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Meet Dingyao Yu

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dingyao Yu.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started learning drawing and painting around my 12 years old. Before that, my mom tried to let my learn instrument, writing, and some other classes, but only drawing could make me stay in the place without complaining. So I could say it is one thing that I have never given up and have been doing until now.

From my perspective, I just enjoyed the feeling of the studio that while we was drawing, we could listen to music or talking with each other. Sometimes there was a funny and active person there who made the atmosphere very happy and fun. Therefore, I met my best friends in the studio, and we made a promise that go to the best art college in China.

Since then, I started having my first life goal, which also motivated me to study harder than before. I changed from a bad student to a good student, which really made my life better.

Then, I really went to one of the best art colleges in China— China Academic of Art (CCA). And I majored in industrial design. However, I realize I don’t like the major, I’m more passion on drawing and painting stuff, but we couldn’t switch our major in China. Therefore, I kept practicing my drawing skills and decided to get a master’s degree in illustration. I want to be an illustrator!

I came to SCAD, this is an awesome place, I could feel myself improving day by day, week by week. Now I’m pretty confident about my illustration, I can say I can drawing everything prettily.

I graduated as a Master of Art degree in August 2019, and now it’s my time to find a job and build my career.

Oh, forgot to tell, I also got some Motion Graphic skill since I worked in a video studio “Fugo Studio”.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It could never be a smooth road. I remember when I was in high school, to get in the best art college, we needed to practice day and night. We needed to carry all the art supplies and fly to different cities to take the drawing and painting test. I failed my first year, and then my mom sent my to southern China to study for another year. It was my first time leaving my hometown to a place that people couldn’t even understand my accent. It was one of the hardest years in my life.

Another struggle about art is I couldn’t get my own style, if you look through my website, you can see some of the illustrations are not in the same style. Until this summer, I finally find out my style and I love it so much!

Alright – so let’s talk business, what should we know?
I’m currently working with some rappers, doing some illustrations for them. I have a good foundation skill which makes my work visually comfortable and professional. I also did a lot of experiment of colors which makes me know how to match colors with different themes. So no matter what kind of project, I can illustrate it with my style beautifully.

I come from China, which makes my art has some Asian feelings. Not only that, I’m crazy about hip-pop music since high school, so instead of keep showing the Chinese style like others, my work also have some hip-pop street art feelings. That sets me apart from others.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
There are a lot of people who helped/ inspired me during my way here. I think I learned more from my classmates or other illustrators than professors.

First of all, I still very thanks to my professors in SCAD:

Prof. Lovell, he tells me that ” style is not something you can find, it is something that comes out from yourself by keep doing sketches.” That gives me a right direction of how to improve myself.

Prof. Tony, he is the first person who admits me as a good illustrator, which gives me huge confidence.

Prof. Thomas, he always have some fun project for us to try something new about ourselves, which makes me break my own box again and again.

Prof. Goni, he is the professor who tough my last quarter in SCAD. He let me know my work is good enough to leave school and be a professional illustrator. He helps me build up my confidence again.

My friends and classmates:

Yj: she’s my GF, she’s also working as an art director who has a very good test of art. So she’s kind of picky of my work that makes me improve a lot.

PD: he recommended me to learn some motion skill to add some motion in my illustration, which opens the door of another world.

Kire: she is a very good illustrator in my class. She doesn’t actually inspire anything, just good and improves really fast that makes me feel pressure from that, which makes me push myself more. There are also some other classmates who help me in that way like Aviva, Krista and Tiantian.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Dingyao Yu

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