1.6 million people can’t be wrong! Meet Mei Yu of MeiYuArt. The talented artist tells us about her passion for design and about a little stint moonlighting as a police sketch artist.
Tell us about yourself! Where is your hometown? Where do you live now? Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of design? Any fun facts about yourself?
I grew up in Vancouver, Canada, and live and work here. Besides my passion for art and design, I love reading and writing books, creating original comics and graphic novels, and making animation shorts.
Fun facts about me:
– I started to draw when I was 2.
– The same year when I graduated from High School in Vancouver, I won 17 local and national art awards and scholarships.
– At age 18, I self-published my first how-to-draw cartoon book and started to teach drawing classes in schools and libraries.
– At age 19, I started to work in animation studios in Vancouver upon college graduation.
– I auditioned and was selected to play a police sketch artist on USA Network’s Psych (season 6).
– My longest time drawing without a break was 8 hours straight.
– My Fun2draw channel on YouTube has over 1.5 Million subscribers/followers.
– My longest drawing non-stop taping for a video was 6.5 hours. I edited the entire video to about 16 minutes.
– I love reading books and graphic novels, playing video games and watching movies and cartoons.
Tell us about the space where you do your work. Do you have an official studio or have you carved out a nook in your home? Both are equally wonderful and we’re excited to learn more!
I do my work in my tiny space. My room becomes smaller and smaller as I add more designs!
What is your background in art/design? What got you started creating?
I’ve been deeply in love with art and design all my life, starting at around age 2. I used to draw on the walls! Since my early years, I’ve developed many passions for all kinds of art, especially cartooning and animation. I graduated from a top animation program at a college in Vancouver, and have worked in the animation industry as a character and concept designer on various TV shows starting at age 19. I’ve also self-published four how-to-draw books at age 18 and 20. In most recent years, besides creating and working on my regular art videos for my Fun2draw channel on YouTube, I have made more than a dozen mobile apps and created my own fashion illustrations that I hope someday will be part of my own clothing collection. I don’t remember exactly what got me started in creating. But, I do remember I’ve never stopped drawing and creating since my childhood. I’m very excited about how far I’ve come as an artist, a designer and as a creator. However, I know I still have much more to learn, explore, and have more goals to accomplish!
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I find inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. I love all kinds of movies, anime, shows, games, and characters from a diverse group of TV series. I loved reading books when I was little, and still do. I get lots of inspiration from my everyday life. I also look up to a lot of people: directors, actors, authors, talk show hosts, and cartoon icons, and creative people in general. There are so many things to learn from others; sometimes I feel there’s just not enough time!
What are your favorite products to design on Zazzle?
I love designing shirts because I feel my fans respond very well to my special hand-drawn and hand-colored art and designs. It’s like showing who you are, or a little bit of your personality, on yourself! This is also a big reason why I want to make my own clothing collection one day: to use my art to help other people express themselves. Sometimes, I showcase the designs from my popular art challenge videos, where my fans watch me create them from start to finish. It’s quite a unique experience for them to own a piece of that design afterwards.
If you could wish for one new product on Zazzle, what would it be and why?
If possible, I would love to see some kind of all-over-print sweater or shirt where the print is on the sleeves and in the back as well. I could see a lot of my planned designs on these products. I think if done well, these new products would be popular.
What was the very first Zazzle product that you sold?
This blue cat school notebook.
This design has become big amongst my fans. I drew the original by hand on my YouTube channel, where I used only 10 markers that were different shades of blue. I’m glad my viewers and fans love this one!
What Are Your 5 Favorite Products in Your Store?
Do you have any advice for new Zazzle Designers?
I think it might be slow at first to get started, but I find that if you’re really passionate about designing for your fans, that’s all the motivation you’ll need. Just keep at it. Do what you love, and it won’t feel like work.