1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hi I am Qianhui Yu, an animation director, illustrator, creative visual designer living in London at the moment. Born and raised in two beautiful cities in South China, Guilin and Hangzhou. I started drawing when I was a little girl. I moved to Hangzhou when I was 14 and enrolled in the high school affiliated to China Academy of Art, so everything came out quite naturally; I went to the same academy studying New media art, where I had my first chance to approach animation, which made me realise what kind of thing I wanted to keep working on. Two years ago, I came to London to study Animation at the Royal College of Art. I just graduated and now I am just living in London and seeing where it will take me.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
My artworks take on a bright, surreal candy-colour aesthetic, with interest lying in adorable creatures and nature art, accessible approach to a cruel environmental issue or self-identity discovery. I was always slowly developing my visual language, and it became more clearer since I was making my graduate animation project ‘Wastopia’, which is ‘sugar coated’ visual style, with candy-coloured playful characters, surreal stylization, highly detailed texture, and the use of sarcasm meant to juxtapose with the crucial topic of environmental issues.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
I would say both animation and illustration are my favourite mediums. I always loved drawing since I was a child, and then I found the moving image is a powerful method to express myself to the audience. I found that it was animation that really appealed to me, it’s an avenue I can use to express my dreams, thoughts: the things I can’t express in words…
4. What is your artistic process like?
It is very flexible really, I don’t have a certain process about making art. I draw when I feel something that interest me, some of them are bad, so I’ll just put them aside and get back to it a few days later.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
The nature, creatures are the most inspiring things to me. I also care about the neglected things, culture and groups.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Art lives in me literally everywhere, I kind of grow up in a artistic world, my dad taught me drawing since I was young, most of my friends are in art and design career. I love talk about art, seeing things critically, art gives me different points of view with things on the world.
7. Where did you study?
I moved to Hangzhou when I was 14 and enrolled in the high school affiliated to China Academy of Art, so everything came out quite naturally; I went to the same academy studying New media art, where I had my first chance to approach animation, which made me realise what kind of thing I wanted to keep working on. Two years ago, I came to London to study Animation at the Royal College of Art. I just graduated and now I am just living in London and seeing where it will take me.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Continue developing my art brand with my visual style, but probably still need to work to support my own freelance career.
9. What about in ten?
Should be the same but hopefully I don’t need to worry about finance and fully focus on my own art world.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
Keep developing my own style, and earn money from it.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
Poached egg, salmon, avocado, eddo etc.
12. Favourite book?
I rarely have time to read fiction, but I found an interesting book recently called ‘Frans Mastereel story without words’, which is a novel told in 60 woodcuts. Highly recommends to read it!
13. Favourite genre of music?
Many kinds! 80s/90s Canto-Pop music, Alternative pop, City pop, Post rock, Minimal synth. I listen to Sogumm and Sunset Rollercoaster a lot recently.
14. What are your hobbies?
Watch films, tea, coffee, picnic, walking, go to galleries
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Fashion designer or Pornstar?