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Work / Illustration

ViviChen on the unpredictable nature of her vivid illustrations

While studying fine art at university, Taipei-based illustrator ViviChen often searched the school library to broaden her bank of references beyond the traditional paintings and artworks she was being shown in class. As a result she discovered books and magazines full of illustrators and images from all over the world, which now play into her work.

Mainly narrative-driven, ViviChen’s works are often packed with detail and she loads everyday objects with metaphors and hidden meanings adding depth. “My personal drawings are often sad in mood, but I draw in bright, saturated colour,” says the illustrator. “It’s quite a paradox but I think that just reflects life in general.”

Inspiration for ViviChen comes from her own life and personality. She writes writes down phrases and feelings that come to her in a book, which the drawings then grow from. After sketching out an idea in pencil the illustrator then fills in some of the grey tones before colouring the final piece in acrylic paint. The result is a series of rich, vivid images that depict sprawling scenes that play with perspective. Captured are seemingly giant board games, cats roaming a bar, and a woman crafting the dreams of a miniature person as they sleep, among other works that have surreal undertones.

“For me, drawing is the most honest way of expressing myself. I am an introverted person, and not good at speaking, so through my drawings it’s easier to say something,” explains ViviChen. “The process of drawing is like creating a new life, I become a director and create a universe on paper. You will never know how the world on the paper will turn out until the next minute.”

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