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Chi Ngo

Chi Ngo

Meet Chi Ngo, an illustrator and animation artist from Los Angeles and Ho Chi Minh City

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a Vietnamese illustrator and animation artist currently based in Los Angeles. I’ve worked on a few animation productions and have my work showcased in galleries. I love painting tender moments and experimenting with different styles and color moods. When I’m not drawing, I’m baking, singing (to myself), playing games, and enjoying walks with my dog.

 

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

Hochiminh city and Los Angeles are both very vibrant cities with lots going on. I feel like I have to be constantly updating and keeping up with what’s happening around me or I can get behind. There’s also amazing food and activities that you will definitely never get bored of. Hochiminh city definitely moves at a faster pace while Los Angeles is a little more relaxed. I honestly love them both, but since then I’ve considered Los Angeles more my home.

 

Hochiminh city and Los Angeles are both very vibrant cities with lots going on. I feel like I have to be constantly updating and keeping up with what’s happening around me or I can get behind.

 

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

The best thing is the people, I have made a lot of great friends here. The worst thing is the traffic, especially during rush hour.

 

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

Competitive. Humbling. Diverse.

 

How did you start your career in art?

Growing up I’ve always loved drawing. I drew so much during class that I got into trouble for being a bad influence! I’ve never thought that I would be able to make a living doing art until I found out that there is a career in animation and entertainment. I did not take art seriously until I entered college, and I just kept working towards my goals. After graduating from Art Center I was lucky to have gotten my foot into the industry. It definitely hasn’t been a smooth ride all the way through, but I appreciate all the work I get to be part of and all the people who have helped me on my artistic journey.

 

After graduating from Art Center I was lucky to have gotten my foot into the industry. It definitely hasn’t been a smooth ride all the way through, but I appreciate all the work I get to be part of and all the people who have helped me on my artistic journey.

 

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

At first, no. Growing up in Asia, art was never considered a viable career. I was fortunate that my parents were both creatives and wanted me to excel in a field that I am passionate about, which is why they sent me to America for school. I’m forever grateful for all of their sacrifices just so I can be here today.

 

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

I would love to be able to dabble in many creative adventures, since I feel like entertainment art is so diverse and exciting! I worked in animation and illustration, but I would love to be able to work on children’s books, games, virtual reality, handmade products, or something entirely new! The possibilities seem endless if you keep an open mind.

 

I would love to be able to dabble in many creative adventures, since I feel like entertainment art is so diverse and exciting!

 

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

I’ve always joked about doing a collaboration project with my two other sisters, whose names are also Chi (laughs). I feel like we all have different strengths that complement each other, and I think we can create something amazing together. Also, we are all silly in our own ways and really enjoy each other’s company.

 

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

I think the biggest challenge I face every day is my own insecurity. Being surrounded by so many talented people can be so invigorating, however, it can also make me feel like I’m not doing enough. There’s the danger of getting burnt out and losing interest in what you do, but you have to realize that you are doing what you can with the amount of energy you have and try not to take on too much at once.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

They’re all very lovely people. Everyone I know works extremely hard while being extremely kind, compassionate, and empowering.

 

My mother, who taught me how to pick up my first paint brush, showed me how to be a strong woman in a creative field and in life, and reminded me of where I’m from and who I really am whenever I feel lost.

 

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

My mother, who taught me how to pick up my first paint brush, showed me how to be a strong woman in a creative field and in life, and reminded me of where I’m from and who I really am whenever I feel lost.

 

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

A lot of young women, like me, when I was fresh out of school, are usually nervous and afraid and underestimate themselves. I would like to remind them that while it’s okay to be nervous, know that you are worth it and don’t let that stop you from fighting for a higher rate, a better job position, or recognition in the field. Just keep going with your heads up while staying kind and true to yourself.

 


What’s your favorite local food spot?

San Gabriel Valley has so much good food and so many boba places I love!

 

Akane Malbeni asks: What are you into outside of being a creative?

I am always looking for new food adventures!

 

Deborah Lee asks: What do you like most about your work?

I think my personal work really reflects my mood when I’m painting them.

 

Anushka Tendolkar asks: Have you ever had imposter syndrome? How did you overcome it?

Yes, every time I’m entering a new project. I’m not sure if I will ever fully overcome it but the most helpful thing I find is to keep pushing, one small step at a time until the job is done. Then look back and be proud of what you have accomplished!

 

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

Where do you usually go to clear your head?

 

 

Photos courtesy of Chi Ngo

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