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Lin Chen

Lin Chen

Meet illustrator from Shanghai, Lin Chen.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am an illustrator currently based in Shanghai, China. I studied animation at the University. While studying there, I found I prefer illustrating to animation production. After graduation, I decided to learn and improve illustration further. So I took an MFA in Illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. This period helped me to understand illustration and to prepared the next step about my career. I earned an MFA degree from Academy of Art University in December 2018, and I am lucky won the New Talent Editorial category at the World Illustration Awards 2019. I like to draw female characters to tell stories, admiring their soft and strong characteristics.

 

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

Shanghai is definitely different from anywhere I had ever been, even in Asia. It is very modern, crowded, and full of life. Food is amazing. The food options are so different and varied that you can get lost and the prices are overwhelming. You can find everything based on how much you want to pay. One of my favorite restaurants here is owned by a French couple. They have the most amazing wine and cheese!

Shanghai is great because it can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. When the weather is nice, walking is my favorite ways to get around with my friend at The Former French Concession. There are always new stores popping up or galleries to explore, and it’s much easier to notice these new spots when you’re on foot.

 

Shanghai is definitely different from anywhere I had ever been, even in Asia.

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

Shanghai has good public transportation system. I like to use the metro a lot because it is convenient and faster at rush hour. Also, there is a great bike-sharing system.

Traffic is pretty bad, especially during rush hour. It doesn’t help that driving is a little crazy in the city.

 

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

exciting, urban, busy

 

How did you start your career in art?

My family made clothes and sold them when I was a child so there are a lot of technique books about fashion design and patterns in my house. These books opened a new world for me when I was a little kid. I learned to draw a lot of stuff from those books. You can see that my style is very graphic, because of those pattern design books. Meanwhile, my mom likes to show me a lot of abstract art books and expressionism art books during my childhood. So I love painting since I was a little child.

 

My family made clothes and sold them when I was a child so there are a lot of technique books about fashion design and patterns in my house. These books opened a new world for me when I was a little kid. I learned to draw a lot of stuff from those books.

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

My parents always support and celebrate my creative work. That is one of the most rewarding feelings I have. Most of my friends are doing creative work. We give each other mutual support and inspiration. When I have doubts about my works and myself, there’s nothing like having the people who know you best cheering you on. Also, I’m always interested in exploring projects that allow my work to exist in different forms, meet new talented people, and work together.

 

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

I am lucky I got great recommendations from my superiors, then I started off interning for NOWNESS where I learned about graphic design. Because my style is very graphic, I am doing some projects that could combine short sentences and images together to create new works. Also, I try to animate my works so that they could be more dynamic.

 

Because my style is very graphic, I am doing some projects that could combine short sentences and images together to create new works.

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

I would say, my boyfriend. My boyfriend is currently working on the game industry as a lead concept artist. we have an idea to make a 2D indie game or 2D short animation for a long time. The problem is that we have different art styles, so we’re still looking for a way to find out something new in terms of the style to showcase the best parts of each other. I think there will be a moment as we’re getting stronger in our own industries when we’ll make it work!

 

How would you describe the women around you?

1. Nice/Nice Lady

2. Intelligent

3. Strong

4. Elegant

 

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

My mom is the person for me. She is trying to break the stereotypes related to women who have their own business in my hometown. She is my role model. She inspires and motivates me to grow without any barriers. It seems to me that this woman looks at life as a challenge and wholeheartedly intends to seize the day every day. She’s always there for me and she also inspires me. She has been setting examples for me to follow since I was little to let me have the courage to face what I cannot. My mom is my conviction. It makes me brave enough to face this fact.

 

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

Not really. As long as you don’t see gender as differentiation between yourself and other people, it won’t be as bad. Everyone in my field focuses on work. And there are a lot of really talented great women and across the whole age spectrum. They always provide realistic help to newcomers in my field. Because of one recommendation coming from my superiors, I got my first job.

 

Keep your confidence and draw what you like!

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

Keep your confidence and draw what you like!

 

 

Photos courtesy of Lin Chen.

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