Today, we are joined by Miss Cyndi , she is a Illustrator. You can view her portfolio here.
Firstly, I’d like to thank you for the interview. We’d like to understand how your interest for illustration started shaping up. Tell us a bit more about what made you go this route!
I grew up in a small family, as the only child and both my parents are very busy at that time,my mother used to give me a box of color pencil and a small stack of paper while she had to go to work (cause I have no brothers and sisters for company).As far as I can remember,drawing and paintingplayed an important role in my childhood,and it become spart of me that I can’t set it apart as I grew up.I chose to study art &design in college, and decide to begin my career as an artist or designer after graduation. For years, I have found the more I dig in the world of arts & design, the more I realizehow enthusiastic I am about drawing, painting and illustrations.In the summer of 2012, I started to share my works on the internet when I was about to graduated from graduate school,and that’s when my current agency found my works and came to me.
Tell us a bit more about how you learned it all. What changed in the last few years in terms of ease of expanding your skills and knowledge?
Basically,I learned most of the skills that would be used to create or design art piece on my own ,I like to discover new things, explore new territory, so there’s no limits or boundaries on my way to pursuit my passion for arts & design.In the beginning,most of my works are digital art and graphic design. Such as advertisement design, CIS design, poster design, book cover design, webpage design, and so on. I’ve been worked as an intern in a publishing house of culture and education for 2 years. When I was in college, at that time, I got a better understanding of the process of publication. After graduated, I worked in a news media for 1 year, my duty is to design banners and poster for the website.During those years,I realize that although I’m really interested in art & design,I really can’t be stuck in a rut like that.
Later, I was accepted to graduate school,it’s also the time I truly got better understanding of illustrations,and I started to practice and practice to perfect my skill of hand-painting,trying to find out the “true me” in the world of illustrations.Compared with computer graphics,I prefer creating my works by traditional way.Though computers improve my efficiency on production,the texture and tone that hand painting can bring to the artworks is still irreplaceable. So now I’ve been practicing to combine the advantage of these two skills not only to improve efficiency,but also the quality of my works.
What does your creative process look like?
My drawings usually comes from my deep thoughts, or inspiration of daily life. I usually start express my thoughts by sketching,I usually start my works with pencils,then I color them up with color pencils and water colors,in the end I scan them into Photoshop to work on the details and finish the final piece. Lately,for better time efficiency,I try to skip the step of coloring manually ,I do it directly in Photoshop ,but the texture and the tone of the works still looks quiet different from one to the other.
Do you have any recommendations in terms of good books, programs you use, or media choices you’re willing to share with us?
I have no preference on books for reading, yet I do love read for all kinds of books as long as it’s inspirable and thoughtful. Large amount of reading will give me more idea on composing as a designer.
In everyday morning, I used to browse Behance or Tumblr, which are great platforms with many incredible artists and their great works, it always gives me different kinds of visual impact and thoughts that inspires me to create my art piece.
Do you have a special place or object that boosts your inspiration and helps your creative drive? What is it like and why does it have this effect on you?
I always create my works in the cozy, small studio in my house, all the material I need for creating my works(like papers, painting supplies,oreven laptop) are all here in my studio. Since I’m used to create my works with music or movies playing on as background,so I can feel really free to do it and be relaxed in my own house, concentrating on creating my artworks. Moreover ,I love animals ,I have three adorable babies(two dachshund& one German Shepherd) in my house now ,so while I’m working , I can be surrounded by them and feel really safe and relieved,I think it’s also an important reason why I love to stay at home.
Could you describe how a productive day would look like from your point of view? Which are the most important hours for you?
The typical day starts at 10AM morning, along with a cup of coffee in breakfast; then I start to browse the portfolios from Behance and Tumblr as well as checking emails and cleaning up desk afterwards. Then I start to start the painting from 1PM every day. For my dining behavior, I just have two meals per day, and will cook myself dinner otherwise eating outside if I’m busy on work.
After the dinner, I’ll walk my dogs in the green yard nearby and come back to work afterwards. My working hours is much longer, and it will be a better condition for me to concentrate on work from 7PM to 3AM.
What is your stance on today’s ever growing opportunities enabling artists to take on remote design work?
The world is changing fast thanks to the advance of technology. Artists and designers nowadays are working more closely with technology or field which may not relates to art in the first place. I can foresee more exciting artwork or designs coming outof many talented people working together. The opportunities for artists in the future are only limited by their own imagination, I think.
What would you prefer: a steady, well paying job in a local agency, or the freedom and often stressful life of a freelancer? Why?
I prefer to work as a freelancer! Because it would be easier for me to arrange my working hours and personal life,besides, I can decorate my working space like a warm little home instead of cold office.Also,I would like to be on top of my own work, and put all my efforts into it. In fact,I think I will start my own business without the help of agency. That’s my ultimate goal, and I’m still going for it.
How would you describe “the ideal project”? Did you have any recent opportunities to come close to this?
My ideal project would be publishing a book about my illustrations with story and deep thoughts explain those illustrations, and I happened to work on one lately!It’s like my childhood dream fulfilled! Even though the book is mostly created by myself, from planning,executing,and even designing,I think I’m still really lucky to have lots of good friends to support me in the process of the book’s publication. I‘m really grateful and appreciate their help.The book is expected to be published by the end of 2014, Finger crossed it will be done without a hitch. And that’s the time I can say I achieve one of my goal in my life!