Working for publishers in China and around the world, Mae’s experience is an asset on any project. Previously employed by a comic book publisher and a computer game developer, she has an excellent understanding of the production process, the marketplace and how to collaborate with authors. That comes in addition to over a decade as a freelance illustrator, turning badgers, bears, squirrels and fairies into delightful little characters for her audiences.
Mae studied painting at Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts and is inspired by comics, cartoons, nature and Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki.
With a fully developed grasp of digital painting in Photoshop, Mae also loves drawing the traditional way and completes most of her images using watercolors. She constantly broadens her skills through creative studies – insects, flowers, birds, fish… she’s always practicing something new.
Mae’s deep, earthy tones create an atmospheric backdrop, from which more colorful creatures and characters come to life, often highlighted in color combinations the artist has observed on flowers, insects, birds and animals of the forest to round off her connection with the environment.
2017 – Christopher Award – Books for Young People
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Mae: When I was a child, I like the Japanese comic book very much, and I think it’ll be the happiest thing is to be a comic book artist. Question: Do you have any formal design training? Mae: I entered Sichuan Art College to learn oil painting, two years. Question: Where are you originally from? Mae: I come from Chongqing China, the city’s full of mountains. The city is built on the hill, and it’s different from other cities. Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Mae: I live in Chongqing now, close to friends and family. Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Mae: My living room. Question: Describe the view from your studio window? Mae: There is a big banana tree out of my window, and many birds, my cat is always excited when she sees them flying. Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Mae: It’s hard to say, sometime it’ll be a song, a photo or the snippet from a movie, sometimes it’ll be some funny action from my cat and dogs.
Question: Do you collect anything? Mae: Some games and movies, puppets and stamps. Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Mae: To illustrate children's picture books and fairy tales. Question: Who is/are your art hero/es? Mae: Miyazaki Hayao, Joe Hisaishi, Zhiyong Chen. Question: Who is/are your musical hero/es? Mae: Joe Hisaishi. Question: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be? Mae: I couldn’t imagine what else I can do except painting. Question: Do you have any pets? Mae: I got one cat and two dogs. Question: If you won the lottery what would you do with the money? Mae: Buy a big house within a big lawn, and my dogs could have fun there, or travelling. Question: If you could travel back in time, who would be the one person you would want to meet? Mae: My Grandpa, I loved his stories. Question: Who would you like to have as your muse if your were painting their portrait? Mae: My dogs and my cat.