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Meet Zee Yorke of Doozical

Today we’d like to introduce you to Zee Yorke.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born in Jiangxu China, but was adopted and grew up in the San Fernando Valley. I was lucky enough to have a family who always supported my passion for the arts. I began to take art seriously in middle school, and from there I went to a public arts high school in downtown Los Angeles. I am glad I was able to take advantage of all the art opportunities in DTLA like all the different Museums, and other high school art programs like CSSSA.

I graduated high school in 2019 and am now attending the California Institute of the Arts (Calarts) for my BFA in Experimental Animation. My first year went by so fast. I loved my classes and the new friends I’ve made. My classmates and I had to make our first-year films at home, because of COVID-19. And I think that in itself was a huge learning experience about time management and pacing ourselves. I am anxious to return to campus in the fall and hope to learn more about screenwriting while I am here.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
One of my largest struggles was when I was trying to figure out which university to attend. I have always loved animation, but I also grew up reading comics and graphic novels and also had a strong passion for comics and illustration. I had to choose whether I wanted to attend Calarts for animation, or ArtCenter College of Design for illustration. Both schools are reputable, and both have a super talented array of students and faculty, it was a tough decision.

I ultimately decided on Calarts because the school’s atmosphere seemed better suited to my personality. And I still felt I had a lot to learn about animation. Not to say I know everything about illustration, but I figured I could still illustrate things in my free time. I also lacked a lot of the resources needed to animate larger projects.

Now, as I am older and beginning to learn about the industry, and I am beginning to apply for internships and jobs, I am also learning how to handle rejection. It is an extremely competitive business, and I’ll admit its tough to be rejected by them. But I believe I am growing as a person and as an artist through them.

Doozical – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I don’t think I would call it a company or business, but more of a small brand? I sell handmade crafts through my Instagram, @doozical, and have also managed to get work and collaborate with artists I admire through the art community online.

I make comics, illustrations, and animations that I try to frequently post online. Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming, but I am extremely thankful and really appreciate the fact that people enjoy my work enough to support me. Whether that be by following and liking my content, or buying my artwork.

I guess I am most proud of the fact that I have been able to actually sell my work, at first I wasn’t sure if people would care enough, but it’s a nice feeling knowing that they do. Most of my products are all handmade, which I think makes each of them unique. No two are exactly the same. And I think that adds a bit of personality to my products.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Hmm. I guess this is a bit of a tough question because I am still just starting out on my art journey.

On a personal level, I think I consider a venture or task a success when I feel proud of the work I have completed. I’m already happy that people enjoy my work enough to support me. That actually means a lot to me. So if I am able to create work that not only makes me feel satisfied but also works that others enjoy, I would consider that a success!

As I continue to pursue art as a career, I don’t hope to become some big famous artist, but I hope to be able to afford living in this expensive city. Nothing lavish, just enough to live nicely! So if I am able to find a job for myself that helps me achieve that goal, I would consider that a success, on a more traditional, I guess “materialistic” level.

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Image Credit:
Zee Yorke

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