Duration: Two years.
Location: Beijing and London.
Education: MA in illustration from Camberwell College of Art, University of the Arts London.
Career path: I’ve always been interested in all kinds of art, such as dance, photography, music and theater, but I enjoyed drawing the most—and it was the only thing I could do! I went to an art-focused middle school and discovered my own style while studying at Camberwell. I loved exploring different mediums like screen printing, etching, oil painting, watercolors and pastel. During my MA course, I posted comics and illustrations on social media, which started my illustration career.
Cultural influences: In Europe, the illustrations in comics are quite experimental, especially independently published comic zines—each work has its own different style. I’m inspired by comic artists like Brecht Evens, Lorenzo Mattotti and Chris Ware, and painters such as Francis Bacon, Hieronymus Bosch and Harald Sohlberg. Their works expand my imagination. Living and traveling in different countries brings me inspiration: I catch every tiny idea during my travels and develop them into complete works of art. I visit exhibitions and performances in London frequently, looking for inspiration from different forms of art and daily life.
Favorite projects: The Scream, The Intrigue and Jane & Joan Enter the Kingdom of Heaven. These three stories are all about paintings I’m really interested in. I combined the painters’ experiences and backgrounds with my own feelings when I look at their works, telling a story about the connection between painting and viewer. I enjoyed the process of writing the story and drawing storyboards. It was a new way of drawing for me.
Approach: Hand drawing is my main style of work. I’m obsessed with the feeling of pencil on paper. Rich detail, texture and emotion also feature greatly in my work. Although I like to use different ways to finish my work every time, people still recognize it as mine.
Aspirations: Drawing and I may torture each other sometimes, but we’ll always be happy together. I draw and I’ll keep drawing—that’s it. Every time I draw on paper with pencil, I do it slowly so I can feel it and listen to it. It relaxes me and makes me forget my troubles. For now, one of my graphic novels is getting published, and I have several comics and children’s book projects to finish in 2019.
Philosophy: Drawing is a battle, a game, an adventure and my life.