It’s always interesting for me to learn about others who have moved from the Sciences to the Arts, so it was great when Taiwanese illustrator Emma Cheng appeared on one of my design news sites this week. I find her style, and use of pencil crayons, quite unique. She describes her work as “a drama series called Health, in which warmth, quirkiness, and whimsicality play together.”Emma spent years of working as an MD and an illustrator, illustration being something that she practiced in her spare time. Eventually she felt, “I was in a place where both sides needed me to invest more effort in order to break through. It's like dating two people again and again. You'll have to decide at some point.” When she had to move to the US for her husband’s work, she took the opportunity to wholeheartedly pursue illustration.
It was when I finally had to really to commit to medical school that I decided to go to art school instead. While studying for my neuroscience degree, I had always studied art as well, so I had built up enough work to put together a portfolio to apply. I always thought I could go to medical school if things didn’t work out. Well, things have come full circle, and I have founded MOTHandRUST, where we do a lot of work for science organisations.
Emma is often asked how something as unrelated as science can inform her art. She says it perfectly when she conveys one of the challenges of moving from the Sciences to the Arts: “A challenge I faced was the lack of a clear career plan. As a doctor, there is already a ladder for everyone to climb in the industry. Basically, what you have to do is pass one test after another. You don't have to worry too much about your future in general. However, as a freelance illustrator, you must build the ladder yourself.”
Read the complete article on Creative Boom.
Emma Cheng's site.