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Check Out Bingjie Cui’s Story

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Today we’d like to introduce you to Bingjie Cui.

Hi Bingjie, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I was born and raised in an energetic and happy family. My parents have always encouraged and supported me in doing what I love. I got my bachelor’s degree in environmental science. Science-based disciplinary study experiences nurtured and laid the foundation for my rational thinking. Then I went to the  University of Georgia to pursue my first master’s degree in environmental planning and design, where I am exposed to a wide range of creativity and practices. Since that, I started to think about how I could integrate creative thinking into my planning project.

Right after graduation from UGA, I got a chance to work as an urban planner in Atlanta. I had the experience of talking with the stakeholders and sharing my stories to help them build their visions. Most of the projects I participated in were planning orientations. From the cooperation with the architect and designer, I found out ‘design’ as an attractive part for me to communicate my idea. Then I was lucky to get an offer as a graduate urban designer from Arup, which is a British multinational professional services firm. In Arup, I worked as a bridge designer in cooperation with the engineers and architects. From then on, I started to find out my eagerness in communicating ideas and stories with my visual language. Moreover, I figured out the connection between illustration and urban planning is- urban planning helps others to build their vision and shape their world with planning ideas, while illustration has a broader perspective in telling stories with visual language.

I decided to pursue my second master’s degree in illustration at Savannah College of Art and Design. The challenging and exhilarating atmosphere at SCAD constantly motivates me to strengthen my skills in illustration. At the same time, I experimented with different styles to see how I could combine and benefit from my early background in my illustration style. Finally, I crafted my visual language in a more conceptual style to deliver the visual response to social phenomena and capture the moments of life. I’m hoping my work can speak for groups of people. More importantly, you can find the power and energy in my illustrations.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
For me, I think it’s not a smooth road. As mentioned above, I have a background in totally different fields- science, urban planning, and arts. The background of science has established the foundation of my rational thinking, while the creation of art needs to stimulate my perceptual thinking at all times. It took me a while to find the balance between these two sides. I enjoy how I could react to some social phenomena with more rational thinking while also speaking for the groups with powerful visual language. The other struggle is to craft my skills in drawing. I used to tell stories and help others build their vision with text and talking- as an urban planner. While telling stories with visual language, it requires me to have an effective and strong visual solution that could stand out for the moment. Besides, since my interest in editorial illustration and the publishing market, it’s important to have a strong concept that speaks for the idea. This, in turn, also requires a creative method with crafted abilities in visual communication. I really appreciate all the help and instructions along with my professional exploration.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I love my life. I’m a person full of passion and energy so in my early illustration works, there are interesting moments I created from my imagination based on my experience. When it entered the pandemic period, I started to integrate my thinking about the social phenomenon into my works with some visual puns. Reading, movies, literature, and experience are my inspirations. I specialize in translating literature and texts into strong visual language. I love creating engaging images and visual solutions that support and explain the accompanying text and stories.

Born and raised in Xinjiang, China, I’m really proud of where I’m from. This fertile land is full of mysterious beauty and hospitable people. Xinjiang, China is home to juicy fruits, diverse ethnic groups, and beautiful natural scenes. I have a series of conceptual illustrations that speak for the authentic life in Xinjiang, China, which I’m hoping to create more and publish as an illustrative book.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
For me, success is doing what I love to do- which is art and design, and I can also earn my life with what I’m passionate about. I think success for me is my artwork can help people who are in depression, and maybe just offer them a feeling of hope, even for just one second. I’m hoping my series of work for Xinjiang, China can lead more and more people to get to know about the region, and build more equity and a promising future.

Success for me is I can earn my life with my passion and use my ability (my artwork) to inspire and encourage people who need help. Besides the professional part, my definition of success also includes parents are healthy, lovers and friends are around.

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