Instagram: @vivichen33
Website: www.eggsister.com

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.

我叫蛋妹,來自台灣。目前是一名自由插畫工作者。我從小就喜歡畫畫,很幸運的一路上有很支持我的家人。大學四年的時光,最常接觸與學習的是傳統繪畫技巧。因為有個對事物好奇的心,我在課後和學校的圖書館時光,慢慢對插畫領域產生興趣。發現了來自世界各地優秀的插畫作品,那超出我從前對插畫的刻板印象。原來插畫不只有商業性的配圖功能,它同時也能發展出自我表達的藝術創作和美學。更加平衡了純藝術領域的有限性。

於是畢業後我立定了目標,希望能為一位插畫家,開始了插畫創作與接案的生活,在這8年左右的時間,我不段精進並持續創作,慢慢發展出自己完整的插畫風格與看事情的角度,而商業作品多見於聯合報副刊、文學小說等各商業案。

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.

寫實中的超現實、並帶有詩意、隱喻。我喜歡關注抽象感受,由細節、日常物件去拼揍一個完整的情境,說出一個個我想傳達的故事,給予觀者想像空間。另外對配色敏銳,很重視畫面整體的色調,喜歡明亮與飽和的顏色。

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.

我的作品幾乎以全手繪呈現,以鉛筆勾勒線條並搭配壓克力顏料上色的方式作畫。雖然以電繪呈現的插畫佔目前市場的大宗,但對我來說,手繪不論是在畫圖的過程,還是呈現的效果上,仍有電繪無法取代並迷人的地方。比如在畫圖過程能感受到筆與紙張摩擦的真實感,還有手繪筆觸的樸質感。

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.  

我會先在本子裡記下文字,通常會有一個主要想傳達的訊息,再以日常物件或人物肢體去連結完整的故事。這個過程就像在拼拼圖一樣,

只要開始動筆構圖,思緒就會被筆帶領,不知不覺畫出一些潛意識訊息,當畫面完成時會發現一切被巧妙串聯,那是一個很棒的創作過程。

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…

靈感多來自於日常生活中特別有感的心情或事件。另外也常因為看到的景、一張網路上的照片、一部電影..等等的圖像觸發,不斷延伸出自己創作的故事性。

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.

對我來說,繪畫創作讓我感覺到自己的存在價值與表達欲的抒發,如同我生命裡必須存在的要素。創作有點像療癒自己的過程,把那些很有感的畫出來後,同時梳裡自己的心情,每畫完一張圖就像朝宇宙拋出一個訊號,或許幸運的被看見成為一顆星星,獲得共感與他人產生連結。

7. Where did you study?

I did my BA in Fine Art at Chinese Cultural University.

大學就讀文化大學美術系

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.

維持現在的創作生活,並與更多不同產業有合作的機會。對生活持續有熱情和領悟,或許能找到新鮮的說故事方法,畫出更多超越自己過去的插畫作品。

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.

和上一題差不多,但在環境上希望有更專業的空間,擁有自己獨立的工作室,我理想中的工作室是有一大片窗戶,並有很好的採光環境,還有我的狗狗能陪伴在左右。現在我畫圖、工作睡覺都是在同樣的房間。還有希望能出一本自己有ISBN條碼的圖文書!

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.

感受倏忽即逝,希望藉由我的創作喚起人們更多被忽略的細膩情感,或是曾經經歷卻無法被言喻的感受,產生被理解的共感。

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. 

我喜歡吃麵。吃麵會獲得一種心情上的愉悅,我不確定是因為麵的形狀與口感讓我感受到一種被療癒的心情,還是因為它連結到我童年的幸福時光。

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.

喜歡感覺溫暖、放鬆有節奏感的音樂,或是有點復古氛圍的音樂類型。爵士、獨立音樂、演奏樂、流行歌..等等。除了不喜歡太吵的音樂及電音。

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. 

我是一個內向者,平常偏好靜態的活動。像是走路、養盆栽、看書、看電影特別喜歡老電影,喜歡穿越時空感受不合時宜的氛圍。

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.

我從來沒有思考過這個問題。還是會跟藝術及美的領域有關,或許當一名服裝設計師或花藝師。