Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 22, 2022

Illustrator Saturday – Yvette Chua

Yvette Chua is a freelance illustrator based in Southeast Asia, Singapore. She goes the pen name yvecz (e-vez).

She loves story-telling and exploring all kinds of art mediums. Her interest in films and music is reflected in her illustrations.

Currently, she is working full time to produce her first graphic novel,

HERE IS YVETTE DISCUSSING HER PROCESS:

This illustration was based on a character named Angus, the protagonist from my graphic novel; Field of Sunflowers. Drafting the idea; A disheartened soldier on a mission passes by a broken mirror and sees his own reflection.

Sketching the layout

Worked on a rough lineart, giving the illustration a feel of raw and tenderness.

For the colours, I mainly focused on using a neutral tone, to focus on the distraught soldier and the environment.

Enhanced the illustration with a bit more saturation, added shadows casting over the soldier.

Cleaned the sketch, and added lighting from the broken ceiling. Made some adjustments and gave a more stark contrast on the soldier and the environment, so it has a more cold looking atmosphere.

Finalising the illustration with a few more details, made some adjustments with hue/saturations and the curve tool.

MY INTERVIEW WITH YVETTE CHUA:

How long have you been illustrating?

I’ve been drawing since the age of 7, and I’m became more serious at the age of 17. I realized that this is the path I wanted to pursue.

What and when was the first piece of art you created for money?

I was 15 when I made my first artwork for money, it was a chibi drawing commissioned by someone on deviantART and it only cost $1USD

Have you always lived in Singapore?

I was born in Singapore and have lived my whole life here; Singapore is a lovely island city with greenery almost everywhere. Though the weather can get really hot and humid, there’s always something to do here.

Did you attend a university to study art? 

I’ve not attended university, though I had considerations to pursue further studies soon.

Have you taken any independent art courses?

I went to local schools and took a few courses; Nitec course in Animation and a Diploma in Games Art & Design. Most of the time I do self-studies to improve my skills.

You are a very accomplished artist. How did you develop those skills?

I used to spend a lot of hours drawing to master techniques and skills. Currently, I do a lot of self-studies during my spare time, like coming up with various art challenges to make learning fun!

What type of art did you do when you first started your career?

I started doing a lot of stylised artworks, I was getting more confident on how to express my own art style in late 2020.

When did you become a freelance artist?

After a year posting snippets of my graphic novel project on social medias, and garnering attentions from people, I started receiving freelance offers and collaborations last year in 2021.

Do you exhibit your art? If so, has it helped you get work?

I’ve never done art exhibitions before, I do showcase my works at anime/comic-cons events, and I was approached for work before at such events.

What type of things do you do or have you done to market yourself and your talent?

I’ve done various things like, movie poster artworks, fan arts of pop culture characters, while working on my own projects, and posting consistently on social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and art sites; Artstation and Pixiv.

Are you planning on self-publishing the graphic novel you are working on?

Yes, my initial plan is to self-publish my first graphic novel on Kickstarter somewhere in early 2023.

Is the title for this book, Field Of FLOWERS?

The title is Field of Sunflowers, the title was inspired by a friend who gave me a sunflower growing kit on my birthday.

Where did you get the idea to write and illustrate this story?

I was having dinner with my family and we were having the topic of spooky stories, then I had an idea struck in my head, I got back home at midnight to write the plot of Field of Sunflowers. During that period, I was studying World War histories, and took a bit of inspirations from there as well.

How long have you been working on this book?

I’ve been working on this book since January 2020, and I plan to finish by the end of 2022.

It look like you used Kickstarter to raise the money to do this book. How hard was it to set it up and run that campaign?

I haven’t started raising the funds through Kickstarter yet, been doing a bit of research here and there and I’m getting prepared to tackle this challenge!

What made you decide to want to illustrate children’s books?

I grew up reading plenty of illustrative children’s books, and it gave me such a wonderful experience. I love the idea of nurturing children to get inspired and to dream big, and that’s the reason why I’d love to contribute, by creating illustrations specially made for them.

Have you illustrated any published books?

I have not gotten the opportunity yet, though I would be very excited once I get the chance to do so!

What inspired WORKFOLK?

Workfolks was inspired by my love of 70s funk and supernatural stories! It’s currently in development.

Tell us about ESKERTON?

Eskerton (parodied from the word Eschaton; which means “End of the World”) is a story revolving around a blind university student named Dalton, whose goals is to become a musician just like his mother. As he couldn’t afford paying school fees, he takes on a job offer at a convenience store, not realising it is owned by ghosts and demons. From there the adventures begins! A whimsical story of a human and his experiences working in a supernatural convenience store.

Do you plan to do another kickstarter campaign for these book, too?

Currently I have no idea if I would plan Kickstarter campaigns for these projects, but I may consider developing Eskerton in the future!

How did you connect with Chad Beckerman at The Cat Agency and how long have you been represented by him?

We got in contact through Instagram! I’ve been represented by Chad W Beckerman since November 2021.

Do you have any desire to write and illustrate picture book or would you prefer to work on graphic novels?

I’m more drawn towards creating cover arts for books, though I love exploring different ways to interpret art, so both sounds like a good idea to me.

What do you feel helped develop your style?

Getting inspirations from many artists, immersing myself in animated films and experimenting a lot with my own art.

Have you ever tried to illustrate a wordless picture book?

Currently I’m working on my graphic novel; Field of Sunflowers, which completely has no dialogue at all!

Has any of your art been published in Newspapers or magazines?

I haven’t got the opportunity for my artworks to be published in newspapers or magazines.

Is working with a self-published author to illustrate their book something you would consider?

I would definitely be keen!

I know you will have many successes in your future, but what do you think is your biggest success so far?

I think one of my biggest successes so far is my graphic novel; Field of Sunflowers, seeing people getting excited for my passion project, and getting to work on it day by day is such a rewarding experience.

What is your favorite medium to use?

Pencils! Especially the 2B pencil, forever a favourite medium of mine. Sometimes I dabble into oil and gouache painting.

Has that changed over time?

Not at all, it’s still one of my most favourite medium.

What type of Graphic Drawing Tablet do you use when illustrating?

I mainly use Wacom Intuos 5 Touch S drawing tablet for illustrations, which I won as a prize from a school competition back in 2015. I also illustrate on my Wacom Cintiq Pro 16.

Do you try to spend a specific amount of time working on your craft?

On personal works, I tend to give a 3-5 days to complete it, longest would be 1-3 weeks.

Do you take pictures or research a project before you start?

I collate tons of studies, research and images for a project before starting, it’s a great way to understand my goals clearly and it’s easier to plan the ideas that way.

Do you think the Internet has opened doors for you?

Definitely! The internet has given me a lot of opportunities and new experiences despite COVID period. I feel very lucky to be where I am today, thanks to the internet.

Do you have any career dreams that you want to fulfill?

I’ve always wanted to draw an illustration for a music band someday!

What are you working on now?

Currently, I’m working on my graphic novel; Field of Sunflowers! And a couple of NDA illustrations. Meanwhile I’m also getting back to oil painting and sculpting as a side hobby.

Do you have any material type tips you can share with us? Example: Paint or paper that you love – the best place to buy – a new product that you’ve tried – A how to tip, etc.

For traditional mediums, I love using STAEDTLER Mars Lumograph pencils, Derwent colour pencils, Winsor and Newton oil paints, Daler Rowney sketchbooks and Phoenix canvases.

Any words of wisdom for new illustrators?

Keep exploring and learning, and focus on the things that you’re truly passionate about. Study how your favourite illustrator does it, understand fundamentals, use references, take notes, always be curious!

Yvette, thank you for taking the time to answer the interview questions and showing us your process. Please let me know about your future books and successes so I can share them with everyone.

You can visit Yvette using the following links:

WEBSITE:  https://www.yvecz.com/

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/yvecz/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/yvecz_

AGENCY:  https://catagencyinc.com/#/yvette-chua/

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Amazing work!

    Like

  2. Stunning art! What talent!

    Like

  3. Wow! A feast for the eyes!

    Like

  4. This was quite a surprise. Amazing work. Thanks for the post.

    Like


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