We had the good fortune of connecting with Cindy Liu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cindy, why did you pursue a creative career?
Drawing is a good way to help me “vomit my thoughts out”. To me, looking at the inside world of human beings has been always interesting but also causes me to overthink helplessly. I want to be a thinker who can help people. I believe illustration is a tool that can either reflect expressions and inspired hope in this world, which is why I pursue artistic career. Now, I am endeavoring to explore the application of illustration in the field of psychology and wish to help people understand mental illnesses through my artworks.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
My artworks are featured in originality and creativity. By observing things around me. I take pictures of common objects and make them into textures database through photo editor. I connect these abstract textures with people’s emotions and visualize them. I integrate abstract shapes with textures into the picture and constantly revise them until they interact with other subject matter in my picture.
Also, I am good at express deep manifestation of emotion. I believe illustration is an effective way to make mental health conditions easy to understand. Using illustrations to help the public understand mental illnesses and mental health is a long-term topic that I would like to keep working with. I always remind myself that showing concept and a sense of storytelling are both important. Refining hopes from pain and suffering and making the feelings and needs of patients seen by others, making the patients know they can seek help is the quality that sets my works apart from other artworks that try to describe mental illnesses.
What challenges me is organizing information. It’s like putting every single detail on my desk and deciding what is necessary and what is not and it makes me overthink or try to show too much information in one illustration. An illustrator is also a thinker. What I’ve learned as an illustrator and overthinker is in knowing “less is more” and “when should I choose ‘more’ rather than ’less’”.
Now, I am an illustrator working in editorial, publishing, comic industry. I am cooperating with psychologists, and my comics and illustrations works are applicated to help people understand bipolar disorder and help people reduce anxiety during the pandemic. As an illustrator who believes that I have the social responsibility to help people in need. I am proud of what I am doing, and I will keep pushing myself to become a better professional.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The riverside of Savannah River. Taking Savannah Belles Ferry to the other side of River Street. The bench in front of the Savannah Convention Center is my favorite spot to me in the city. It is the best place for meditation and relaxation.
Alright, so let’s jump right in! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there a person, group, organization, book, etc. that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? Who else deserves a little credit and recognition in your story?
Looking through my career, there are many people encouraged, helped, and inspired me along the way, and I especially appreciate my graduate illustration professor Julie Lieberman. Working and learning in her courses is experience of enlightening. She is the one kept pushing me and believe I can do better. She is an enthusiastic professor who truly cares about if students’ illustration projects are qualified enough in the market. She taught me to realize the necessity of professionalism and working after thinking. It is her who makes me believe I can become who I want to be. Words are powerless to express my gratitude to her.
Also, it is grateful to me that I have many great friends including my families, who are full of warm hearts, kindness, and like-minded. Now I am an illustrator working in editorial, publishing, comic industry. I focus on how illustration is used to help people understand mental illnesses. My friends encourage me and make me believe that I am doing the right thing. They are my mentors and trustworthy fellow travelers that I always feel so lucky to know.
Linkedin: Xinyi (Cindy) Liu