1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hi! I am ViviChen, a freelance illustrator based in Taipei, Taiwan. I grew up with an absolute love of drawing and luckily my parents gave me a lot of support. After I did my BA in Fine Art, I started my career in the art field.
During my college life, I came into the fine arts and practiced traditional drawing techniques. The university 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 seen as the balance of commercial application and one of the aesthetic forms in fine art, having more flexibility than “fine art paintings” (the paintings which have a huge gap between concept/statements/context and the painting itself).
I have begun my career as an illustrator since I did my BA. I keep creating more works and series, which are inspired by my life experience and my observation, gaining more commercial exposure, such as newspapers, novels, and commercial advertisements.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
Realistic, surreal, poetic and lots of metaphors.
I like to focus on abstract feelings and vibe in life, and prefer vivid saturated colors with delicate hand-drawn skills. My works often portray details and transform daily objects into metaphoric contents or connotations, and creating surreal-like ambivalence. My work tend to guide the viewers some space for imagination.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
Most of my works are hand-drawn, I like to draw an outline with a pencil-like gesture then paint with acrylic. Although digital illustrations are more effective and popular in this century, I think hand-drawn skills have their irreplaceable way in showing pure and random textures. When I do hand-drawing, I can directly feel the friction between pencil and paper. I enjoy this process a lot.
4. What is your artistic process like?
I write down phrases and feelings that come in my sketchbook, then sketch drawing ideas irregularly. After I finished my sketch, I will pencil the illustration, then fill in some of the grey tones before colouring the final piece in acrylic paint.
Sometimes when I start to sketch, my thoughts are led by my hand and an unconscious message that will be connected with a whole story will surface.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
I was born to be a sensitive person and like observing. Through my upbringing experience, human interaction and emotional flow always become my centre of attention. When I draw, it’s just like writing my diary.
In addition, sometimes it’s triggered by the image of scenes, a photo on the Internet, a movie, etc…
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
For me, creating art makes me see value in myself, it becomes a necessary part of my life. Also, it is the most honest way of expressing myself and feeling alive. Every time when I finish one work, it’s like a process of healing myself and throwing a signal to the universe. Perhaps I’m lucky to be seen as a star, to gain a sense of empathy and connect with others.
7. Where did you study?
I did my BA in Fine Art at Chinese Cultural University.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Maintaining my creative drawing hobby and collaborating in diverse fields. Keeping passion and perception in life. Drawing more illustrations that surpass my past work.
9. What about in ten?
Similar to the previous question. And I wish to improve my working room and having a professional studio that separates it from my room. My ideal working room is bright and spacious and has the sun shining through the window. There, I will have many plants and a dog to accompany me. Also, I wish to publish my own books.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
Feelings are fleeting, it’s hard to translate into words. So, through my art, I hope people will feel empathised, find some similar experience that rekindles their sentiments.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
I like noodles. Eating noodles gets me in a good mood. I’m not sure if its because the shape of noodles that might have some sort of healing effects, or because it might relate to a mood that brings back my happy childhood memory.
12. Favourite book?
Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. I was stunned by this novel when I first read it. The structure of this book is unique, it has a rational and precise analysis about the paradox of human nature and a lot of philosophical implies.
米蘭昆德拉的< 生命不能承受之輕 >。第一次看到這本書就被驚豔到，是一本敘述題材很新穎的小說。喜歡書中精準分析人性情感裡的細膩與矛盾，兼具理性的拆解與感性的劇情描述，在看的當下能產生很多思考。
13. Favourite genre of music?
It depends on my mood. I like the music which is rhythmic and makes me feel warm and relax. Or I like the music which has an old school atmosphere. I usually listen to jazz and blues, indie, classical, pop… except the EDM and the music too noisy.
14. What are your hobbies?
As an introverted person, I prefer indoor activities. I love planting (I have grown many plants in my apartment balcony), watching movies (especially old films), thinking, reading, and observing.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I haven’t thought about it before but it will still be related to the fields of art and something I love. Perhaps as a fashion designer or florist.