more 🙂

 

 

Photos courtesy of Jiaqi Wang.

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