Friday, August 7, 2015

Jean Liang Interview: An Upcoming Artist Who Already Has Great Style

Artist Jean Liang
Anime Expo was already in full swing when I met Jean at her booth in artist alley. The convention was filled to the brim with people and while we talked many stopped by her booth. She was in a Sailor Uniform from no discernible anime, I didn't expect that as the average lady artist in that environment wore an unflattering t-shirt and glasses. Or wore the cosplay they were doing art of.

"First day was killer, " was what this Canadian Asian artist told me. When it came to sales, she told me the first two days were her most robust for AX.

Other than her own art she's a production artist at a game company in San Fran. Today, she was another artist in artist alley selling her work, looking through a suitcase of prints and apparel. A veteran of the AX scene, this was here fifth year having a booth.

"This year is all interpretation, " she then laughed. Jean told of her transition of being a student merely doing fan art to getting her own art across. When her work first caught my eye at last year's AX she said she was in-between fan art and interpretation making her Dragon Ball fan art more personal.

Jean, only twenty-three, says she's not doing what she loves. "As an artist, you're never held back into one specific genre, just do what you want." She was telling me on what her education gained her.

We talked about her sudden surprise of being asked to do the Hastune Miku Tribute art show at Gallery Nucleus to which she was ecstatic as she's a big fan. Her piece was used for the promotion of the show.

"Approach art like science, precise, "Jean said about her style. Which I felt had changed greatly on some of her other pieces at AX. It would have been hard to spot her if I was just to look around artist alley. "You precisely get your message across. You precisely convey how you're doing it. Nothing is left clear or vague," Jean continued her art philosophy of her work.

I asked about the uniform she was wearing. Jean told me, "We're just representing the persona of otaku culture." It also matched a character mascot of a girl with three eyes who wears a sailor uniform too.

"The topic of the zine is how girls can be gross and disgusting if they want to." Jean was telling me about her Fangrrlz zine book "bug book." Fangrrlz is her indie mirco press and on the side it sells apparel to fund projects of the two behind it, one of them being Jean. She continued, "It's like bugs representing society too, you can be stepped on or you can step on other people." The book features art that could scare you. It's like if an add catalog was made available to nightmare. Her inspiration was drawn from Alien Nine.

We finished by talking about AX itself and Sanrio's likeable egg character, which she had to buy an activity a book of.

"I've eaten at every Little Tokyo restaurant, " she tells me about what she's seen in LA. That's not much, but that's where she stays when she visits. 

Check out Jean's Fangrrlz, it's creepy and cute.
Check out Jean at her official site.