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Yujia Wang

Yujia Wang

Meet Paris-based illustrator, concept artist and filmmaker, Yujia Wang

GirlsclubAsia-Animator-Yujia Wang-profile

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born in Xi’an, China and studied animation in Beijing film academy and Gobelins, l’école de l’image. Now I’m an illustrator, concept artist and filmmaker based in Paris. I love creating stuff and cats.

 

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

I live in Paris most of the time. I love that there are a lot of creative people here, and you feel free to do many things.

 

I live in Paris most of the time. I love that there are a lot of creative people here, and you feel free to do many things.

 

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

Best thing is the easy access to cultural events and museums. Worst thing is the traffic and population. It can be quite chaotic and dirty sometimes.

 

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

Open, diverse, artsy :b

 

How did you start your career in art?

I found my path at a very young age, about after primary school. I love drawing, writing and making stuff since I was a kid. And I also love to express myself a lot. But by nature, I’m very introverted. So I was attracted immediately by animation when I discovered that you can combine many forms of art organically and explore so much in it.

 

I found my path at a very young age, about after primary school. I love drawing, writing and making stuff since I was a kid. And I also love to express myself a lot. But by nature, I’m very introverted. So I was attracted immediately by animation when I discovered that you can combine many forms of art organically and explore so much in it.

 

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

The environment I grew up in was quite conventional in a way. No one in the family does art for a living or anything even near to it. I’d say many appreciate academic achievements much more than artistic creation haha. So I just kept it as a hobby for a long time. But my parents especially my mom are always very supportive, they help cultivate my hobbies and give me complete freedom when making decisions.

 

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

I want to tell stories with my art. Stories that can touch and represent me on multiple levels. That’s the only goal and ambition.

 

I want to tell stories with my art. Stories that can touch and represent me on multiple levels. That’s the only goal and ambition.

 

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

I’m inspired by many different artists. But when it comes to collaboration, it’s kind of tricky to tell a name. I would love to collaborate with Zi De Guqin Studio, which is a young music group focused on Chinese traditional instrument performance. Their music videos have a very traditional and authentic style but also fresh and interesting. The music can really bring me back to those great ancient dynasties that remind me of my hometown, which is a very historic and cultural city. I think it would be quite fun to work with their music, to explore and play with the tradition and novelty.

 

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

To always be aware of what is really important for myself, and being honest to myself. And not to be stressed or comforted by other people’s judgement, ungrounded assumptions and superficial materials.

And laziness and procrastination :/

 

How would you describe the women around you?

The women around me are quite different. I feel most of them are creative, brave and uplifting each other. But everyone makes mistakes sometimes and changes through time, I appreciate a developing mentality more than anything else.

 

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

I can’t immediately think of any local female creative models when I was little. I guess it’s because most people I grew up with weren’t ‘creative and artistic’. But my mom used to make me a little puppet and encourage me to sew buttons on a handkerchief when she found out that I was secretly cutting bed sheets and sewing them back together. (I don’t remember why I was doing that but it was a funny story)

 

Life is much more complex than being strong and capable. And self-discovery is much more essential than fixing outside problems. I’m learning to embrace the process and imperfections, even though it’s difficult.

 

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

To embrace your emotions and be honest to yourself. Growing up I struggled a lot with my gender. I wasn’t happy being a girl when I was little because the education we received sometimes made me feel men are pictured as stronger and more capable. I was quite a tomboy and very competitive especially when it comes to proving that I’m the stronger and more capable one. But with time passing by, I realized that I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. And that is not at all what I want to spend energy on.

Life is much more complex than being strong and capable. And self-discovery is much more essential than fixing outside problems. I’m learning to embrace the process and imperfections, even though it’s difficult.

Being a creative gives us opportunities to express, which is very powerful and healing. Do not limit yourself with all kinds of standards, but make it sincere to yourself.

Technical advice would be: if you like something you’ll naturally spend time on it. So watch more, practice more, learn from others. Even sometimes it makes you feel miserable, it still humbles you. Don’t get anxious for not being good enough, cause you’ll never be good enough. And at the end of the day, being good enough is not the goal.

 


What type of music do you like to listen to?

I listen to all kinds of stuff. I’m very drawn to electronic music with ethnic elements or just ethnic music. I like folk with subtle and imaginative lyrics. I like soulful, spontaneous melodies. I like experimental music that’s challenging to listen to as well haha, really depends on my mood.

 

What’s your favorite local food spot?

Many, Koyi and Mr Zhao for my fellow noodle lovers in Paris.

 

Siqi Song asks: What is the best reaction you get when others see your work?

When they find it relatable or when they comment on the subtle details.

 

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

What other professions do you want to be engaged in if you are not an artist?

 

 

Photos courtesy of Yujia Wang

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