Meet artist and illustrator from Hong Kong, Peony Yip.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Jamaica as my parents moved there a long time ago before I was born. In 2005, my parents brought me back to their home, Hong Kong, and I have lived here since. To describe my childhood, it was mostly being raised in a quite traditional Chinese family with the occasional touch of Jamaican lifestyle. It surprises me how many people I have forgotten and memories that I had in my past as they were mostly unpleasant. But all those unpleasant things have made me learn more about myself and hopefully grow into a better person. Moving to Hong Kong made a huge impact on my life and it has helped me build my path as an artist. Though, it has proven to be very difficult, I haven’t given up yet.
Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.
Hong Kong is a very busy city. Actually very busy is an understatement. I think if I could, I would go on pages long to describe the city but to be short, it has its beauty and its disadvantages. I think it’s different for everyone. Hong Kong is many things, with that being said it offers many varieties whether it is the food, cultures, career paths, education etc. It seems like whatever you need to find, there is a possibility this city has it, as long as you look hard for it.
For me, living in Hong Kong is quite stressful. Everything is so expensive and it is sad to be so limited.
I wish I could be more positive about this city but it’s really becoming more difficult.
It seems like whatever you need to find, there is a possibility this city has it, as long as you look hard for it.
What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?
To elaborate, it is true that I do find that the convenience of Hong Kong super fantastic.
Transportation is great and with many options for such a small city. You need to buy a variety of things? You can easily do that almost anywhere,
As mentioned, Hong Kong is a very small city and I have a hard time with it being so overcrowded.
Wherever you go, especially on holidays like Christmas, you can expect those crowds in the city to be doubled.
Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.
Difficult, Unappreciated, Vigilant
How did you start your career in art?
During college, I found my passion for creating illustrations and ever since then I have not stopped drawing and painting. I intended to be a full-time artist, therefore I created artworks every day and shared them online. Unfortunately, being a full-time artist does not pay bills in Hong Kong.
Sharing my work online has helped me immensely! It has brought me where I am today and I am grateful. I ended up with a full-time job as a graphic designer, still am today, while I do drawings or paintings whenever I have the time as a hobby. Opportunities do come by like commission requests and exhibition participation so I think I’ve been very lucky.
Sharing my work online has helped me immensely! It has brought me where I am today and I am grateful.
Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?
To be frank, I didn’t notice it. People around me may have been or have not been supportive but my mind was set to be in the creative field as I didn’t know what else I would do.
What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?
I would like to publish a book with the flower paintings I’m working on at the moment.
Currently, there is no other goals and ambitions related to my works as it has been a struggle for me.
If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?
Oh, that’s a hard one but I’ve always wanted to collaborate with bands to work on their album cover.
How would you describe the women around you?
They are all so different that I can’t really say specifically. In general, they are very kind and selfless. I actually learn a lot from being around them as I’m quite a negative and selfish person. I don’t surround myself with many people, but the ones I choose to be around with have to be true to themselves and loyal.
I don’t surround myself with many people, but the ones I choose to be around with have to be true to themselves and loyal.
Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?
Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?
Frankly, none that I am aware of. I feel that in Hong Kong there really isn’t much talk or issues about being a female in this industry. More or less quite equal for both genders.
Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?
Whether you are a young woman or man, just be true to yourself and what you like. After all, art is a form to express yourself. Do not just follow what other people are doing, take the time to ask yourself questions and if you struggle with your answers don’t be hard on yourself. Try again tomorrow and don’t give up 🙂
Photos courtesy of Peony Yip.