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Meet Victoria Ying

Today we’d like to introduce you to Victoria Ying.

Victoria, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m a rare native Angeleno who never found a reason to leave. I grew up in Glendora, CA, where I went to high school at St. Lucy’s School for Girls. When I graduated, I knew I had a passion for the arts and went to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena for Undergrad. After graduating, I got a job at Disney Imagineering and eventually Disney Feature Animation. I saw no reason to leave the bucolic city of Pasadena and have been here ever since.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’m a writer now, but I never thought I would be. Growing up, my parents were entrepreneurs who encouraged my brother and I that we could be whatever we wanted to be. When my dad knew about my passion for art and comics, he told me I could be the next Miyazaki if I wanted. I laughed and said, “No, I just want to get paid to draw.” and that was true for a long time. However, when I rediscovered my love of reading after college, I realized that I also had a passion for storytelling. I left the film industry and have since been pursuing a career in publishing, where I can write and draw my own stories and build my own worlds.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I write and draw comics. My newest project with Shannon and Dean Hale will be out with DC comics in January of this year.

I actually put down my pen for the first year when I decided I wanted to write. I wrote only in prose and tried my hardest to gain the skills and knowledge needed for such a huge leap. When I wrote my first novel and showed it to people, my failings as a prose writer became clear, but so did the solution. I had a hard time with description because as an artist, I could see everything so clearly, so I just began to rework my novel as a graphic novel.

The reception was huge, and I finally felt like I had found my stride. I recently published an autobiographical comic on The Nib, where I detailed my struggles with language and found an enthusiastic reception. I hope to do more work that centers on personal struggles that are relatable to others.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
There are almost too many people to name. I had great mentors at Disney Feature Animation such as Claire Keane, Kevin Nelson, and Dave Goetz, they all taught me how to work in a big production and be a part of something bigger than any one artist. The Disney animation team helped me to see how stories are made and how we can all work together to create a product for all of us to be proud of.

Victoria Schwab is an author who influenced me a great deal. I discovered her books when I was just a budding storyteller and seeing her journey made me realize what kinds of stories I wanted to tell.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Bobby Chiu, Patrick Laffoon, Michael Mitchell

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