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Jieyu Deng

Jieyu Deng

Meet designer and illustrator from China & USA, Jieyu Deng.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Jieyu, a full-time illustrator and designer from China but currently based in Atlanta, GA. I received my undergraduate degree in animation and my M.A in illustration. Most of my work is in digital. I love clean design and dynamic shapes because of my background as a graphic designer, but I also enjoy exploring different styles for all types of projects.

 

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

Atlanta is the capital and largest city of Georgia, but for me, it doesn’t feel crowded or have the pressures of other big cities. It’s an interesting place where you can always find a lot of interesting details when you look at it carefully.

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

The best thing about Atlanta is the climate, which is similar to my hometown-Guangzhou. I was born and raised in the south area of China. So, as a southern city in the US, Atlanta is familiar to me and sometimes makes me feel like I’m back home. Also, there are many pretty flowers and plants in each specific season which I really enjoy.

 

The worst thing in Atlanta is the traffic, especially on a rainy day. Some of the roads are complicated and could be confusing if you are new here.

 

The best thing about Atlanta is the climate, which is similar to my hometown-Guangzhou.

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

Liberty, Limitless, Energetic

 

How did you start your career in art?

I have loved drawing ever since I was six years old and participated in some art courses growing up. I put art aside for a few years because my mother wanted me to focus on traditional learning. However, when I was in high school, I realized that art was my passion and wanted to eventually major in it. I’m lucky that my father is a person who loves art and I received his support.

 

I went on to study animation for my undergraduate. Since I wanted to focus on drawing and graphic design, I came to the United States to complete my graduate degree in illustration and to begin work as an illustrator.

 

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

Yes. At first, they did not totally understand it and perhaps thought there was a lot of uncertainty in this field. As I continued to prove myself, and as the advancement of art in social status has become clearer, they are appreciative for what I’ve accomplished so far. Especially my father and all the art teachers around me – they have given me a lot of support and encouragement and made it easier for me to achieve my goals.

 

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

I look forward to exploring more styles and topics and to someday have my own publications including children’s books or a collection of my illustrations, and even potentially my own exhibition in different cities.

 

I look forward to exploring more styles and topics and to someday have my own publications including children’s books or a collection of my illustrations, and even potentially my own exhibition in different cities.

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

I want to create illustrations for novelists, storytellers, and musicians. For illustrators, I would like to collaborate with Ilka Mészely – her works are playful and full of vitality.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

The girls around me all have different personalities and I’m lucky to be around women that are brave, independent, and love their life. Their beauty is from the outside to the inside, and they always encourage and help me. They are very clear about their career goals and their energy is inspiring.

 

The girls around me all have different personalities and I’m lucky to be around women that are brave, independent, and love their life.

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

There were not many local female creatives when I was young. First, there were very few women studying art at the time, and most local female creatives were limited in painting. The other reason is there was limited awareness – growing up, I didn’t have many ways to get information about female creatives.

 

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

The illustration industry is very warm and welcoming, so I don’t experience many challenges as a female. However, it’s worth noting that at some industry gatherings, some people may ignore us or think our opinions are insignificant. But as long as we continue pushing for beauty and integrity, our work will speak louder than any critic.

 

As long as we continue pushing for beauty and integrity, our work will speak louder than any critic.

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

First, you need to confirm that you are doing what you want to do. The next step is to be passionate about it. The final step is to never look back. Don’t have any doubts about yourself and never limit your imagination. Don’t compare yourself to other people, and always believe that everyone is unique for creation.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Jieyu Deng.

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