We had the good fortune of connecting with Van Chung and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Van, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I’ve always been someone who finds it hard to say no, so finding the right work-life balance has definitely been a journey. As someone who has creative hobbies and a job that requires a lot of creative energy, setting boundaries between work and personal time are so important to me, especially over the course of this pandemic where remote work has really blurred those lines. I always make sure to have time to fill my creative cup with projects that are just for me.

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.
I am an illustrator! It still feels weird to call myself an illustrator mainly because I’ve only been illustrating in a more serious manner within the last 3-4 years and illustration is not my bread and butter but something I enjoy immensely after work hours. I started drawing simple illustrations of my everyday life and really made a point to not erase or undo my work so often because I realized my tendency towards perfectionism really hindered my growth. My path as an illustrator is really about exploring my own voice and what speaks to me and finding ways to convey my unique lens of the world. My work is at a stage right now where it is evolving and I’m experimenting quite a bit. I’m currently participating in @furrylittlepeach’s Peachtober challenge, where I draw one thing a day based on a list of one-word prompts through the month of October.

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.

Naturally, being in the land of movie magic, I would take my friend to Universal Studios, Warner Bros Studios, Paramount Studios, etc. Then we’d have to head down to Orange County for some Disney Magic and Knott’s Berry Farm. We’d definitely have to hit up the quintessential California beaches!

For food, we’d have In-n-Out burgers, of course, which we’d wash down with a boba crawl in San Gabriel Valley. If the 626 Night Market is still in town, we’d have to stop by there as well. We’d also visit Little Tokyo for some delicious udon noodles at Monzo.

After all that eating, we’d burn it off by taking a few fun dance classes.

Naturally, an art tour would have to be on the schedule. We’d stop by The Broad, MoMa, Arts District. I’d take them to the Time Travel Mart on Sunset Blvd for the novelty. And after all that inspiration, we’d find a cute coffee shop to unwind in and make some art for ourselves.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shout out to my mom!! My mom really took a leap of faith and braved through not only the difficulties of being an immigrant but also that of being a single mother, to give me the best life she knew how.

Instagram: instagram.com/vanillalaart

Other: www.tiktok.com/@vanillalaart

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