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Meet Alan Jiang

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alan Jiang.

Alan, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I grew up in a family where everyone appreciates art; particularly my mom, who has a huge interest in art and good taste in fashion. It all started when I made my first “graffiti” on the living room wall when I was four. I remember that I was doodling on my paper pad with crayons on a sunny afternoon and the pages ran out. I decided to draw on the wall and naively thought that it would be removable (I made a drawing of a bunny playing basketball). Instead of scolding me, my mom discovered my talent in art and began taking me to art classes. She also gave me the permission to draw on the entire wall. The drawings eventually expanded into a large utopian cityscape with flying cars, skyscrapers, and so on.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Definitely not. There was a point when I was really sure that I wanted to study fashion design for college. In my sophomore year of high school, I went to a fashion design program at a local college and I realized that I only enjoy drawing fashion figures rather than making patterns and sewing fabrics. I feel extremely lucky for having supportive parents who encourage me to not give up on art. Knowing that I still have an interest in drawing, I decided to study illustration for my undergraduate degree at ArtCenter College of Design. There are indeed so many talented artists in ArtCenter and I was really unconfident with my works in the beginning. I began to question myself about what I really want to do in my future career and decided to take classes from different academic tracks. In my third term, I took my first surface design class with Christine Nasser and discovered my interest in textile design. I also took my first motion design class with Wilfred Wong, which opened a new door for me where I can make my illustration into 2-D animation.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I’m an illustrator, motion and surface pattern designer currently working towards my BFA at ArtCenter College of Design in illustration, with an emphasis in motion and surface design. I create illustrations for motion graphics and also design motifs for textiles and wallpapers. What sets me apart from others is that I grew up in a Buddhist family and love to incorporate Asian elements into my illustrations by utilizing specific color palettes and local specialties. Most of my inspiration comes from nature because I love to observe the beauty of everyday life. I have a great affection for botanical and floral elements and often combine them with architecture to create fantastical imagery. One of the projects that I’m most proud of is a silk scarf collection that I designed for a surface design class taught by my mentors Ann Field and Christine Nasser. It was not until I took this class that I developed my personal artistic style and also produced artworks that relate to fashion. Claude Monet once said, ”color is my day-long obsession, joy, and torment.” I believe colors can convey feelings and emotions. I’m fascinated by working with bold and playful colors that make one feel optimistic. I believe art can spread positive energy to the world and bring pleasure to everyone.

What are your plans for the future?
I recently planned to get a minor in business at ArtCenter because it will help me with starting my own business. I’m hoping to work at a motion design studio in Los Angeles after graduation because L.A is my favorite city in the U.S.

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