Location: Brooklyn, New York.
Education: BFA in illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Influences: I was born in Shenyang, China, and moved to California with my family when I was seven. I’m still very much influenced by Chinese cinema—Wong Kar-Wai and Edward Yang for example, and quiet approaches to storytelling.
Steady gigs: I’m the house illustrator for Etsy and a visiting instructor at Pratt University.
Technique: Digital, woodcut prints, drawings and collages—my technique is often dictated by the deadline.
Big break: A week before graduation, my first piece got published—a cover for PLANSPONSOR magazine, art directed by SooJin Buzelli. It was miraculous, a great boost of confidence right out of the gate. Since then, it’s just been a lot of hard work and an endless cycle of making a piece, immediately getting sick of it, and moving on to the next thing.
Best work: One of my favorite projects last year was a series of woodcuts commissioned by the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. I was feeling burnt out by digital illustration, and this project allowed me to step away from the computer and exercise a different part of my brain and body. It also helped that the curator was amazing to work with.
Work environment: I share a studio space in the Pencil Factory building with some mega-talented illustrators and designers. We eat a lot of donuts and have heated debates about Drake.
Approach: Coming from a printmaking background, I vacillate between a hyper-organized approach and messy/experimental moments. It’s been more the former recently, but I usually like to figure out a balance.
Aspirations: I’ve never gauged success based on client names. In five to ten years, I hope to still feel challenged by the projects I take on and be able to look back and see constant progress. Oh, and a kid’s book would be nice!