1. Who are you and how long have you been working as an artist?
My name is Victoria Ying and I’ve been a professional artist since 2007. I got my start in Animation at Disney feature animation, where I worked for 8 years, with credits such as Tangled, Wreck it Ralph, Big Hero 6, Frozen and Moana. I took what I learned in animation and found my passion for telling stories. My book “City of Secrets”, a middle grade, adventure, graphic novel, will be released July 28, 2020. Its sequel is slated for 2021 and my latest film credit is for “Over the Moon”.
2. How do you personally define art block? How often do you get art block?
I think of art block as the lack of motivation to create. I personally get art block all the time when it has to do with creating for creating’s sake. I’m a pretty disciplined person, so art for work is easy enough for me to hit on a deadline even if I’m not “in the mood.” However, I can go months without ever creating anything that I’m not getting paid for.
3. What are some specific strategies you employ when dealing with art block?
For me, when I have art block, a big part of it is just staring down the barrel of all the steps you have to take when it comes to making an illustration: research, sketching, thumbnailing, color keys, lighting keys, and then I get too discouraged to even start. So, when I’m facing that kind of daunting task, what I do is break things down into smaller, easier to digest chunks. I build reference boards if I’m not in the mood to draw (VizRef is a lifesaver) or do studies that would be relevant to the painting I want to create. Then, before I know it, I’ve got everything ready and all I need to do is execute the final illustration.
4. Describe the biggest obstacle / challenge you’ve encountered working as an artist and how you overcame it.
The biggest challenge was switching from Animation, a structured environment, to publishing. I was so insecure about my storytelling/writing that it took me ages to get anything worth showing to anyone. I read every book I could get my hands on about writing. I took classes, I tried to build a curriculum for myself that could mimic Grad School. But in the end, all it really took was practice. I wrote a ton of short stories and saw how story structure worked. I was able to build confidence by just having little things under my belt.
5. Where can we see more of your work online?
I’m on Instagram and Twitter as @victoriaying and my website is http://www.victoriaying.com. My book “City of Secrets” releases on July 28,2020, it is available wherever books are sold!