An Chen is an illustrator that enjoys creating vector geometric shapes and toy subjects with a hint of a vintage feeling. She graduated from Cambridge School of Art, with her work appearing widely in magazines and books.
We asked An about her work...
Your work is very distinguishable, what has been your process of finding your own style? Which of your projects has been the most important to developing your arts personal identity?
Thank you so much for saying that! At the beginning of my career, I was really worried and anxious about how to create a unique style, but more
recently I see creating as a process that combines everything that I love. My style is just the outcome of that process. With this thought in mind, now I can enjoy drawing more and feel really satisfied with my work.
How do you balance digital vs. traditional when making your work? And how has technology transformed your artwork?
My creating process is a bit different from others because I enjoy using vector and geometric shapes to form my images like using building blocks. I don't like using traditional material to draw, infact I even hate my hand drawing. Vector shapes usually give people a cold, mechanical feel, which isn't really good for some clients, so my current technique will apply textures to create a vintage printmaking feel to my work.
You are represented by the US illustration agency Rapp Art, how do you find having an agent?
In my illustration career, having an agent that focuses on advertising and editorial was one of my goals so I am really happy that I can join them. I hope that one day I can draw for The New York Times.
Can you tell us a bit about your experience of completing the artist residency at Art See Ocean in Sweden… Why did you choose to do it there? What work did you develop during your time there?
This was back when I was still studying and I really wanted to have an artist residency experience during my summer break. I found this residency opportunity on ResArtis and feel very lucky to have been given the chance, especially as wanted to find a residency in a countryside gallery. During my time there I drew a lot of sketches because I felt that it was really comfortable to draw in the forest or by the lakes.
How important do you think it is for artists to seek residency opportunities? Any advice on how to know which residency program is the right one for you and your work.
For me personally, I think having an artist residency is a great chance to create, travel and meet new artists from different countries. My long-term goal is to travel around the world by these means, not only for building my portfolio.