We had the good fortune of connecting with Ramona Chen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ramona, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
To be honest, it’s something I have been trying to figure out all the time. I used to occupy most of my time with heavy-loaded working and find it difficult to switching back to the real-time small enjoyable moment. I believe work-life balance is the art of maintaining or optimizing your creative state. It’s about the mindset that keeps you continues to risk, fail, grow and keep going. It’s also like a performing art. Process plays a big role in it, not specifically about the skill at the moment.
I also find out sometimes when things go far from the expectation, finishing something is more important than making it perfect. It might be some struggling hours when finishing it, you might have to narrow down your focus or shut down yourself a bit at the moment, but I believe that’s part of the balance too. Dealing with emergencies and accidents is an inevitable part of life.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I enjoy making stories and designing characters from a personal standpoint. I love traveling and different cultures, that’s one of the biggest inspirations in terms of bringing a fresh voice to my work.
I love waking up early, going outside of campus observing people from Starbucks and the gym with a sketchbook, and ballpoint pen. I also love art with a sense of fun (humor). It does not necessarily mean telling a joke but how to look at the world interestingly and uniquely.
In terms of creativity, I take good energy to maintain a free space in my brain where I can truly be myself, thinking and acting like a child, being curious and imaginative about my passion instead of using art as a tool for the trades. It helps me a lot when it comes to generating an idea, everything can be possible in the world you are creating, and that is the ultimate fun of animation.
Music and dance are also a significant influence on my art as I feel there is a natural connection between music and movement.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Getty museum might be the first place that came to my mind… I remember taking the cable car to the hilltop and lying down with friends on the grass with nice sunshine. It’s a small museum but still a lot of fun for me to take a sketching trip.
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?
I took Willie Real’s character design class this early spring and I feel very grateful for this opportunity to know a sincere friend. I was suffering from chronic depression at the moment which made it difficult to finish projects in class, but Willie is supper understandable and supportive, encouraging me to show the process instead of being scared by the inner perfectionist. Besides, his class is very inspiring in terms of the thinking of using different media and breaking out of their comfort zone. He is like his name, a Real and sincere friend to talk to and connect with.