* Congratulations, Amber, on achieving a coveted place in Undiscovered Voices 2012! and welcome to tall tales & short stories.
The floor is yours, please tell us all about yourself, your journey as an artist/illustrator and anything else you'd like to add.
I’ve been drawing since I can first remember. As a child I’d always wanted to be either an artist or a veterinarian. Drawing animals and making up stories were a private retreat and way to deal with the solitude of being an only child in an immigrant household – I was born in Taiwan, grew up in the US and am now based in London. That mixed background influences me to this day and as I grew up my interests were equally peripatetic.
I have a degree in Biophysics, Fashion design and now an MA in Comparative Literature. I have worked in such places as a flea market, a dentist’s office, a pharmaceutical lab, a newspaper, a bank (gasp!), a fashion studio, and a social network. Once, I worked in a morgue.
But stories and art have always been true to my heart. I’ve exhibited photography, sculpture, sketches, made costumes, and most recently, just completed an attachment at the National Theatre Studios to adapt a play by the Nobel prize-winning playwright Gao Xingjian. I’m still hoping all of this will make sense one day. Until then I’ve decided I’ll just start making things up and drawing them out as I go along.
* Could you tell our readers all about the story behind your chosen entry, and most importantly why they are going to love your work!
|And so Chairogo Brought Forth the Stolen Voice...|
I am always imagining little characters floating around in different worlds. This one is a finder of forgotten things—broken dreams, lost thoughts, hidden voices—all left behind in a callous, cold and unfeeling factory of a world. He’s a bit of a quiet but curious character that senses something amiss in his surroundings but doesn’t quite know what. When he takes up this discarded object—this stolen voice—and tries to keep it, he goes on an adventure, eventually discovering an authenticity and meaning otherwise missing from his existence.
I think I relate to that kind of character. I pity lone objects. I will project whole interior lives onto something as plain and simple as a lost shoe or fallen french-fry (a habit I suspect is not uncommon with most illustrators and writers). I sometimes take home discarded, broken things. You’d think this only leads to enormous amounts of clutter, which is true, but it also leads to random ideas, unexpected thoughts and curious coincidences—all wonderful and meaningful in and of themselves.
Other than that, I just try to infuse my work with some kind of feeling—and a bit of humour when possible. I am happiest when my images evoke an emotional response, or convey some unknown depth or world beyond its borders. That is something I am always struggling for and hoping to achieve. I can only hope readers will feel something similar and find something in the work for themselves.
...WIN a copy of Undiscovered Voices, by Working Partners & SCWBI-BI.
Your chance to read all the selected excerpts, see the fabulous illustrations
and read what the judges had to say!
WE HAVE TWO COPIES TO GIVE AWAY!
It’s easy to enter -- Here's what to do!
• Leave a comment on the blog; say hi, leave your name and tell us if you'd like to be entered for the draw.
If you want to leave your email address that's great, if not, we'll be announcing the winners after midday on the 1st March, UK time. So make sure to check in here and on twitter.
All entries go into a hat and TWO winners will be chosen at random.
Sorry, but this competition is open to UK entrants only.
Midnight 29th February 2012, UK time.