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Vivienne Shao

Vivienne Shao

Meet illustrator from London, Vivienne Shao

GirlsclubAsia-Artist-Vivienne_Shao-profile picture

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a Chinese born illustrator, and currently living in London. I love using high saturated colors, I mostly used myself as the main protagonist in my illustrations, and that is also why my illustrations are female related. I usually present my ideas and opinions of topics through a straightforward and humorous way; I also like including the fun bits of my daily life in my works.

 

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

I am living in London right now, which is a diverse city, but the weather is usually cloudy or rainy which could make me a little bit depressed, because sometimes I want to go out, but the weather could stop me doing that. There are lots of huge museums around my living area which is very inspiring and great, and London always has a lot of amazing exhibitions.

 

I am a Chinese born illustrator, and currently living in London. I love using high saturated colors, I mostly used myself as the main protagonist in my illustrations, and that is also why my illustrations are female related. I usually present my ideas and opinions of topics through a straightforward and humorous way; I also like including the fun bits of my daily life in my works.

 

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

I think the best thing for me is that London has lots of galleries and museums, and it always has a lot of great exhibitions. The worst thing for me is that there are too much people crowed in this city, and sometime the busyness could annoy me.

 

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

Challenging, competitive, inspiring.

 

How did you start your career in art?

I think I am very insisted to be an illustrator before university, and I am quite lucky that I can start taking commissions right after my graduate.

 

I think I am very insisted to be an illustrator before university, and I am quite lucky that I can start taking commissions right after my graduate.

 

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

Yes, they are, especially my parents!

 

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

My goals for my future work is to continue illustrating female-related topics, as a female, I hope my works could discuss and present my ideas and opinions towards those topics, that these topics definitely need more discussed in the society.

 

My goals for my future work is to continue illustrating female-related topics, as a female, I hope my works could discuss and present my ideas and opinions towards those topics, that these topics definitely need more discussed in the society.

 

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

BTS, I am their old fan.

 

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

I realized that sometimes my style and the way of visual communication isn’t what the clients really like or need, that sometimes it’s a little bit hard to earn my living.

 

I think the elder women in my family are very supportive and strong, they are all very independent which influenced me, I think I could say I am pretty fun and confident in person as my illustration.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

I think the elder women in my family are very supportive and strong, they are all very independent which influenced me, I think I could say I am pretty fun and confident in person as my illustration. However, my female friends are quite sensitive and a bit lacking confidence.

 

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

To be honest, there is none, I think I didn’t look up to any artists when I was growing up, because I started drawing during teenagerhood and my interest was more towards anime. And I think I didn’t hear much of female creatives when I was young either.

 

I think that if you once decided to work in this creative field, you need passion and you need to focus on one area and dedicate yourself in this, you might encounter lots of challenges and difficulties, but don’t give up.

 

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

I think that if you once decided to work in this creative field, you need passion and you need to focus on one area and dedicate yourself in this, you might encounter lots of challenges and difficulties, but don’t give up.

 


What type of music do you like to listen to?

I actually listened to all kinds of music, but I especially like BTS, Lana del Rey, and Eivør Pálsdóttir.

 

What’s your favorite local food spot?

I don’t really have a favorite local food spot, but I like bubble tea very much.

 

Knight Zhang asks: What is something you struggle with as a creative that you don’t think is talked about enough in communities or online spaces?

I think that earning a living from doing illustration is very hard and challenging, especially for graduates. I think that people didn’t talk about enough the risk of being a creative as your profession, because most of us will go through a hard time that we don’t get any commissions. And I think the overall environment is lack of critical feedback, that might lead some of us believing in the unrealistic and idealized situation.

 

Tidawan Thaipinnarong asks: What city would you want to live in and work as a creative?

I want to live in Guangzhou as a creative, which is my hometown.

 

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

What do you think about the online censorship over female bodies in creative works?

 

 

Photos courtesy of Vivienne Shao

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