Interview with Aeri Chen

I am currently a high school graduate, but I had worked as a small freelance artist for the past four years during my off time.

Aeri Chen is a Illustrator from Providence, United States of America with 4 years of industry experience. She likes to work with Photoshop.

What led you into the CGI/2D? Tell us your story.

Ever since I was little I was enamored with storytelling, I was at awe with its ability to influence and inspire. This passion eventually fused with my affection towards the arts and my fascination with illustration and film, both world’s filled with unconditional creativity and genius artistry.
My family wasn’t too on board at first and I self-study art and design under the veil of night for most of my middle/high school career. Nevertheless, when one is working with a medium that enables the imagination to roam freely, the hardship is incomparable to the liberty gained.

Where do you go to get inspired? What/Who inspires you?

Many things! Strangest ones so far range from flying paper planes off the balcony to my bathroom floor.

How does a typical working day look like?

That’s hard to say… I am undergoing a transitioning period and my schedule is quite volatile. Currently, I am working with what looks like a “complete dull tasks first thing in the morning” approach. During the IB diploma years, my schedule was unevenly spread between large chunks of studying and bits of art time starting from 11~12 pm. Sleep depends.

What does your workplace look like?

I assure you, very neat.

How do you stay motivated in this industry?

Have we all seen that clip of the Japanese clam fisherman? Highly recommend.

What is your passion besides CGI/2D?

Apart from being a music fanatic, I really love literature and science, my plan B was actually to become a surgeon.

How do you keep your portfolio up to date? Any tips?

I am slightly apologetic to say that I am a bit shallow on the social media end. I heard that there are social media managing tools, but so far I haven’t tried any. Otherwise, I like to keep my portfolio clean.

What Software do you use to create your artwork?

Photoshop.

What Software do you want to learn in the future? And why?

Animation or 3D software, I feel like so far my knowledge and expertise fall short in those regards. I am also willing to learn some more programming.

Which books would you recommend to the read?

Recently I’ve been intrigued by the works of Ernest Hemingway and Kazuo Ishiguro. Artwise, I have a mini collection of film and artist artbooks, Disney/Pixar ones are usually pretty good.

What music do you listen to while working?

(laugh) The spectrum is quite vast, ranging from recent pop music to Handel’s Massiah.

Any advice for new Artists?

To make art is not to create what you think others wish to see. Instead, focus on what you want to present to the world. How can you as an artist inspire? What do you advocate?