1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hello everyone, my name is An Chen, I am a Taiwanese illustrator now based in the UK. I’ve been working as a graphic designer for many years until one day I realized that creating illustration is the most interesting and satisfying thing and that I would love to spend my whole life pursuing my passion, so I quit my job, came to the UK to study illustration.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
My current style is mainly vector-based, I quite enjoy the process of simplifying objects and turning them into vector, geometric shapes. I like using geometric shapes as the base, bold strokes to depict details. My color palette was influenced by vintage matchboxes designed around the mid-1900s.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
Basically, everything I do is on Adobe Illustrator, even for adding texture. As an illustrator, I wouldn’t say I like drawing, the thing I like about illustration is all about using vector points to construct an image in a geometric way. If an editor asks me to provide sketches, I use Procreate.
4. What is your artistic process like?
I usually start with some rough idea in mind, and then I will browse a lot of images to be my reference, all of my references are photos, nothing illustration related. When I start to create, I listen to conversation-based television or radio to “distract” myself from focusing on what I draw, my brain and hand will draw unconsciously, I end up creating something exciting and original.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
I get inspiration through reading, I visualize sentences automatically in my mind while I read, that is the reason why I create a lot of editorial illustration. I definitely get huge inspiration from artists all over the world, Owen Davey and Henning Wagenbreth are my favourite if I have to choose.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
My work is my everything.
7. Where did you study?
Currently, I am studying my Children’s books illustration MA in Cambridge School of Art and will graduate next year.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’ve been creating editorial illustration, I hope to become better at what I’m doing now. Most importantly to develop and establish my unique visual voice.
9. What about in ten?
Hopefully, I will be able to create some illustrations for leading media and press companies and publish my book. Also, I would like to see my illustration cooperate with animation.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
My ultimate goal is to be able to create a strong conceptual illustration, which can communicate, telling its own story without any extra interpretation.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
12. Favourite book?
Oven Davey’s animal series.
13. Favourite genre of music?
My current favourite is Wolf Alice’s Silk.
14. What are your hobbies?
Sketching, playing video games.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I would say any job that allows me to create images that I like, that is the only thing I want to do.