We had the good fortune of connecting with Eewen Chew and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eewen, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I’ve always thought that the job of an artist is to take in the world at large around them and synthesize it through the lens of their art. Some days, I am inspired by moments that randomly surface – the memory of the vibrant pink of flowers from my grandmother’s garden, a snippet of lyrics humming from the radio, a good quote from a book read while lazing in bed. Other days, inspiration comes from a place more structured – my saved collection of screenshots on my phone, journaling, random photographs of people and places I want to revisit, an ever growing stack of art and prints. Mostly though, I’ve found that one thing tends to lead into another, and inspiration always comes as long as I keep creating.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m an illustrator and an animator, currently working part-time for a tech startup while pursuing my own creative freelance on the side! I had a pretty nomadic childhood, growing up as a third-culture kid most of my life. Through that, I always had this dream of moving to New York, pursuing that creative dream that we’ve so often watched and read about. And so I got into a school here, and my plan became to remain in New York for as long as I could. But then Covid happened, and the city suddenly no longer felt like the city, and no one I knew were getting actual jobs let alone a migrant far from home. So I made a terrifying last minute decision to leave, which somehow turned out to be one of the best choices I ever made. The freelance opportunities started coming in from around the world, and I began to realize that we truly live in an age where the internet has opened up career paths previously untenable. For me, especially as a kid whose life for better or worse was always dictated by the location requirements of my father’s job, it has been an incredibly freeing revelation to discover that I could retain the freedom of freelance from anywhere on this planet rather than being limited by the city or country I find myself in. I’m currently still figuring things out, but I hope to continue down this path, and pick up more and more projects in the future!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a huge foodie, so I would definitely take them to all my favorite food spots! Museums and art galleries would definitely be on the list, followed by an impromptu picnic at the park and bar hopping after dinner! I’m also a huge sucker for a rooftop kinda night – you can never go too wrong with good music, good company and a little bit of alcohol.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are an endless number of people I will always be grateful to. My family for always supporting me, my friends for pulling me up, giving me clients, and pushing me to keep going even on days I felt like giving it all up. (Especially you Lije Morgan!) Their love is something I will always appreciate and means more to me than they will ever know.