Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Day 243: Drawing a Cupcake with Joyce Wan

Joyce's bio, in her own words:

I designed my first greeting card when I was six years old for a city-wide greeting card design contest sponsored by the Art Institute of Boston. The design won first place and was subsequently sold through a major department store chain. Twenty years later that design would inspire me to launch my design studio Wanart. Products featuring my designs are now sold worldwide. I also teach courses on greeting card design and art licensing at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. I am inspired by Japanese pop culture, Scandinavian design, modern architecture, and everyday things that make me smile. In my perfect world everything would be cute, round, and chubby. I am the author and illustrator of "Greetings from Kiwi and Pear", "You Are My Cupcake", "We Belong Together", "Frog & Friends", "Owl & Friends", "Hug You Kiss You Love You", "My Lucky Little Dragon", Are You My Mommy?" and I illustrated "Sleepyheads" by Sandra J. Howatt. 

"We Belong Together" was featured in the Society of Illustrators 2011 Original Art Show, an exhibit which showcases the year’s best children’s books. 

"The Whale in My Swimming Pool" is a Spring 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection.

The book "Greetings from Kiwi and Pear" led to the release of two mobile apps: Kiwi and Pear's Balloon Adventure and Kiwi and Pear's World Adventure for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. 

I'm originally from Boston, Massachusetts and currently live in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Through all my work, I hope to inspire people to embrace the spirit of childhood and follow their dreams. 

Miscellaneous Biographical Facts:
I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts.
My parents are from China and immigrated to the United States in the 1970's.
When I was a kid, my mom could not speak English but she took my siblings and I to the library every week without fail. Although she was unable to read to me, picture books enabled us to enjoy the pictures and make up stories together. Little did she know that would be one of the greatest gifts she would ever give to me. (Read my essay on Why Picture Books are Important)
My family lived in low-income housing and on welfare in inner-city Boston until I was in my early teens. That's when my parents used their life savings  to open a small Chinese takeout restaurant called New China Garden and we moved to Westwood, Massachusetts, a small town 10 miles south of Boston. I had to work at this restaurant every Friday or Saturday night all throughout my middle school and high school years.
My parents have just a middle school equivalent education. I look at them and see all that they have accomplished with so little to begin with. They showed me that with hard work and determination, you can make your dreams come true. It's a philosophy I live by and is why I'm here doing what I do today. They are a true inspiration for me.
I graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University in New York City with a liberal arts degree in Architecture. I am a self-trained artist although I have art school envy all the time!
When I first started Wanart, I was working at a 9am-6pm job at an architectural firm. I spent many late night hours on my own business with only a few hours of sleep in between the two "jobs". I did this for two years before I quit my full time job to pursue my own business full-time.
I am a self-proclaimed night owl who enjoys drawing and writing in the wee hours (favorite hours: 12am-3am) when everyone’s asleep and the world is quiet.
I spent the last 15 years living in New York City but have recently made Ridgewood, New Jersey my new home.

Visit Joyce's website!

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