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Xiaojie Liu

Xiaojie Liu

Meet New York-based illustrator, Xiaojie Liu.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Xiaojie Liu. I am a freelance illustrator who was born and raised in Enshi, China. I received a BA in illustration from the Hubei Institute of Fine Arts in 2015, and an MFA in illustration from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2018. My artistic focus is on children’s illustration, editorial illustration, surface design, publications, magazines, branding, and packaging design. I combine mixed media and materials to create illustrations, which include digital and hand drawing, paper cutting, clay, and fabrics.

 

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

I am currently living in New York. I have just moved here several weeks ago, and have found that there is so much to do in this city, and the city is always buzzing, music, theatres, bars, festivals, etc. Those things make me feel that I am living in one of the greatest cities in the world.

 

Those things make me feel that I am living in one of the greatest cities in the world.

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

Best thing: Food, galleries, opera, symphony, dance, and of course broadway.

Worst thing: It is very expensive.

 

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

Free, Imagination, Romantic.

 

How did you start your career in art?

After I graduated from high school, I went to Hubei Institute of Fine Arts and learned many art skills such as printmaking, watercolor painting and illustration. I think that it was the first time I defined myself and started my career as an illustrator.

 

After I graduated from high school, I went to Hubei Institute of Fine Arts and learned many art skills

such as printmaking, watercolor painting and illustration.

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

Yes, absolutely my parents. As a beginner in my career, I felt defeated sometimes in my daily work. My parents encouraged me a lot and they are my driving force.

 

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

For my future work, I want to cooperate with more clients from different fields and try to do some new projects I never did before.

 

For my future work, I want to cooperate with more clients from different fields and try to do some new

projects I never did before.

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

I want to collaborate with the cartoon character, Doraemon. I think he can supply whatever I want, and also, he can make my dream come true.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

I think they are very talented. Over half of my friends who are illustrators are female, and they have done a lot of amazing works and won many awards. They are independent, and many of them are career-minded.

 

They are independent, and many of those are career-minded.

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

I lived in a very small town where most of my art teachers as I grew up were males. The female creatives I could find were mostly through the Internet or in books or magazines. However, we are having more female artists right now and are having many opportunities as well.

 

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

I think the advantages are more than the challenges as a female illustrator. For me, female’s emotion is more exquisite, therefore, in some fields of the illustration industry, they may have more advantages than males may have. I think our sensitivity to emotions could help us catch more details from daily life experience, and it could be interpreted in the work.

 

I think it is very important to create the work that we truly enjoy, and be ourselves when we create.

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

I think it is very important to create the work that we truly enjoy, and be ourselves when we create. Developing a strong aesthetic style as a freelance illustrator is as important too.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Xiaojie Liu.

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