I am ViviChen (蛋妹), a freelance illustrator based in Taipei, Taiwan. My commercial experience has covered newspapers, novels, and commercial advertisements. I like to focus on abstract feelings and vibe in life and I prefer vivid saturated colors with delicate hand-drawn skills. My works often portray with details and turn daily objects into content with metaphors, creating surreal undertones. In my daily life, I love planting (I have grown many plants in my apartment balcony), watching movies (especially old films), thinking, reading and observing. I was born to be a sensitive person. Through my upbringing experience, I found it is not easy having close connections with people immediately. However, this difficulty triggers my curiosity in terms of human interaction and emotional flow, and further reflecting in my creative theme. I believe drawing is the most honest way of expressing myself and feeling alive.
Taipei is the city where I lived in since childhood. Featured with comprehensive living functions including its efficient transportation and high density of convenience stores, Taipei is the most convenient and wonderful city for me. Beyond the abundant vital functions, Taipei also provides a variety of natural scenery. Within one hour, you are able to enjoy the mountains and sea landscapes in the suburb. As there is no concern regarding the security issue, I like to roam alone through the alleys, streets, and riverbanks, getting away from the downtown. During the walking, I always discover the surroundings, i.e., lovely plants, people, buildings, any insignificant details of life, which bring me energy and more creative inspiration.
I believe drawing is the most honest way of expressing myself and feeling alive.
BEST: Good public transportation, and many arts/culture centers, exhibitions, museum, and galleries.
Considering I do not have a car or motorcycle, buses and the metro are the most convenient public transportation. Taipei is the capital of Taiwan. It has many arts/culture centers, exhibitions, museum, and galleries. I enjoy it a lot.
WORST: Summer is too hot
Inherited its unique position surrounded by mountains and hills, Taipei city has trapped the high temperature and sticky humidity in summer. Under this unbearable temperature, I still tried to reduce the dependency of air conditioners in order to cut down my expenses.
Variety, Free, Challenging
I grew up with the absolute love of drawing. After completing a fine art undergraduate degree, I started my career in the art field.
In the school period, I came into the fine arts and practiced traditional drawing skills. The school library has become a door to open the world of illustration for me. I discovered lots of brilliant illustrations around the world in books and magazines, which also triggered my interest and curiosity. I believe illustrations can be the balance of commercial application and pure art aesthetic, having more flexibility than fine art paintings.
After graduation from university, I tried to begin my career as an illustrator. Due to the lack of relevant experience, I started from social media channels by sharing my illustration works on network online platform. After half a year, a Taiwanese illustration agency spotted my work and I signed a commercial contract. Though our collaboration period only lasted for one year, I have learned some illustration and communication skills with clients. After that, I have become a freelance illustrator until now. I keep creating more personal works and series and also gain more commercial exposures.
The path of an illustrator is lonely and not easy, but this is what I really love.
Luckily, I have non-traditional parents, they support me a lot and give me courage every time I feel frustrated and let me be myself. The path of an illustrator is lonely and not easy, but this is what I really love.
In the past, I used to focus on personal works and passively wait for commercial projects. The progress of self-improvement is slow. As such, in the future, I would like to make a few twists to gain more profitable commercial cases and maintain long-term client relationships. Furthermore, Taiwan’s market is small and the rewards are not very well, I wish I could make my works more visible around the world not only in Taiwan.
Actually, I never thought about this question before but I have a dream case list where I want my illustrations to cooperate with such as for a record/Vinyl record or a pattern company (I have created some patterns before). I believe it would be a dream to cooperate with England’s famous pattern company “Liberty London’’.
Simple life, hardworking, friendly
No, I do not have. However, beyond the regional boundary, Riikka Sormunen is the first illustrator I was so impressed with when I saw her work in a magazine. Her artwork is very original, rich and strong.
No, in my experience, I never encountered this situation.
Do not stop creating.
Do not stop creating. And do not hesitate to expose your work on the Internet even when you think the work is not in its mature phase. You will never know when the opportunity comes. The more you draw the more you will see your growth and improvements. Occasionally, you will feel lonely and frustrated, but never give up easily.
Photos courtesy of ViviChen.
March 27, 2020