As you already know by now, Style.No.Chaser is all about high impact visual stimulation. That’s why when we came across the work of outstanding NYC illustratior Louie Chin, we knew we had to give him some shine. His work has appeared in some very respected publications: The NY Times, Wired Magazine, Complex Media and much more. He has a style that’s immediately relatable but still layered with texture and remarkable detail. We think he has an extremely bright future, so without wasting any more time, see our interview with Louie below.
“Living in New York City helps with creativity …”
When did you first realize you were artistically inclined?
The first time I recall being told I was good at drawing was in the third grade. We had to do a book report on a book we were reading in class. I wrote the paper and drew a cover for my assignment. My teacher and classmates all said it was really good. That memory has always stuck with me so it’s probably the earliest realization that I had this skill.
Who were some of your earliest inspirations and how long did it take to develop your style?
My early inspirations came from reading comic books and watching cartoons, mainly anime. I liked American cartoons but it never made me want to draw. When I first watched Dragon Ball Z, like many kids, I wanted to draw like that! The same with comic books. I remember reading X-Men with Jim Lee art and I was blown away. Gradually, from there I just started to take in and imitate different comic book artists I liked. If you asked a lot of artists, they will say their style is always evolving. I would say the same for myself. My style is definitely different from the things I enjoyed as a kid, but I take bits and pieces of everything I loved and tried to emulate growing up. When you mash up all that, you just get a style that you’re comfortable with. It happens very organically.
Do you remember the first time your work got published – how did that feel for you?
There were works in the beginning of my art career that got published but it didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. I don’t want to take anything away from those triumphs because it’s a stepping stone. I would like to say the first work I got published where I was really excited and proud of was in the NY Times. I signed on with my agent after a year of helping him doing office work. We both worked together trying to get my portfolio out there but I didn’t get any calls. It was very humbling. Then one day, almost a year after I signed on, I got the NY Times gig. It was an awesome feeling. I guess it’s this prestigious factor to it, like, this is the New York Times! It was great. I got a bunch of copies and showed my mom!
Your work has appeared in quite a few dope magazines – tell us more about that and the publications you love working with the most.
I would say most of the clients I’ve worked with are all cool. The best is when it’s for something where the end product is in print or a physical product. There is still something great about seeing your work in the printed form. It gives me a greater sense of accomplishment.
How does the city of New York influence your illustrations?
Living in New York City helps with creativity. There are always things happening here, whether it’s other talented people you meet at events or all the museums that we have here. It also helps that NYC has mostly everything, so if you see a magazine online that has some cool stuff you want to check out, there is a store that has it here.
It is also beneficial for creating stories when I drew comics. Growing up in NYC, you see a lot of things that you can write/draw about.
Since we’re a style magazine – let’s talk about your fashion style for a minute. How would you describe your style and what are some of your favorite brands?
I am really into jackets and coats. If I could wear them year round I would. I love outerwear that is functional and of course, looks cool. There are some White Mountaineering outdoor style jackets I like. They incorporate a lot of nice patterns, as well as functional fabrics and materials for outdoors. There’s also that Undercover Diaplex Parka that I wish I owned. I love the way the hood looks on top of everything else.
What are the ultimate goals you envision for your career – what is your dream project?
One of my goals is to step up my game and work with some brands in the fashion world. It can be something not as taxing such as illustrating for a t-shirt to helping in designing a collection. It would also be awesome to work more in the marketing side since I do mostly publications. I would want to draw some crazy stuff for Nike!
Lastly can you tell us about upcoming projects you have in the works that we can look for?
I’m working on some more illustration work with several magazines and publications. After some of the work load dies down, I would like to get back into drawing more comics. I’m also working on more motion graphics / animated videos for fun but hopefully it’ll lead my back to some of goals I mentioned before!
To see more of Louie’s illustrations, click here.
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