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Taili Wu

Taili Wu

Meet New York-based illustrator and stop-motion artist, Taili Wu.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi 👋everyone, how are you?
My name is Taili Wu, I am an illustrator & stop-motion artist from Taiwan and currently based in NY, passionate about animals, playful things, and crunchy cookies. I love sharing stories and bringing curious ideas to life.

 

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

I am currently living in New York, which is a charming city filled with art, creative energy, and talents from all walks of life. One of my go-to for inspiration is to take walks on the street and in the park, people and dog watching:) The diversity of the people, language, and their culture makes everything so fun, and so many materials to work from.

Growing up in Taiwan, I lived and studied in Taichung and Taipei city. I felt the beauty of Taiwan even more especially when I came to NY for school, the culture differences definitely makes the Taiwanese’ s hospitality and friendliness stands out, not to mention the yummy and accessible food in the night market and breakfast stands! I am also a foodie, and Taiwan is a paradise for food inspirations!

 

One of my go-to for inspiration is to take walks on the street and in the park, people and dog watching:) The diversity of the people, language, and their culture makes everything so fun, and so many materials to work from.

 

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

The best thing living in New York is the opportunity to meet many amazing friends with diverse cultures and spark ideas together! It’s so lucky to be in a city that is so open and cultured with people from all over the world, the languages and cultures are beautiful, it feels like walking in a movie sometimes merely walking on the street or riding the subway among all the people!

The worst thing is probably the density of the population and the expensive housing for a tiny space 🙁
I used to call my home studio a tiny shoebox studio as it is a very tight space.

 

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

Curious, play(persistently), diligent

 

How did you start your career in art?

I studied art and education in college in Taiwan, I was curious about the animation and started taking some animation and video classes while in college. I had so much fun making claymation, 2D and cel animations, and that eagerness to learn more driven me to School of Visual Arts in New York for Computer Art, where I got to experiment different types of animation (3D, 2D, Hand-drawn, stop motion), and fine art (printmaking, puppet, sculpture).

After graduating, I stumbled into stop-motion projects while interning at the Suspect Studio in NY, and fall in love with the medium, and the DIY spirits 🙂 Since then, I have been working with talented teams on projects from concept, design, illustration, set & props fabrication to animation.

 

 There are waves and challenges with work from time to time, and I am still growing and learning every day.

 

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

Yes! I grow up in a family of farmers and teachers. It is not the norm to work as a creative and artist. Frankly, there is still the myth of being struggling as an artist in my family. Luckily, my parents (love you, mom 💖) are super supportive and trusting me to explore different opportunities, including pursuing art school and study in NY. I greatly appreciate both of my parents’ and my husband’s love and supports in my creative career. There are waves and challenges with work from time to time, and I am still growing and learning every day.

 

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

Stay curious and be brave to try new things. It’s my dream to contribute my skills to the good and make positive impacts on society. I don’t know what form of the works they will be yet, but I would like to create works that have deeper meanings and help people.

 

It’s my dream to contribute my skills to the good and make positive impacts on society. I don’t know what form of the works they will be yet, but I would like to create works that have deeper meanings and help people.

 

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

Taiwanese writer and poet, 夏宇(*Hsia Yu)!
I have been a long time fan of Hsia Yu’s writing, her writings are so playful, filled with imaginations and metaphors, I love reading the poems from time to time and finding new meanings each time I come back for it. One of my favorite books is her 腹語術(*ventriloquism).

 

How would you describe the women around you?

If I can only pick an emoji, it will be “ 💪”.
Women around me including my family (mom, grandma, sister-in-law), my teachers, my good friends shared the same traits, they are strong, brave, trusting, inspiring, wise, confident, beautiful, kind and humorous. I adore them and always channeling them when I encounter challenges.

 

I adore them and always channeling them when I encounter challenges.

 

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

In early 2000 when I was studying in high school and college, there weren’t that many females in animation. However, I do have many artists I admire, such as writer 夏宇(Hsia Yu), musician 陳綺貞(Cheer Chen) and dancer 羅曼菲(Man Fei Ro).

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?
1. In the design and animation field, it’s very likely to see more male artists than female artists. It could be for many reasons, from the preferred working field, the desirable & flexible working hours, and family care and so on. This might seem a bit intimidating at first (especially first day on the new project, in the new studio), but most of the male artists I had opportunities working with are all super cool, easy-going and fun to work with.
2. Physical challenges especially when the working hours get long. So finding an efficient way to work and utilize my best hours of the day is important for me.

 

Be brave, and trust your guts (on pursuing things you are passionate about).

 

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

Be brave, and trust your guts (on pursuing things you are passionate about).

 

 

Photos courtesy of Taili Wu

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