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  • Writer's pictureKOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH

"I'm passionate about transforming emotions into illustrations" • Chia Hsieh


Chia Hsieh is a successful artist with an unmistakable signature style. Her work includes illustration and graphic design, and in addition to that, she is also an art teacher.


In an interview we exclusively prepared for you, we talked to this artist not only about her favorite Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth products but also, for example, about the most common themes or the illustrations themselves.




Hello, Chia! How would you describe your artistic style?


I always say that I don't have a particular artistic style because I want to be free to move to any style I want to. According to collecting feedback from people watching, they usually say that I like the warming vibe in my illustrations. And if I say, I will say depicting the power of life or organic texture, lines are what I'm focusing on.





We can only agree with that. What artistic movement, style, or isms do you like the most, and how would you classify your creation?


I enjoy appreciating print illustrations from old books. There were technique limits like a limited colour palette in their age, but those artists played with textures, shapes or colours so well! I can still get inspired by their art even though I appreciate one illustration many times.


On the other hand, I am always getting colour schemes reference from impressionist artists. Furthermore, one favourite artist is Turner, I always enjoy the movement in his paintings. My wish is that I couldn't be classified into one style, just focusing on what I want to tell.



What subjects can we see most often in your work and why?


Apart from drawing sketches on locations when travelling, I'm passionate about transforming different emotions into illustrations, so emotions, mental health themes may be another major subject in my work.





Those are quite contrasting themes, interesting! Where have your beautiful illustrations appeared so far?


I always post my illustrations or drafts first on Instagram and Facebook. I also work with some Taiwanese government departments, universities, and companies to create key visual art for activities and other things like posters and character design. In addition, I have authorized some illustrations as annual products for fans all over the world to purchase(calendars, notebooks, or postcards...) on Tintint.com.



How else can people support you and your work?


I always say leaving comments is the best way to support an artist, as I always do, don't hesitate!


Also, I have a shop on Pinkoi.com, which is named Chiasroom, where people can purchase my illustration products. Besides, I'm very welcoming of customized artworks. Just feel free to message or send an email to me, then we can see how we can work together.




You have been awarded several times for your artistic feats. Which award do you value the most?


I am very happy with each winning award, which means I am recognized by the judges. And each award has its own selection criteria or preferences, so I also use these awards to review the market that I am suitable for.



Among other things, you are also an art teacher. Who do you teach? Groups of children or adults?


When I started my art teaching career, I taught children aged 4 to 11. When I came back to Taiwan, I tried to teach adults, and sometimes, I teach kids and their parents the same lesson now. Although these different groups have different needs in art teaching, to make them want to approach art is my goal.



What made you go into teaching?


At first, I aimed to introduce people to how to enjoy and make their art. But then, I found that I get more from students, it's interesting for me to see different points of view about the world. Also, teaching art inspired me to create illustrations in new ways.



Besides creating illustrations and teaching, you also dedicate yourself to graphic design. So when you make illustrations for a book or other printed matter, are you completing the entire graphical form of the given printed matter?


I guess planning the layout before drawing illustrations is the necessary step to work with others. It's different from creating your own project. The preview design can let the customer know how it will look and make our discussion smoother, as I'm better at using image communication than only words.


We don't even have to ask about your favourite product from Koh-i-Noor Hardtmuth. Do we assume it's the Wax Aquarell pastels?


Yes, they are Wax Aquarell pastels. I'm impressed that they are light and easy to bring to the airplane. If I need the colours to be more vibrant, I can easily use a little water to blend them after the journey.



Yes, they are perfect for traveling! What makes the Wax Aquarell pastels so unique for you? For what reason would you recommend them to others?


First, the wooden pencil body is a good idea because I get used to giving much force on pencils or brushes. And these wooden pen bodies provide strong protection to prevent pastels from breaking apart.


Additionally, I like to collect pastel shavings during shaving the pastels, then these pastel shavings can be used to add powdery texture to illustrations. These features give various techniques to use the Wax Aquarell pastels.




We like to hear that! How long have you been working with Wax Aqaurell, and how did you come across this product?


I got many of these products in Prague in 2019 when I was visiting the city. I always love to visit art supply stores when I'm travelling. I found an adorable store in the New Town of Prague. And it's surprising for me that I can choose colours I like instead of purchasing a set. Then I used them during my entire journey to Central Europe to draw sketches.



We are glad you liked our shop. Can you imagine a life without art? What else do you think you would do?


Wow, I have been thinking about this question since I was a child cause I spent almost my life researching art from elementary school. However, in my imagination: a life without art might be more relaxing? Because doing art as a career is always with self-doubt, perfectionism, and much more energy than other people stick to an artwork.


If I didn't do a job with art, I think I would be a cook or baker. Sometimes, when I face some difficulties in an art project, I go to make food or biscuits, and sometimes, I try to reappear the food I ate on my journey. Cooking is another thing that makes me very satisfied, and it's also an art of life (also can make others happy too)!





Interesting! What direction would you like to take in the future? Do you have any artistic goals?


Before, my focus of work was more on on-site education. I am gradually changing my job type to freelance these years to work remotely and to take care of my mom, who got a stroke at the same time.


I would like to try every kind of illustration practice, such as picture books, product design, advertisements.... or something we still don't know. I'm welcoming any projects that are interesting or in which I can take advantage of my strengths.


My artistic goals in the future are to continue to communicate with audiences in various ways, to communicate no matter the format, such as picture books or illustrations for business. Someday, after I gain the knowledge I think is enough to share, maybe I will try to write them down structurally for experience sharing.



Thank you very much for the candid interview. We wish you every success in your artistic and personal life, and we look forward to meeting you in one of our brick-and-mortar stores. Maybe in the shop in Mala Strana. :)




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