Sep 03, 2019 | By Jane Boddy
As China’s economy continues to mature, the country’s creative scene has begun to flourish. Young globally minded Chinese artists are emerging as new talents to watch. We sat down with Shenzhen based illustrator BMAL whose work recently caught our eye to get his take on his work and creativity in contemporary China.
What inspires you?
BMAL: Every “incarnation of coquettishness” can be my inspiration. I learned this phrase from a book named “The Bad Girl” written by Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa. The writer used it to describe one of the characters. I can’t tell you what it really is or what the phrase truly represents, but it comes to our life and appears in my imagination occasionally. I love experimenting and coming up with new effects and ideas for the things that I do. My whole purpose for that is to give out some entertaining illustrations that can let people escape from real life, to feel happy for a while, maybe even a second. It’s like having a Happy Meal in McDonald’s when we were kids, you momentarily think about nothing else, you are just purely enjoying the meal. I have this kind of happiness when I am illustrating.
Who have you freelanced for?
BMAL: I work for myself most of the time. Other than that I freelance for clients who contact me to help them fill creative gaps. A few clients include Cosmopolitan China and independent shoe brand An Arch Glance.
How is the illustration scene in China?
BMAL: I think the word “illustration” was only recognised by most of the people in China like a decade ago. The awareness of intellectual property rights is still in the awakening phase, it’s still a very devastating problem for creatives, somehow it cracks down our initiative and creativity. However, I think the situation is progressing towards a positive direction.
Do you have anything coming up we should watch out for?
BMAL: I’m working on it. I’d rather keep it a secret, I don’t feel like letting too many people know what I’m going to present. I like to work mysteriously and drop the “cherry bomb” when it’s ready. As for my online shop and website, I’m still trying to figure out how everything works, I’m not a data person so if anyone wants to buy something from me they can directly contact me via email, Instagram or any other social media platforms I am currently using.
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