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Meet Mai-Han Do

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mai-Han Do.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Mai-Han. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Growing up in an Asian household influenced my art. How so? With the new generation of developing new ideas with colorful attitudes, there are still some traditions valued in modern art today. As an artist, sometimes the mixed lifestyle of adhering to traditional values and balance with modern ethics was a challenge. During the transformation, there were everyday arguments and secret rebellious acts my siblings and I shared here and there as an everyday lifestyle. Nevertheless, in result we agreed our ideas are different but share one rule in common: keep busy. The to-do list will never be empty because there are just so many things to accomplish whether big or small. Everything is a goal, and my goal is to become an inspirational animator and an imaginative artist.

I finished my bachelor’s at California State of Long Beach as an animator. As a graduate who finished a part of her chapter, I finally realized the word animate means “full of life”. I received delightful compliments on my personality throughout my years such as the one who is lively, joyful, straight out of a cartoon, and (my favorite) full of happiness. I honestly don’t know how I got to obtain this character being, but I do know that I am very pleased with my choice of getting into the animation world. I fell in love with animation in my third year of high school. It was a coincidence that I chose this activity as a prerequisite for an extracurricular class. I cannot say it was easy at first, but I can say I was a chatterbox loving to engage with others and produce entertaining films. Working with a team can yield many challenges, but with the right mindset and motivation can accomplish anything! So in college, I learned the techniques of an artist, animator, and worker. I created a passion through my animated life.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
One common struggle an artist experiences often is envisioning emotions onto a canvas. We have to be exposed, vulnerable, and face many judgments on our creations. In one of my struggles when I was a teacher instructing a paint and winery class, I had grown adults as my pupils. Being nineteen years old at that time, teaching thirty to sixty years old with wine was intimidating. I remember during a lesson, an angry middle-aged man crossed his arms and glared at me. I didn’t understand his actions so after the lecture, I marched straight to him with a smile, asked him what’s wrong. He simply said, “I’m not going to paint, I don’t like it.” He reminded me of a pouty child not wanting to eat his vegetables. So I declared, “Alright, I’ll paint it.”

After the rest of the class completed their art, I gave him the sample used for instruction. He left smiling and said “Thank you, this is beautiful!” I did not know what to feel, for the paid to complete his own very painting. Despite that odd encounter, I realized he did not believe he could paint, leaving me full of guilt believing it was my fault for not coaching him as a proper teacher. After concluding my role of teaching adults how to paint, I ended up with a new job to educate children about the history and beauty of art. I have a chance to see more emotions and a chance to influence them. The right-side part of the brain is more dominant than my left; so as an art teacher, training their art side will help put down their emotions on canvas easier.

Please tell us more about your art.
To own a business would require animated films and artwork. Animating with TvPaint, After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Maya provides me a sense of how the animation world works. Animation takes a whole lot of progress needing hard labor, brainstorming, and stimulation. Sometimes it could affect the health and mind too. What I remembered in a documentary, Hayao Miyazaki stated, “Being an animator means devoting your whole life.” Total worth proves itself because whenever I finished a project, it shocks me that I created a living thing. A thing that could think, feel, and act! How awesome is that? Animation also turned me into a researcher of opening my mind to the world and stayed curious. I get to see my skills growing, which also kept me being a kid at heart. This is where my obsession to draw penguins and mermaids. I’ve created and animated these characters with a lot of fun. I’ve adored penguins ever since as a child I typed in Google, “cutest animals” and the baby emperor penguin caught my eye. For mythical mermaids, they are one of the biggest trends thus my fandom started from watching The Little Mermaid at a young age. Who doesn’t fantasize themselves as a mermaid? Drawing penguins and mermaids might be my comfort art zone, but it is the story I prioritize.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Just being fresh out of college, I want to keep producing artwork. Right now, I am finishing a personal film about my culture. My high school art teacher told me, “If you can master drawing humans, you can master anything.” Each individual has an extraordinary story to tell and I want to construct as many of them as I can. My to-do list is increased by passion projects, art commissions, and educating the young generation. In the future, the biggest dream set for myself is getting into the film industry Warner Brothers. For now, I will keep producing what I believe, for there are beautiful lives to capture.

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