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Airi Pan

Airi Pan

Meet concept designer and illustrator from Los Angeles, Airi Pan

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Airi here! Hello! I’m currently a concept designer working in video games, film, and animation. Right now, I’m working on the game Back4Blood along with projects here and there including an unannounced animated feature at Netflix. At the same time, I’m attending the ArtCenter College of Design; outside of art I really love eating pancakes, watching musicals, and open world video games.

 

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

I’m living in Los Angeles, as of writing, it’s during the pandemic so it’s a little boring, but usually, it’s always super bustling, busy, and thriving! Although for the pandemic, a little too thriving haha. Rent is very high but all of my friends, classmates, and coworkers are here and the people make it worth it!

 

I’m living in Los Angeles, as of writing, it’s during the pandemic so it’s a little boring, but usually, it’s always super bustling, busy, and thriving! Although for the pandemic, a little too thriving haha. Rent is very high but all of my friends, classmates, and coworkers are here and the people make it worth it!

 

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

The BEST part is the FOOD! Worst part is the traffic. Honestly working from home is a godsend because waiting in your car on the LA highway is the absolute worst… But MAN is the food good 😀 Expensive but I’m working hard to afford it >:)

 

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

Fun, EXPENSIVE, but Endearing >:)

 

How did you start your career in art?

I started my career essentially when I entered ArtCenter, and finally was surrounded by an environment that treated us like professional artists. Before then, I was still in high school and had no idea what “concept design” really meant. Our teachers at ACCD (ArtCenter) were tough and loving on us, and they gave me the confidence to start real studio work despite being a student, because I felt prepared enough.

 

I started my career essentially when I entered ArtCenter, and finally was surrounded by an environment that treated us like professional artists.

 

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

My friends in high school certainly were, although they did not really understand what I wanted to do, but that’s alright! My parents took a longer time to convince, as I’m sure everyone is familiar with, Asian parents aren’t the happiest when their child decides to go to art school. But I let them know that I knew what I was doing, and that I was going to get a job for sure and NOT be a starving artist on the streets.

 

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

I’d love to continue to hone my craft, and be able to work for some of my favorite IP’s in the world, and work on live action film as well. However, I don’t plan on working as a concept artist forever and ever, I’d like to see if I could open a studio of my own in the future.

 

I’d love to continue to hone my craft, and be able to work for some of my favorite IP’s in the world, and work on live action film as well.

 

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

Oh my god, maybe not person, but, pokemon, if you ever make an open world game, PLEEASSSE hit me up I’d give an arm and leg to work on that.

 

What are the biggest challenges you face in working as a creative?

To be quite honest, it’s hard to take a break because my work is my hobby and my hobby is my work. I draw to relax and I draw to work, and it’s hard to find a line to separate that and can turn unhealthy if my whole life revolves around drawing. I’m trying to get into a lot of other hobbies at the moment as well such as cooking and pursuing an education in business as well so I’m not merely defined by my own art!

 

Incredible! I am lucky to know all kinds of women and be friends with so many amazing people. They’re motivated, hard working, and very gritty 🙂

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Incredible! I am lucky to know all kinds of women and be friends with so many amazing people. They’re motivated, hard working, and very gritty 🙂

 

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

For me, it was my mom! She isn’t a creative by profession, she’s a microbiologist who was forced to go into that field to put food on the table. But she always wanted to be a writer. I grew up quite poor and I saw my mom having to put aside her dreams to help me achieve mine, so the message of hard work ingrained into me. I’m gonna work extra hard so my mom doesn’t have to in the future!!! And then I hope she can go back into writing and literature like she always wanted 😀

 

It isn’t easy but nothing worth doing ever is!

 

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

It isn’t easy but nothing worth doing ever is! It’s important to surround yourself with good teachers, and surround yourself with good coworkers and people, who respect you and your space, and never see you for only your gender 🙂 If not, YEET outta there

 


What type of music do you like to listen to?

When I’m working: Rap/Kpop/J-rock

When I’m relaxing: Lofi/Math rock/Indie

 

What’s your favorite local food spot?

Osawa Shabu Shabu! It’s been closed since the pandemic essentially though AAHHHHHH

 

Angela Wang asks: What has been the highlight of your artistic journey so far?

Meeting people just like me in art school 😀 I’ve never met people like me before since then

 

Jun Chen asks: Which art piece would you steal at a museum?

Forget art piece, I’ll steal every Sargent painting next time an earthquake hits (don’t tell the police it was me)

 

What question would you like us to ask the next artist?

If you lost your drawing/creative hand, would you rather learn to draw with your mouth or with your foot? (if they don’t draw this question is doomed hahaha)

 

 

Photos courtesy of Airi Pan

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