We had the good fortune of connecting with Avis Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Avis, why did you pursue a creative career?
Ever since I was young, my favorite subject in school was art. I always participated in art and crafts activities, events, and competitions where I could express my creativity. Being a part of these during my childhood helped me realize how much I loved doing it, but it wasn’t until much later that I understood how important it was to me to pursue it as a job into the future. During my last year in high school, I became more interested in the creative process behind movies and animations. When a representative from an art college came to speak about their school, I learned that people could actually work and have a career doing art for the same movies I had been watching since I was young. Having discovered this, I knew I wanted to pursue this dream.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Hello, I’m Avis, an illustrator and graduate from ArtCenter college of Design with a focus on entertainment design. My art focuses on background and visual development, and I try to emphasize story in all the paintings I do with the design choices I make. I love drawing in a painterly style and experimenting with color to set certain moods. I’m most proud of the progress I’ve made skill-wise since I’ve first started digital painting, and am excited to see how far I can go into the future. There were a lot of obstacles I had to go through during my time at college, mainly being the discipline, dedication, and perfection of presentation the school required from its students’ works. The first couple years were the toughest, having to adjust to this new level of expectation, and I had to fail many times to learn how to do better later on. I now understand that the school did this because they wanted us to be prepared for the real world, and the job culture that we would have to experience after graduation.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my friend visited , I would take them to the coast to see the beach because of how near it is. The best beach in my opinion is Crystal Cove, and there’s also a large mall called Fashion Island that has a lot of good food places as well. We could also take a ferry to Balboa Island and look at the ocean from there. Afterwards at night, it would be fun to watch a movie at the theatre, and drive back up through the Pacific Coast Highway.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First, I would like to shoutout my mom for always being there for me. She was the one to always challenge my doubts, believe in my abilities as an artist, and pushed me to work harder when I was feeling discouraged and slacking off in my studies. I’m grateful that you always held me up to high expectations, so that I could persist and achieve my goals. My school, ArtCenter College of Design, really helped me shape up as an artist and I’ve learned some tough lessons as a student there. The countless assignments, all-nighters, and tough instructors were not only valuable in teaching me the hardships of pursuing this path, but also how it pays off in the end. Besides the education, it was an amazing experience to be able to meet other talented people there.
Lastly, I would like to shoutout my friend Yuja, who I’ve met since the first day of college. She’s the kindest and most encouraging friend I’ve had and I’m grateful for her support whenever I’m going through tough times. Thank you.