We had the good fortune of connecting with Kiuyan Ran and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kiuyan, why did you pursue a creative career?
Creating is the activity that gives me the most self-worth. I feel like just a cog in the wheel when I am doing a job that can easily be replaced by others, but I am truly proud when I get to call a creation “mine”.
I grow up in an environment with a huge population, and with countless tests and standards and competitions you can easily feel like you are just an exam machine, forever running towards the highest score. Only passion can make one feel slightly more in a different shape.
Luckily I gorw up also enenjoying watching movies, anime and read comics, and I have been inspired by many artists and their works, which makes me want to be one like them. Putting pen to paper is perhaps the most direct and fastest way to own a creation. Keep making them lead me to the path today.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My mother raised me alone and I went togeth to work in a city bigger than our small hometown, it is also the reason I could go to a high school in the city. Raising me alone while working in an unfamiliar place was a very difficult journey. But the incredible thing is she did it and did it amazingly. It is always unimagineable for me thinking about her holding on all the years. For the kid herself, the preparation for art university in China was very hard, requiring a year of dedicated training from my already intense regular schooling. I went alone to a distant city in high school, drawing and painting for the exam from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm for a year, and then having to go back to school after the art exams to compete with other students for the exams and achieve a certain ranking among millions of students in both rooms to be accepted, sleeping 2 hours later than everybody in the night and wake up the same time in the morning. Then I went abroad for graduate school and to New York for work and life by myself. My passions and the positive feedback from my teachers and classmates supported me in my efforts to adapt to new rythems in life, and I am grateful that technology allowed my family and friends to support me even from afar. One of the principles that has stuck with me the longest personally is to always stick on what your passion is about the most and what is now most useful step towards you dream, whether it is school assignments or work for clients. Make appropriate trade-offs between what others and circumstances demand of you, and to be clear about the standards you hold yourself to. The fastest way to make improvement is to give it your all every time for one thing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
New York is a rich enough place that you can find any pastime you want if you have enough budget. I would take my friends to Flushing for a wide array of delicious Chinese food, to Central Park to see the sights, to my favorite dance teacher’s class, and to the major museums, and most famous Broadway, or just to observe all kinds of people and animals on the street. These are some of my favorite places to go in New York.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give thanks to my mother, who has always supported my pursuit of art and given me unlimited tolerance. One of the things that makes me feel most fortunate is that being in the art industry allows me to meet so many talented people. I appreciate my friends along side on in the creative path since I was a child. I am grateful to have met many wonderful artist friends who have given me a lot of companionship and support and inspiration.
And, I need to thank the other female creators, espacially illustrators, manga artists and writers on the internet, whose passion and talent have inspired my vision and dream all these years.