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Knifeson Yu Ka Hei

Knifeson Yu Ka Hei

Meet London-based animator and illustrator, Knifeson Yu Ka Hei.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Knifeson, but all my friends call me “Knife”.

I am a 2D animator/illustrator from Hong Kong, currently based in London.

 

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

Hong Kong, a very small and internationally busy city, the mixed culture from east to west, the city life, and the nature life, they are all just so close. You can take a 30-minute metro and go hiking and have dinner back in the city central.

London, a mix of history, art, culture, people, EVERYTHING. You can get yourself really busy or you can choose to chill and go to the park, read some books, see some friends, or have a pint.

Both cities inspire me. After all, I am a city person.

 

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

Hong Kong:

Everything is quick, people walk fast, three convenience stores within 1-minute walk, the trends go like a snap, chop-chop, no time to wait, and done. You can reach out to different stuff easily. This is the best thing.

I was born in the late 80s. I have been through the 1997 handover from Britain to China, which is a HUGE deal for me. I can see the changes and differences. It is still a busy city but not like the same old days. So the bad thing is politics and we are about to lose freedom of EVERYTHING. This is the worst.

 

London:

This city is creative but it also keeps its traditions at the same time. You can see a Pret inside an 800-year-old church or a bakery under an old railway arch. Those random things bang with each other, which is amazing. I am inspired by this place a lot, it makes me a better person and more creative. The worst thing is the traffic really sucks.

 

I am inspired by this place a lot, it makes me a better person and more creative.

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

Hong Kong :

“Instant” / “Various” / “Unique”

 

London:

“Historical” / “Competitive” / “Inspiring”

 

How did you start your career in art?

I LOVE drawing since I was a baby. The only things that can stop me from crying are pen and paper and the cartoon shows on telly. That’s why I always love cartoons, anime, and manga. Thinking about “Who drew this? Can I do that?” all the time.

I was not really good at schools tbh, too much studying. After I graduated, I went to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and dived into Digital Media back in 2011.

After I graduated from uni, a few of my friends and I started up a 2D animation company called Intoxic Studio in Hong Kong. We had such a lovely time and all the good fun together.

In 2014, I left the company, for the improvement of my animation + life skills. That’s the reason I moved to London and this is where I am now.

 

I LOVE drawing since I was a baby.

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

Thanks to my family, they always knew I loved drawing, and unlike a traditional family, they let me do whatever I like as long as I can feed myself.

A lot of my friends have common interests. We all love comics/animation, film, and we share a lot of ideas and are inspired by each other.

THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO LOVES ME AND I LOVE YOU ALL.

 

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

Been working as a freelancer in London for 5 years now. For my next step, I will develop more personal works, maybe comics, zines, or animations.

 

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

For animation, Masaaki Yuasa, please.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

They are all AMAZING BEAUTIFUL HUMAN BEINGS.

We are helping + inspiring each other.

 

They are all AMAZING BEAUTIFUL HUMAN BEINGS.

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

Little Thunder. She is a comic artist + illustrator from Hong Kong.

I read her comics when I was in secondary school (she started her career really early, even though we are about the same age-ish).  Her drawings blew my mind, the colours, the storyboarding, and the stories itself. She is still active in the industry. I always looked up her Instagram and hope that one day I can have 1% of her skills.

 

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

Some people say that the animation industry is a boy’s club but I met quite a lot of female animators/directors/artists. I think nowadays we are all fine or at least I don’t think people treat me worse because I am a female.

We are all just human.

 

You will find your way out.

 

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

When you’re stuck at some point, take a deep breath, relax, then keep going. You will find your way out.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Knifeson Yu Ka Hei.

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