Vivian Shih is an artist and illustrator currently based in Los Angeles, CA. Her work explores emotional vulnerability, strength and internal reflection in relation to cultural influences in fashion, music and urban life. In her personal paintings, she focuses on the connection and relationship between human and nature in inks and watercolor on paper. Her works incorporate themes of environmentalism along side female strength and self-discovery through travel and exploration. While utilizing transparent media and line weight to support her concepts, Vivian plays with density, pattern and fluidity of lines with her medium.
Shih is one of the participating artists for the ON/OFF Grid art exhibition (April 6 - June 3) at the Gene Siskel Film Center in conjunction with the FAAIM 23rd Annual Asian American Showcase, 2018. We asked her a few questions about her work and artistic practice!
Does your identity or personal story inform your work? Who/what inspires you?
I believe my free, bold, whimsical and passionate personality naturally show in my work because of the type of subjects I choose to draw as well as through my naturally expressive style. I am inspired by empowering and strong women, nature, music, fashion and emotions.
How has technology affected your creative process? Does this affect how you view or choose to interact with the world?
It's funny - when I was a still a student in art school, I was very anti-technology. However in my professional creative career, I am loving using technology to my advantage, whether it be sketching digitally to reduce paper waste or quick edits using photoshop.
How do you think digital formats impact your field and your audience?
I find that illustration is quickly moving to a animated or 3d space and that movement within illustration and design can make a huge impact on the emotional experience of the art viewer. I hope to dive more into this realm of design and illustration!
What are you working on right now?
I am currently working on illustrations for a 9 page spread in TCNJ magazine. Simultaneously, I am working on designing a couple in-store murals for Lululemon that I will be painting next month that I'm very excited about!