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Shi Wen Huang is an illustrator that often draws in black and white. Her images are surreal and usually childlike, she hopes to create a blurry look with her artwork. She is interested in combining pictures with text and enjoys working on illustrations for children's literature and education.

Shi Wen Huang

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We asked Shi Wen a few questions about her work...

Can you introduce your background to us a little? When did you first start drawing?

I come from Yunlin county (Taiwan) which is surrounded by paddy fields stretching to the horizon. I graduated from Chaoyang University of technology with a major in visual communication design, now I work for a branding design company “Cizoo” in Taipei. Besides that, I’m also in partnership with other art educators in the Children’s Art Campaign every now and then.

Where do you find your inspiration for new stories and characters?

I usually find my inspiration from picture books and children’s amazing work. Sketch books and picture books are the must-have items in my suitcase.

Can you tell us about your work with children?

“Every child is an artist. ”said Pablo Picasso. It always makes me feel inspired when children and I draw and create something together, they have so many amazing and fantastic ideas, some kids have a tendency to have a bold and colorful style, others draw with delicate and simple strokes. You ‘ll never get tired to learn and find something new from their curious eyes.

Why do you think art is an important part of a child’s education?

Art is not only in the class, it’s everywhere, the art education can help us to be more creative and imaginative.

What are Taiwanese school’s art classes like?

It’s mostly crafts making and drawing in Taiwanese school’s art classes

Can you talk us through the process of illustrating a children’s book; How do you interpret the text?

Take my first book “ a library of lemons” as an example. First, the editor and I fully discussed the project, figuring out how should the illustration be set according to the text, then I would start to design the matching illustrations.

And then how do you visualise what a child wants to see?

In my opinion, illustrations in a book is not enough if we just simply turn the text into direct pictures. I usually make the illustrations more imaginary than the words are written in the story. But importantly not only is children's literature enjoyable for children but even when you're all grown-up you can appreciate it.

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