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Ayakii

Ayakii

Meet illustrator from Hsinchu, Ayakii

 

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Ayakii, a Taiwanese freelance illustrator, primarily working in a medical center as a medical radiation technologist in the cardiac catheterization room of the medical center. Most of my work is about nature, animals, food, and daily life. I have experience illustrating game background artworks, ads, book covers, artbooks, and product packaging designs. I was born and grew up in Hsinchu, and living in Taipei now. My latest honor is winning first prize in the Taiwan Wacom competition about COVID-19 epidemic prevention in 2020.

 

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

I’m living in Taipei for my primary work, it’s about 4 years now. Taipei Is a capital city well-known for Taipei 101, crowded, and fast-paced lifestyle.

 

I’m living in Taipei for my primary work, it’s about 4 years now. Taipei Is a capital city well-known for Taipei 101, crowded, and fast-paced lifestyle.

 

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

The best is there is always something new in Taipei, from art exhibitions to concerts, Taipei is always listed on the exhibit venues.

The worst is crowded life and always busy. Lots of people, heavy traffic, noise, air pollution and not so many plants and nature view. I grew up in Hsinchu, a city well-known for wind, there’s always green in my eye as I was a child, surrounded with hills, forest, and fields, Taipei still lets me feel a little uneasy as compared to my hometown, even though I’ve lived in Taipei for a few years.

 

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

Diverse, Competitive, Challenging

 

How did you start your career in art?

Although my primary career is as a medical radiation technologist, I still did not close the door of art. I was a student of Art Class for Gifted from elementary to junior high in Taiwan, a kind of gifted education about fine art. Considering the future careers, family budget, and social environment in Taiwan, I gave up the ticket to enter the Art Class for Gifted in senior high, and changed my way to medicine.

 

However, the passion for painting is most lasting.

As I was about to be a freshman in medical college, I started to create digital arts, self-learning new painting tools from scratch, trying to study how those masterpieces were created, learning the technic, and most importantly, be yourself.

 

When I was a junior at medical college, I got my first illustration work for a game background artwork with my pen name. I set up a website as my portfolio and started to meet several Taiwan artists when I was a freshman. As I was a radiologic technologist intern in the hospital, I still spent my free time creating and tried to improve and increase artworks as I could.

 

To me, If you can do both, why not give it a try? I always believe that if you keeping moving, “you can be what you wanna be”.

 

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

Hmm… my answer would be half-and-half.

As I was a child before senior high, art teachers of my school were willing to support me to be an artist in the future, give me lots of advice about how to improve my fine arts, and pushed me to participated in several art competitions. I also won lots of awards at that time and was admitted to the first Art Class for Gifted Class of Hsinchu.

 

My family is happy that I could make lots of honors in art, but they worry about that if I could be financially independent as an artist in the future in Taiwan. They hope I can have a career with a good social reputation and stable income, were afraid that if my primary work is to be an artist, it might be hard to have a good life in Taiwan after I become an adult.

 

Art teachers are always supportive.

My family is happy to see my success but worried a lot.

To me, If you can do both, why not give it a try?

I always believe that if you keeping moving, “you can be what you wanna be”.

 

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

Creating some representative art series with my memories and feelings may be the first goal I have to make effort. Making good use of time more wisely and trying to create art as more as possible and strike a chord with people. If someday I have enough works and ability, holding a personal art exhibition is another good choice.

 

Another ambition is trying to make some works about Taiwan, let people know what I see in my lovely country, people, food, culture, mountains, and rivers, our island is small but diverse.

 

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

I’d love to collaborate with artists from different fields, writers or musicians. If there’s an opportunity, 乙一 ( Otsuichi ), a Japanese mystery-suspense novel writer. I’m a faithful reader of his novels, stories are horror, creepy, but sometimes cozy.

 

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

Making the scene in my mind became real works is always a challenge to me, not just painting it but adding the feeling from heart to the atmosphere of work is really difficult. Striking a chord to people isn’t easy, I think. Especially as you wish your audience could get the same feeling as you want, I have to check my work many times to make sure if it’s enough to let the feelings go on.

 

Most of the women around my age could choose whatever they want and make it come true nowadays in society. Taiwan is just like a melting pot of traditional and modern thinking, at my mother’s age, there’re several women who had to give up their talents to meet the traditional social expectation. What I know about women is that they are strong, independent and warm.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Most of the women around my age could choose whatever they want and make it come true nowadays in society. Taiwan is just like a melting pot of traditional and modern thinking, at my mother’s age, there’re several women who had to give up their talents to meet the traditional social expectation. What I know about women is that they are strong, independent and warm.

 

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

As I was a child, it’s frustrating that it’s always men’s names popping up in the art realm in Taiwan. I don’t know the reason but have wondered why there’s no famous female artist in fine art.

 

Be brave, be proud and be loud, love yourself. Don’t have to be afraid of mistakes, trying and keeping moving.

 

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

Be brave, be proud and be loud, love yourself.

Don’t have to be afraid of mistakes, trying and keep moving.

 


What type of music do you like to listen to?

I love J-pop, R&B, Lo-fi hip-hop and post-rock.

 

What’s your favorite local food spot?

Yang’s yi-noodles restaurant, a Taiwan traditional local food restaurant in Hsinchu city.

 

Cornelia Li asks: What is the first 3 years of career like?

Because of having a primarily work about medical, I’m always a freelance artist. The first three years to me is really busy and felt pressure deeply to meet my customer’s needs when I was a beginner freelance artist without a standard procedure to handle all commissions easily. Actually, The first step is always the hardest, I think that most of the time in the first three years is to set up my standard procedure which depends on every commission and experience. Setting up and making it work are the biggest gains during this period.

 

Celestial Fang asks: How has your art changed since the start of your journey?

It might be after I graduated from senior high, I got my first digital graphics tablet, it changed my way from Academic art to Digital art, maybe a little closer to anime style. I made lots of watercolors, pencil sketches, oil paintings when I was in junior high, most of them are landscape and still-life. Even did some on-the-spot watercolors during my family self-guided travel abroad at that time. After I enter college, there no so much time for me to paint as before, so I changed my painting tool, and my art style, too.

 

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

Somedays, if you want to try or challenge other subjects in your work, what would it be?

 

 

Photos courtesy of Ayakii

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