Interview with Jiahan Fan from United States

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Jiahan Fan

Jiahan Fan is a passionate spirited independent artist that dedicates her time to crafting art that touches the hearts of many including children’s books, comics, advertising and believes creativity and passion are the most important qualities that makes a successful creator.

Interview with the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards Winner -
Jiahan Fan

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your creative background.

Hello! My name is Jiahan and I am a passionate independent artist dedicated to crafting art that resonates deeply with audiences, be it for children's books, comics, advertising, or anything in between. After earning my Master's degree from the Academy of Arts University, I joined Ehelp Company as a contracted artist where I transform visual artworks into NFTs to expand the horizons of digital art.

One of my recent creations, "Fantasy of Beijing Opera," was inspired by the film "Farewell My Concubine" and completed in October 2022. As an artist, my ambition is to merge modern and traditional art forms while innovating upon classic concepts. By doing so, I aim to bring a fresh and stylish perspective to classical opera art.

My creative inspiration stems from my deep admiration for Beijing Opera and my respect for traditional culture. Through my artistic expression, I aspire to infuse new life into conventional art forms, making them more relatable and accessible in our everyday lives.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a creative?

First and foremost, I believe that creativity and passion are the most essential qualities for a successful creator. I derive inspiration from the intricate details of daily life and cherish visiting art museums, which serve as fertile grounds for artistic ideas. I relish delving into the unknown and persistently pursuing innovative ways to convey my thoughts, with curiosity acting as a key driving force.

Lastly, my comprehensive and methodical art education, combined with my professional experience, has allowed me to amass valuable expertise. This wealth of experience has not only honed my skills but also granted numerous opportunities to exhibit my talents.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.
A visual artist, my primary focus is on fusing aesthetics and functionality within valuable and captivating artwork. I express my creativity through an array of materials and mediums. While mid to late 20th-century pop art has greatly influenced my work, I also incorporate elements from Pop-ism, Generation Z and Chinese culture to create pieces that provide viewers with an immersive visual experience, drawing on strategies from these disciplines.
4What does “creativity” mean to you?

As an artist, I perceive creativity as the capacity to generate unique and valuable ideas or solutions to problems. It encompasses the utilization of one's imagination, knowledge, and skills to develop original and innovative concepts. Typically, creativity is linked to the ability to think outside the box and approach challenges from fresh perspectives.

For artists, creativity plays a crucial role as it enables them to convey their thoughts, emotions, and opinions in a way that resonates with their audience. Furthermore, creativity involves constantly pushing personal boundaries.

5To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?
To me, a creative design should seamlessly integrate visual art with the functionality of valuable and visually appealing artwork. It should skillfully utilize diverse materials and media to express ideas and inspirations. A truly creative design transcends mere aesthetic and artistic appeal; it should provide viewers and participants with distinctive visual experiences and thought-provoking insights that evoke both emotion and contemplation.
6Tell us about your creative and/or design process.
My creative process can be outlined in the following steps: deriving inspiration from everyday life, amalgamating diverse elements, defining an artistic style, sketching, and ultimately finalizing the piece.
7What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?
My favorite aspect of the creative process is likely the stage where I draw inspiration from various sources and merge them harmoniously. This phase is often the most challenging, inventive and innovative part of my artistic journey, playing a crucial role in showcasing my distinct artistic perspective and creativity.
8Describe your creative style and its main characteristics.

My work is characterized by its unique and diverse visual expressions as I specialize in combining various materials and mediums to craft both beautiful and functional artwork. I enjoy employing vivid colors and patterns, along with distinct lines and shapes, to convey my ideas and themes.

My creations predominantly reflect my affection for and identification with Chinese culture, as I frequently draw inspiration from traditional Chinese customs and integrate them into my art. As a result, my pieces not only exhibit a modern art style but also incorporate elements of traditional Chinese artistic heritage.

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your creativity process?

Certainly, Chinese culture played a significant role in shaping my illustration titled "Beijing Opera Rhapsody." Firstly, this piece was inspired by Peking Opera, a traditional Chinese art form deeply ingrained in the nation's culture. With its rich history and profound cultural heritage, Peking Opera boasts a unique aesthetic value and artistic style in terms of singing, performance techniques, music, and costumes. I have drawn from these elements and transformed them into visual components and imagery in my illustration.

Secondly, the work was also influenced by the movie Farewell My Concubine. This renowned Chinese film narrates the story of two Peking Opera actors, incorporating numerous Peking Opera elements while intertwining with the history of modern China's development.

This film serves as a quintessential representation of Chinese culture, and for me, it acts as an invaluable cultural resource that inspires and informs my creative endeavors. By integrating the plot and visual images from the film into my illustration, I have added depth and vibrancy to the piece.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

Receiving the MUSE Creative Award is truly exhilarating! For me, this prestigious honor signifies that my diligent efforts have been acknowledged and celebrated by my peers and professionals in the field. I am deeply humbled to accept this award, which will undoubtedly open doors for greater exposure, collaboration, and expansion of my creative and professional horizons.

Most importantly, it will serve as a catalyst for continued creativity and innovation in my future artistic pursuits, inspiring me to make even greater contributions to cultural institutions and society at large.

11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

For me, participating in the MUSE Creative Awards represents an opportunity to present my creativity and work to a broader audience, including professionals in the field. I believe that through this platform, I can receive valuable feedback and inspiration that will help me further enhance my creativity and professionalism.

Moreover, the MUSE Creative Awards serves not only as a showcase and adjudication of artworks but also as a conduit for establishing connections and collaborations with others in the creative sphere, ultimately expanding my professional horizons and opportunities. All things considered, participating in the MUSE Creative Awards is a significant opportunity for me, and I am both grateful and excited for the experience.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?
The most significant challenge I face when entering the MUSE Creative Awards is meeting the high standard of artistic expression and creativity required, while also aligning with the presentation needs and educational objectives of the cultural institution. This demands exceptional creativity, critical thinking, and presentation skills, which necessitate extensive experience, consistent practice, and ongoing development.
13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

Winning the MUSE Creative Awards is an incredible achievement that can provide a substantial boost to my professional status, garnering greater recognition and exposure for my artworks. It can lead to increased business opportunities and exhibition prospects, ultimately enhancing my influence and expanding my professional horizons.

Furthermore, receiving an award is a testament to my creative prowess and performance in the professional arena, serving as a validation of my artistic abilities and creative vision. Such recognition can bolster my creative confidence and motivation, inspiring me to reach new heights in my future creative endeavors.

14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
My top three personal favorites are collecting a variety of materials to work with, researching and incorporating elements of diverse cultures into my art and creating in my own unique way.
15What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?

I am originally from China, a nation steeped in history and culture, brimming with traditional art forms such as Beijing opera, Chinese painting, calligraphy, folk music, and more. These traditional arts possess significant aesthetic value and can serve as a wellspring of inspiration for contemporary creative industries, offering unique elements and styles for creative design.

Furthermore, Chinese culture is profoundly rich in meaning, encompassing philosophical ideas, religious beliefs, folk customs, and other dimensions. These cultural aspects offer extensive opportunities for thinking and expression in creative design, providing ample materials and inspiration for designers to draw from.

16 Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?

In the coming 5-10 years, the creative industry will experience a multitude of influences, including digitalization, automation, globalization, and cross-border cooperation, all of which will shape its future trajectory. As creative designers, we must continually update our thinking and skills to adapt to these changes and contribute to the sustainable development of the creative industry.

Digitalization is set to have a profound impact on the creative industry, transforming the way we create, present, and distribute creative content. Automation and artificial intelligence will bring new tools and capabilities to the creative process, enhancing our efficiency and creativity.

Globalization and cross-border cooperation will also play a critical role in shaping the future of the creative industry, opening up new markets and opportunities while also fostering greater collaboration and cultural exchange.

To thrive in this rapidly evolving landscape, creative designers must remain proactive, adaptable, and forward-thinking, continually honing their skills and embracing new technologies and ideas. By doing so, we can contribute to the sustainable development of the creative industry and promote innovation and growth.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Creative Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

As a creative person, there are several key habits we must cultivate to succeed in our field. Firstly, we must be willing to experiment and try new things, constantly challenging our creativity and exploring innovative ways to express and communicate our message.

Secondly, we must maintain a source of creative thinking and inspiration. Creativity lies at the heart of our work, so we must constantly cultivate our imagination and inspiration. This may involve reading, watching movies, traveling, interacting with others, or engaging in other activities that inspire us.

Thirdly, we must learn to collaborate with others effectively. Our industry requires us to work alongside professionals from other disciplines, such as photographers, musicians, screenwriters, and more. Building strong collaborative relationships is essential for success in the creative field, as it fosters cooperation, innovation, and synergy.

Ultimately, by embracing these habits, we can cultivate a resilient and dynamic creative practice that continually evolves and adapts to the changing demands of the industry.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?

The creative industry is a dynamic and constantly evolving field. To excel and improve our skills and standards, we must continue to learn and explore, actively participate in industry-related activities and communities, and maintain an open mind and innovative thinking.

Staying up-to-date with industry trends and developments is essential for success in the creative field. Social media and online communities are great resources for learning about new trends and techniques, while art galleries and exhibitions can provide opportunities to learn about different cultures and perspectives.

Participating in events like the MUSE Creative Awards can also be incredibly beneficial, providing a platform to showcase our work, network with other professionals, and gain inspiration and insights from industry leaders.

Ultimately, by remaining curious, engaged, and open to new ideas and experiences, we can continually evolve and elevate our creative practice, staying at the forefront of the industry and making meaningful contributions to the cultural landscape.

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
Three seconds of enthusiasm will have three seconds of achievement.
20Who has inspired you in your life and why?

Andy Warhol has been a significant influence on me, as he was a modern artist who made a profound impact on contemporary art. His works featured brightly colored images, image reproduction, and pop culture, highlighting the importance of popular culture.

Warhol's approach to art made me realize that inspiration for artworks can be found in media and popular culture. His love for pop culture was reflected in his work, and this has encouraged me to pay more attention to contemporary society and pop culture in my own work.

Moreover, the bridge that Warhol created between art and commerce has been an important lesson for me. He showed that art and commerce can coexist in harmony, which has inspired me to explore new ways to integrate commercial elements into my art. Overall, Warhol's contributions to the art world have been invaluable and continue to influence generations of artists like myself.

21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

I completely agree that persistence and constant experimentation are key to success in the creative industry. In order to succeed, it's essential to be well-prepared and possess a deep skill set, but it's also important to have the courage to try new things and take risks. As a creative person, I believe that exploration is a continuous process, and every creation represents a new opportunity to experiment and innovate.

In my own creative process, I enjoy experimenting with different materials, techniques, and styles, as this helps me to discover new and exciting art forms. However, success also requires perseverance and self-challenge. I constantly self-examine and reflect on my work, looking for areas of improvement and ways to overcome my limitations. Seeking feedback and suggestions from others is also important, as this allows me to learn from different perspectives and continuously improve my work.

Overall, success in the creative industry requires a combination of preparation, courage, experimentation, perseverance, and self-reflection. By embracing these qualities and striving for constant improvement, we can achieve our goals and make meaningful contributions to the field.

Winning Entry

Fantasy Peking Opera | 2023

Fantasy Peking Opera | MUSE Creative Awards
Fantasy Peking Opera was inspired by the movie Farewell My Concubine.I always wanted to combine modern art with traditional art and to innovate ...
(Read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

Jiahan Fan

Jiahan Fan is a passionate spirited independent artist that dedicates her time to crafting art that touches the hearts of many including children’s books, comics, advertising and believes creativity and passion are the most important qualities that makes a successful creator.

Read more about this interview with I-Yang Huang from the United States, the Gold Winner of the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards.