Yiffy Gu Illustrator Interview

Yiffy Gu

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Can you recall the first time you realized you were going to be an illustrator? What were your earliest impressions?
I majored in fine art for two years before I switched my major in college. I realized I was more attracted to illustration than fine art when I saw a piece of illustration on the internet. I was impressed by that piece because of the combination of traditional texture and digital art. I want to learn how to make art digitally. Even then, I do not know how to use photoshop. At that moment I was fully intrigued and decided to pursue an academic study in illustration.

Who or what influenced your art when you were young?
My mom influenced me a lot during my childhood. She is a graphic designer. She always encouraged me to do art and be proud of my artworks, no matter how they look like. I remembered I love staring at the screen when she was designing. My mom is my favorite artist when I was little.

Do you remember what your first artwork looked like? Do you still have it?
My mom told me it was a paper filled with chaos lines, although I insisted that was a masterpiece of flowers when I was 3 years old.
Not sure where it is now, I did too many doodles at that time.

Why did you choose illustration as your life’s work instead of, for example, filmmaking, law, or even medicine?
Sometimes I feel it is my destiny to pursue a career in art. I was that kind of kids who are easily get distracted, but I was always concentrated on my drawing. My mom found my talent and sent me to art classes since I was little. Art naturally became one part of my life. I had to work in art because I cannot live without my interest.
As for illustration, It just one of my favorite arts and I feel comfortable to work as an illustrator.

Did you study art in school?
Yes, I formally started learning art since high school, then I went to an art college majoring in illustration in the US.

Where does your inspiration come from; your impulse to make art? Do you have a source for your ideas?
My inspiration could come from anything ranging from daily life to artworks in the museum, from cartoon to music, from an uproar topic to a whimsical dream.

Do you have a favourite artist? What is it about that artist’s work you like?
My favorite artist was Egon Schiele when I was in high school. I loved how he drew the twisted body shapes, which influenced my drawing in high school a lot. Now I am a big fan of Henri Matisse. I am addicted to his chunky shape and bold color palette.

If you could do something else, other than creating art, what would it be?
It is really hard to imagine that living without art, but if I have to say, I want to be a gourmet or a food YouTubers.

Do you have a favourite artist supply, a favourite method, or favourite location, where you like to create artwork?
Now I do mostly digital art, my supplies are iPad, Wacom, and laptop. For traditional art, I like to use Posca paint marker and Prismacolor color pencil.
I prefer to stay at my home to create artwork because I need to play something aloud, youtube, podcast or songs, etc.

Why does art matter to you? Why might it matter to the world?
I think art is about thinking in a creative perspective. My life is creative and fun because of art, I believe so does the world. No matter what kind of art, it makes the world more lively.
For those reasons, art matters to me and the world.