Shadow Chen, a true talented master in illustration, works as a freelancer in Ningbo, China. In this interviews she will tell us how her dream, becoming an illustrator, changed her view to the outer world. Make sure you get a t-shirt of her designs.
1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with thisinterview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer?I have industrial design background, and art & design postgrade.I was into product design especially furniture design. I used to be a huge Mark Newson fan. But my passion was always art and painting, so after graduating I started to get jobs on graphic design and illustration, because I felt easier and happier than designing products, and also fell in love with digital art since it's another cool way of express passion as on traditional painting.
2. Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from?Thanks for saying so. My inspiration comes from my inner world, and how I see the outside world from my heart, also from all my talented friends, and people I ever met, and of course from different forms of artworks, like traditional paintings, street art, fashion, also music is the main inspiration. I always play very cool music either strong in rhythm or ambience, to help me adding emotions and atmosphere to my work.
3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design?When it comes to illustration with more specific styles with characters I always spend lot of time on the sketching. Usually I will draw more than one sketch, maybe 3 or 4, and then digitalize it on PC. Figuring out of the way of putting lineart and coloring is the hardest and most important part of the whole process. When it comes to abstract freestyle or mixed media works mostly I prepare a very rough sketch and then draw it on the PC. It's more enjoyable for me because it's free and expressional process, just like painting on canvas, only with photoshop.
4. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software?Hardware: a very normal and kinda slow computer, windows XP, beautiful 15' Sharp falt screen, Software: Photoshop, Corel Draw, and when comes to web design Flash.
5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer?Pros are being a more creative person and have more freedom at work, especially as a freelancer you have the control of your schedule, I always go out with friends for a nice lunch and sometimes afternoon coffee. Also being a designer or artist you never would feel boring or lonely because you can create art anytime, and have a rich inner world. Cons are less socialising, more time be alone with computer, less healthy lifestyle maybe.
6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example?I feel more fullfilled mentally, less vanity...I love to observe things and details around me, more critical, cynical for sure, but I feel more sensitive to trends, and artisitc potentials, and getting into creative area gives me different point of views to life.
7. What are your coming projects?Starting a brand with my friend, so far as still a secret.
8. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why?deviantArt, that for me is where the digital art begins, and it's the most developed online community in the world, and the best online art community, I've made most of my designer and artist friends from there, dA has definitely helped enhancing my career a lot, it's my top fave. Design By Humans, I love watching trendy tshirt artworks on DBH, plus it has a very creative and innovative team. Threadless, they are the most creative and lovely designing company! And I enjoy the community spirit on Threadless, no to mention watching the most creative and interesting tshirt designs very week. DepthCore, the very essential of world digital arts, plus lots of my top favorite designers and illustrators are in DepthCore. ProcessRecess, blog of my favorite illustrator James Jean, he's posting very precious sketches and working process and news of him on the blog, I never miss the updates from him.
9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers?Keep search in yourself, and be grateful to the life.
Where to find Shadow Chen on the webWebsite - SaltyShadow.com Behance - Behance.net/saltyshadow DeviantArt - SaltyShadow.DeviantArt.com/
More work of Shadow Chen