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Sunny Yazdani

Sunny Yazdani

Meet New York-based illustrator and motion designer, Sunny Yazdani.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Sunny, I am an illustrator and motion designer based in New York. I grew up in Tehran, Iran. I studied BFA Textile and Fashion Design in Iran and I moved to the US to study Masters of Illustration and Motion Design. I started my Illustration and Animation careers around my freshman year back home. I have been working for creative studios, agencies, and animation studios for 10 years. My works are inspired by people and life. I love to capture feelings and movements as well as connectivity between cultures and global issues.

 

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

Currently, I live in New York for almost 1 year and a half. The main reason I decided to move to New York is that New York is the city of life and cultures. It has enormous sources for artists and other professions. New York is obviously a dream city for illustrators and motion designers. Having a young population, pop culture, diversity, and energetic lifestyle make New York one of the best destinations for the artist who is seeking constant success.

 

My works are inspired by people and life. I love to capture feelings and movements as well as connectivity between cultures and global issues.

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

As a designer, New York is the best city where art communities work together reasonably, and you can always find designers and artists you’ll want to collaborate with. But on the downside, New York is crazily competitive and fast-paced. It would be stressful to reach your ideal aspiration and career goals. You always have to be ahead of the design world, and this could be sometimes overwhelming. Days go by really fast and you constantly feel you don’t have enough time for anything.

 

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

learning, passionate, diverse.

 

How did you start your career in art?

I started drawing since I was so young even before I went to pre-school. As a young kid, I knew I wanted to be an artist because I believed art was the only thing, I was good at it. My Persian parents wanted me to study a major in which I can earn a ton of money. Obviously I had to put a fight in order to prove myself to my parents, so I collected my illustrations in a portfolio when I was 18 and checked in on all the magazines I knew in the city. After a few months of search eventually one of the magazines responded to me and they assigned me to design 10 illustrations for next month’s issue for a little money. I didn’t care about the money I was just so happy I did find a small gig. And then I went to a public art university but I wasn’t fully happy with my major so I decided to shift gears and follow an illustration and animation career. I worked for a couple of animation studios in Iran for 2 years after my college graduation. Economic crises took over animation jobs in Iran and so many companies started closing or laying off employees. Also, at the same time, I wanted to learn more about the Illustration and animation industry in the US. So, I decided to move to the US to study the majors that I love at SCAD. It was the beginning of the path of fulfilling my dreams.

 

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

Absolutely! As much as my parents had their reservations against my career at first, my best friends and fellow artists have always supported me throughout the years. After a few years of working as a designer professionally, my parents came to accept my passion and love for the art, so they started supporting me with the grad schools. And I have been extremally lucky to have many mentors in my life.

 

Learning, directing and of course improving myself consistently.

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

Learning, directing and of course improving myself consistently.

 

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

I would love to collaborate with my favorite creative studio ever, Chromosphere.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Women around me all have some aspects in common. They are creative, smart, strong, passionate and independent. They are my role models and I’m so proud to have them in my life.

 

Women around me all have some aspects in common. They are creative, smart, strong, passionate and independent.

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

In Iran because of so many restrictions on art and design, it was really easy to follow your favorite female artists. Unfortunately, not so many female artists could survive all hardships in society. But my favorite Iranian illustrator and director is Marjane Satrapi. Growing up I’ve watched her create masterpieces such as comic book and animation, Persepolis.

 

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

Since I have moved to the US, I have not faced so many challenges as I experienced in Iran. Unfortunately, in my home country, there are still some sexism and gender inequality in our artistic communities. Some of the design jobs are men-dominated and Creative Directors and Art Directors prefer to hire men with less experience than a higher educated and experienced woman.

 

Be patient (you need some time to learn about yourself and improve your art)

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

I have 5 advice to young women in my field:

1. Be patient (you need some time to learn about yourself and improve your art)

2. Always look for inspiration in life, people, and nature.

3. It’s totally okay to make mistakes in your field.

4. Listen to your heart and have fun!

5. And finally, please don’t be shy and make connections with people in your field, always!

 

 

Photos courtesy of Sunny Yazdani.

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