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Meet Lynn Qianliu Chen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lynn Qianliu Chen.

Lynn, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Hi, I’m Lynn, a visual development artist who is originally from Chengdu, China. I came to the States about seven years ago and graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art with an MFA degree in Illustration Practice in 2014. Then I started my full-time job as a concept artist, creating designs and illustrations for video games and animations.

When I first started my job, my artistic skills had improved a lot. But during the first couple of years, I didn’t do any artwork for myself, and I feel stuck, I couldn’t create anything that’s not work-related. In 2016 my husband and I got a corgi puppy, named Mochi. I started drawing him, we’d make up little fun stories, and I tried to illustrate them. I finally started to feel the joy of creating art for myself and not just for clients.

These corgi images started to get some attention online, and some of the illustrations also made it to the Spectrum 25 and 26 (Spectrum is an annual art publication). I was truly humbled by all the recognition. More importantly, I learned that it is always more gratifying to focus on where your passions are. It’s great to have a little project of your own to work on in a space you find comfortable.

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?
I think my career path is relatively smooth. But of course, there are always struggles. The challenge I face the most is to how to improve my art and improve my skills in drawing and painting. There are so many talented artists in the industry, it will be life long pursuit to learn and improved in hope to become a better artist.

Another big challenge that comes with it is, how to balance work and life. Working a lot has also affected me physically, my back and wrists hurt. Lately, I’ve been trying to get better at exercising and staying healthy. I tend to work so much towards my career goals, but it is important to remember to take care of ourselves and spending time with the ones we love. 🙂

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
For my job, lately, I’ve been setting up the overall visual tone for our new games and creating art guides for my team to direct the overall visual style. I also design characters, environments, and Illustrations that are in the game. For freelance work, I mostly get tasked as a character designer working for animated movies and TV shows.

During my spare time, I love doodle my little corgi characters and their adventures. I love painting light and enjoy studying how light and color works in nature. I like to use light in my illustrations to create cute moments for my animal characters -I think that’s where I found my greatest inspirations.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Hopefully, I will get more opportunities to work on exciting new projects and learn from other talented people. At the same time, I’ll try to post more personal artwork online and maybe start new personal projects.

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