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Meet Xiao Hua Yang

Today we’d like to introduce you to Xiao Hua Yang.

Xiao Hua, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve always liked art when I was growing up. Later I decided to pursue it more seriously. My family doesn’t know exactly what I do, but luckily, they are supportive. I am a recent graduate from MFA Illustration as Visual Essay programme of the School of Visual Arts and I have been practicing illustration professionally since.

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?
Personally speaking, it has not been easy at all. But I always try to be positive. I think one of the biggest struggles all artists more or less share is self-doubt — we doubt our ability to create all the time, especially with the rise of social media, comparison with other artists has been made easy than ever. Sometimes it’s getting hard to drive others’ voices out of your head. With that being said, I am learning to focus more on my own work and really pay attention to what I want to express.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a freelance illustrator.

My work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, American Illustrations, Association of Illustrators, 3×3 Magazine, Creative Quarterly, Applied Arts Magazine.

Some of my clients include The New York Times, The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, SeatGeek, Surf Twenty Magazine, Howler Magazine, Wissen Magazine, Elle Men Magazine, GQ Magazine, The Beast Shop.

I was trained in analogue tools when I first started, and later on, I picked up computer tools. I’ve tried a wide range of tools. Oil, acrylics, gouache, watercolour, colour pencil, pastel, charcoal, clay, etc. I love how they are unique in their own ways.

As for my commissions, I do find digital tools more efficient and gets the job done more quickly. It’s hard to imagine being asked to finish a good oil painting within a 10-hour window, not to mention how hard it is going to be when revision is required.

For my own work, I like to explore a bit more with tools if possible. And the exploration requires room, not only mental but also physical. I think once I have a big studio space dedicated to it, I would be able to play with various materials way better.

I think on some level, my work reflects me as a person, the way I think and perceive the world. The ideas could come from real events that happened in my life, sometimes to me, other times to people who I know. It could also be a story told by my friends or maybe even a book that I read. I would try to memorize the ones that interest me the most so that I can use them later in my work.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Oh, I don’t know. I think overall, I have been really lucky to be at where I am right now and I am grateful for it every day. Luck may play a role in my business but after all, it comes down to proficiency, talent, work ethics and hard work.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Xiao Hua Yang

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