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Meet the Illustrator: Yuke Li

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photo yukeli

Name: Yuke Li

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Traditional ,watercolor, Asian,

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
I have a Rembrandt 48 watercolors set. I made a tiny color card with it, so I can see each color clearly. It is very convenient to work with a color card.

My brushes are very important items also. I brought them from China, which were used for Chinese calligraphy. They are cheap, but very handy.

Do you have a favorite artistic medium?
I work both traditionally and digitally, but my favorite medium is watercolor and ink. I like the accident of water-based pigment.

 
Name three artists whose work inspires you. 
Carl Titolo, Jillian Tamaki, Yokai Senjafuda
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Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why? 
I am more curious about what will happen in the future, 20 years, 50 years from now on. If artists still like to use traditional material? Are we able to draw with our mind, instead of a physical pencil?
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Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator? 
I was inspired by Jillian Tamaki’s works a lot. Her works are all different. I love all her ink works, embroideries and digital works.
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Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often? Talk us through it. 
For now my apartment is my studio. As a freelance illustrator who has worked for more than six years, I already got used to working at home. Usually I get up at 8 in the morning.Then start to work about 9. I have two big wood tables. I scatter all the tools on one table, and then draw on the other one. I like listening to electronic music while drawing as it makes me feel energetic. But during this difficult time that everybody is quarantined at home, I listen to the news more often.
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What is your favorite part of the illustration process?
Sketching is my favorite part. There is no stupid ideas during sketching, and I can be very relaxed and expressive. Sometimes the sketches look better than the colored version. Then I just go back to sketches.
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What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator? 
Be honest with yourself and your works, because who you are, what you were thinking, were you happy or anxious, are all written on your works.
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Yuke Li is an author-illustrator based in New York City. She has illustrated six picture books in China. She enjoyed the positive energy very much from making a children’s book. 

For more information please visit Yuke Li’s website

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Meet The Illustrator: Carina Povarchik

 

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Name: Carina Povarchik (signs as Catru)

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
I’d go with eclectic, whimsical, happy, sweet, organic, and loose.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
Natural light, complete silence or happy music, a clean and organized space or I’ll lose my focus. I do have tons of tools and materials though, but I need to organize them often so I can work.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
I love so many mediums that I sometimes feel a bit guilty I keep jumping from one to another haha.

But, I’d say that ink, watercolours, pencil and digital are maybe my top favourite ones. Although when I work for children’s illustrations I tend to use all digital most of the time because it’s quite practical.

 

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Name three artists whose work inspires you.
Only 3 is really tough! In children’s illustration now I’d say Beatrice Alemagna, Ati Forberg and Isabelle Arsenault.
Beatrice because she really keeps the inner child out there in all her works, fun, whimsical, with all the heart in them. Ati has a sublime Asian style for me, I just love how simple and strong those illustrations are. And Isabelle, I adore her style, her palette choices even if I tend to go right into the opposite direction to those soft palettes. Love their works!
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Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?

I think that in terms of fine art, going back to the impressionism time period would be a dream (that’s about 1800) because I really love that style in painting. It has so much to do with intuition and feeling, and those great old masters achieved such big emotion with such a loose technique in comparison with a more realistic style.
But besides that, I really don’t feel the need to go back as we are experiencing such an amazing variety of outstanding talents out there right now. So much to look at now.
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Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
The first one that made me wish to express myself through drawings was Quino. As maybe all in my generation, I grew up reading Mafalda, and I was in awe with her. Not only the content but also Quino’s ink drawings had me hooked.
The one, though, that made me actually end up working as an illustrator and pursuing it as more as a career was my dad actually.
I first graduated in computer science, and I taught, well I still do, programming. But I had few years where my job changed and was no longer teaching programming (what I love about computers) so in that specific time my dad surprised me with a small drawing tablet. And one thing lead to another…
Well, the rest is history, I then started learning arts in the local school, got a private portraiture teacher, and did all kind of online courses.
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Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often? Talk us through it.
Of course! I have about 2 main working spaces at home, a whole small room, that I call it my studio, a whole table in the living room. I have tons of different materials and tools, because I always get tempted to do something different in the week. Sometimes I want to draw with pencil, other times I want to paint a landscape in acrylics, then I want to do some ink work. Of course, if having deadlines things get adjusted accordingly. I’m lucky to have a nice natural light in my working spaces. And lots of birds coming to my backyard. I love that.
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What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
The moment I finish the piece and I can finally see it outside my head hahaha. But, no, to be honest my favourite part is coming up with the idea, even though sometimes it can be stressful, especially when it’s a commission and you have deadlines. But, that part of the process of sketching ideas is super fun and I end up laughing out loud often.
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What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Take the time to learn it all, the best you can. Art foundations, and everything you can afford to learn in the specific area you may want to end up illustrating for.
Then, take the time to forget it all.
It may sound crazy, but learning it all will give you self-confidence when drawing and painting, you will develop a way of yours with the tools, materials, art concepts.
Some people can do their amazing thing without going to any art school, that’s true. But it may not be the case for everyone. So, learning can be a really useful thing to do.
Then, you need to forget it all and simply be yourself, so you can really give your something that’s unique to you, to the world. To others. You see, you need to know the rules of art well in order to break them in a brilliant way 🙂
Have fun, draw what you love. Draw things just because you love those. Embrace your bad days and bad drawings, those also let you know what you don’t want to do again, what technique went wrong, what concept you want to study and improve, what happened, and so on.
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Born and living in Argentina. Carina has illustrated 3 published books. Besides being an illustrator, she loves birds, running and chocolate. 
 

For more information, please vist Carina’s website or follow her on twitter or instagram