Featured Artist: Andy Westface
DBH: Where are you from?
Andy: Hello, I was born and raised in Hong Kong. And I'm a freelance illustrator based in Hong Kong now. I really think it’s one of the coolest cities of china, here are so many skyscrapers, and it’s the city that never sleeps.
DBH: How would you best describe your art style?
Andy: I think I'm a big fan of simplicity in vector art, I love that simple but clear and strong feeling so much. So I always try to use the simplest design of character, composition, and colour that can show my feeling to deliver a message. And I have a little habit, I love to re-process and simplify the images which I see, and it’s really helpful to my design and illustration works. I love to using animals elements in my artworks, it’s because of their purity and sincerity. Every animals has her own personality and attitude, we can learn a lot from them, which may help us to be a better people. The most important point though is that they are so cute, and I’m so delighted that I can put them into my artworks. I hope people will like them. And I love the color palette of rainbow so much, I really love it’s bright, joyful and colourful feeling.
DBH: Where do you find your inspiration when creating your art?
Andy: In fact, I like to observe and find points of inspiration so everything can become the themes of my artworks. This inspiration can come from a movie, can come from the daily news, can come from conversations between my friends and family. And sometime I can get some great inspiration from the view out the window from a restaurant or in a car. When I get something, a moment of inspiration, I’ll jot down a words or a quick sketch in my sketch book instantly.
DBH: When did you know you wanted to make a career in the art world?
Andy: I started to draw when I was a child and I loved sketching on my school books all the time. Since my high school graduation, based on some personal reasons, I have tried few type of jobs not concerned with art or design. But I feel it does not suit for me, in my heart I was tempted to try to create something different. Therefore I chose go back to the school and majored in illustration and graphic design. Afterwards I was the art director of a local graphic design company for two years. And now I like to be a freelancer since I can be ” The boss of myself “, and I truly love to be an freelancer illustrator so much.
DBH: What does a day of creating artwork look like for you and how to you start your creative process?
Andy: Although I always keep to draw something every day, It’s hard to say, I think it’s depends on what condition. If I have a very clear idea and image in my mind, I usually can complete the works in few hours or a day. But if not, these kind of pieces can take me a week or month. When I got some idea, I usually start to work after mid-night, with some music and a coke : )
DBH: What artist (either current or past) do you most admire and why?
Andy: I like Joan Cornellà in Spain, his drawings invoke a lighthearted sensibility and an extremely dark sense of humour. I like Blanca Gómez in Spain, her works is instantly recognisable as clean and simple with a twist, unique, full of colour and quirky illustration. And I like Yoshitomo Nara in Japan, his works is deceptively simple. Peopled with entities that call to mind toddlers or infant animals with their balloon heads, persimmon pit-eyes, and pinprick noses, each work is a peek into a world that seems eerily familiar. Their works were inspired me very much.
DBH: What's the best advice that's been given to you as an artist?
Andy: I’m a budding artist myself, but I think learning how to build up your own style is the most difficult thing to work out when becoming a great illustrator. No one can tell you a shortcut to find the way, trying and practicing should be the key to opening the door of success. And I am still trying my best to establish my own style now. And I would say the following to other artist: “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. You should start your illustration career as early as possible and no matter what the results are, just do what you really want.