Chen Naje, artistHailing from the Phillipines Chen is the perfect example of Illustrate's aim of giving a platform to artists from all over the world. Specialising in absurdly detailed hand drawn animal illustrations we've all fallen in love with Chen's designs.

Thankfully, having a conversation with somebody who's on the other side of the world is not nearly as challenging as it used to be. Here's what Chen had to say when we put a few questions to him.

Q: How old are you?

A: 23

Q: Where are you based?

A: Albay, Philippines

Q: So, when did you know that you would be an artist?

A: Since I was a kid, I always find joy in drawing. I was taking Computer Science in college and wasn't really happy, that's when I decided that I wanted to be an artist and I shifted to Fine Arts.

Q: How long did it take to refine your personal style?

A: To be honest, I’m still refining my personal style up to now. My drawings are not consistent in terms of style. I guess my style is not having a consistent style.

Q: Who are your inspirations, not just artists?

A: My inspirations are my parents and my girlfriend. They are always supportive in what I do, especially my girlfriend. She is my number one fan. There are times I feel down and I lose hope in my art but she always brings me up and makes me believe in myself.

Q: Do you have a favourite spot to work in?

A: Nothing can beat the comfort of your own home. My favorite spot is my room where my drawing table is lit with natural light because it is in front of a window.

Q: Do you have a dream workshop/studio?

A Pixar Animation Studios and Dreamworks Animations.  

Q: Why do you draw? Is there a particular idea you always look to portray?

A: I draw animals. Animals with fur to be specific. I always want to make my drawings to look fluffy and soft.

 Q: What are the unique struggles of working with your chosen medium?

A: Tip of the pen can easily wear off or damaged. When the tip is damaged, the flow of the ink changes. Most companies don’t accept my drawings because the strokes are too fine for printing.

Q: What's your favourite part of working with this medium?

A: It’s when I can get really fine with every stroke to make the drawing more realistic and feel fluffy and soft.

Q: On average, how long does one of your pieces take to complete?

A: The time needed to complete a drawing depends on the complexity and details of the piece but on average, it would be 12 hours.

Q: If you could transform into an animal which one would you choose?

A: Definitely an eagle.

Q: You aren't an artist, what are you doing instead?

A: I would be a zoologist, vet or wildlife photographer.

Q: Finally, any advice for aspiring artists?

A: If you really love art, keep practicing and be passionate about it. Be open for criticism and accept imperfection. No one becomes a master overnight so have patient and enjoy the journey.

 

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