If You Seek Aimee

Garrett Naccarato: First of all tell me a little bit about yourself!

Aimee Qiu: My name is Aimee Qiu. With a degree in Fashion Design from China I came to Canada looking for an opportunity in the Fashion industry. After arriving, I realize without the language and education (Western Education), it is almost impossible to persuade a career here so I went on for another degree in Graphic Design at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Four years at ACAD, I kept the passion for fashion (mainly drawing part), and learned to work with other graphic elements, now I work as a graphic designer, freelance illustrator and painter which I think will be my life time career from now on.

Most of your artwork in the show is directed towards fashion. What made/or influenced you to work with this type of genre?
AQ: Like I mentioned at my last answer, I love drawing and my degree in Fashion Design helped me develop the skill and interests in figure drawing. Plus I think female figures are very sexy and beautiful, it can stand by itself as a master piece. I love the female figures and I am very pleased I can represent them on the canvas with my own interpretation.

GN: What are the type of mediums you work on? And what do you prefer to work with?
AQ: I work with acrylic ink and marker on canvas. I love collect different type of paper and paint on them sometimes. I love Chinese rice paper, it smells really good (laughs) for their unique texture and soft surface. Now I am working on some big piece with rice paper and I am very excited to see how it will turn out.

GN: Fashion illustrations are a huge part of the industry, have you or do you plan to use your talents to help present sketches for designers?
AQ: With the drawing skill, I have earned many personal clients. It is easier to show them sketches of what I am talking about. Also in my last job, I used my skill to present work for some bigger international clients.

GN: Favorite designers? Trends? Looks? Favorite Artists?
AQ: To be honest, I am not a big brand name fan but I think some brands can really make a difference in the world. My favourite designer is John Galliano, I have been following his career since early 90's and I have painted many figures that I think will be perfect for his collection. He has such a unique interpretation for fashion! My favorite artist is Egone Schiele.

GN: I've noticed that you have a some newer pieces that definitely stand out from your illustrations. What made you chose a different style for these?
AQ: The newer pieces came when I had the Creative Block. I have many painting at home and I have been looking at them for a long time...

One Story: There is the half finished painting beside my couch since last year and I just could not finish it. After my short trip to Toronto, I started reading graffiti books, watching weird movies with my boyfriend, taking photos of weird textures I found on the road, or sometimes just draw down whatever come into my mind, one day I just bought cans of spear paint and experience with them. That day I realize the freedom of being an creative person, whatever medium, whatever situation, whatever you can image, you can put on canvas. That day I finished the first painting("The Rubbit") in a new style. With this freedom, I started working with the painting beside my couch...I guess people liked it because that is the first piece I sold in my show at The Gallery!

GN: What are some words of advice you could give to starting out artists trying to get their work out there?
AQ: I really think as artists we should know how to networking and market ourselves. I do not mean you have to but I took some marketing courses from SAIT and benefit a lot from it.
I started participating at shows since my second year at ACAD and successfully curated the very first group show in my 3rd year for my department. It was a huge success. I have sold over 50 paintings since then and I guess all the success is motivating me to move forward.
Never give up or stop if you have difficult to move forward, believe yourself and keep moving. If you are a truly gifted, you still need to work hard for the other 90% of the success. Also you MUST have huge passion on whatever you are doing because that is something will motivate you in a long run.
Many people asked me how I can manage to paint and work at the same time, maybe they think I have no life, but doesn't true meaning for life is doing whatever you are love to do? I think I am very lucky person because I love what I do!

GN: Do you have any projects in the works?
AQ: At this moment, I am working as a graphic designer and busy with my personal clients. Also I got a cat recently, her name is ShiShi and so far we are very much in love with each other! But I am still trying to get into shows and galleries. I am having another solo show at Art Central from September to October. And I have some travel plans coming up since Summer is around the corner. I also want to get some freelance work for some bigger fashion related editorial companies. So busy life but I love it!!!

Aimee Qiu's work is on display at The Gallery till March 28th
See some of her work at Calgary Fashion's March 6th Post

But wait there's more! She also has her own personal site, so go take a look.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ha ha hee hee ha ha ho

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