Hello! NiHao! Hola! And Bonjour! Welcome to Helen’s Blog and thanks for stopping by.
Born and raised in Hefei, China, I took private lessons and studied drawing for more than ten years beginning at age six. I attended Renmin University of China, majoring in Economics, after that I came to the United States to study Applied Economics. During my school days I traveled to many places in Asia, Europe and North America. These journeys exposed me to various cultures and arts, while providing inspiration for my artistic creativity. My’s love of art is deep rooted. I taught myself graphic design and after graduation opened my own art studio. I started to illustrate children’s books in 2011. Currently I am a freelance artist living in Atlanta, Georgia, with my husband and a labrador pup. 🙂
Q: What medium or mediums do you work with?
A: My paintings now are pen & ink and digital. I draw with pen and ink on paper, then scan the drawing to computer to continue. I use a Wacom Intuos tablet to paint colors digitally in Photoshop. I still enjoy traditional painting, such as acrylic, watercolor and gouache, and I also find the digital process so appealing because it gives me more chances than traditional and I can draw more freely and comfortably.
Q: How long have you been an artist? How did you get started?
A: I have always had an interest in art however it took me a long time to find the exact path that I wanted to follow. I took private lessons and studied drawing for more than ten years beginning at age six, but during those years I never thought to have art as a profession.
In 2011 I was introduced to graphic design, I loved it so much that I decided as soon as I finished my degree in Economics, that I would pursue creating artwork for graphic design.
Since then I started looking for freelance artistic work. I had a few offers of illustrating for books and magazines, gradually I picked up my drawing and painting skills and passion, I decided to go back to art.
Q: Do you have any formal training or are you self taught?
A: I have had both. I took private lessons and studied drawing for more than ten years beginning at age six, however my digital painting skills, including Photoshop/Illustrator are self taught.
Q: Do you have any favorite art supplies that you would like to recommend?
A: For my pen and ink drawing, I use Sakura Pigma Micron Ink Pen. It’s archival ink and very smooth. For digital painting, I use a Wacom Intuos 4 Medium, it is absolutely worth the investment.
Q: How do you get ideas to create a piece? What inspires you?
A: My artworks are inspired by the elements of everyday life, my Labrador pup Bear, the amazing people I meet, nature itself, novels I read, movies I watch and music I listen to. I doodle in my sketch book and that’s usually how an idea forms and a painting starts.
Q: Finally do you have any last words of advice for beginner artists?
A: Never give up on your dream. Every amazing artist you look at started as a beginner. Art is like a language, it comes with practice. Just keep at it and you will get better and you can make a living doing what you love!
Q: Anything else you would like to share about yourself?
A: Anyone is welcome to contact me with questions or offers through my website www.helenhwu.com