Van Huynh is a Dallas based artist & designer that creates inspiring illustrations packed with personality! I was instantly wowed by her unique, playful use of color and texture. She seamlessly combines free-flowing illustration with intricate details and technical expertise to build compassionate pieces that honestly feel like old friends.
I love how comforting, friendly and inspiring her art style is and I can’t wait to see more of her work as she continues to push boundaries and explore new mediums!
Her journey from graphic designer to illustrator, and need to find her own creativity again especially resonated with me as I work to build my own design business. It’s so inspiring to see other artists flourish, and it truly gives me new hope to see Van Huynh’s journey of ‘rediscovering drawing and painting’.
I hope it inspires you as well!!
What is your artistic passion & how did you first discover your love for it?
I love illustration. I was obsessed with illustrated children’s books, animated cartoons and Disney films growing up and was determined to learn how to draw right off the bat. Sometimes just being near art supplies was enough motivation to make me want to create stuff. I went on to study graphic design which laid a great foundation for branding and typography but along the way I generally stopped making artwork for awhile after college. I spent 4 and half years as a graphic designer at a small ad agency and while it was certainly a great learning experience, I think I got a little burnt out in the process.
“I had to learn how to make things for fun again and not for a creative brief.”
I definitely had to rediscover drawing and painting for a second time in my mid-twenties. That was 5 years ago and since then I’ve switched design jobs, re-opened my etsy shop to sell hand-drawn digital resources, and completed several fun illustration commissions. It’s certainly been a funny detour in my creative journey so far.
What is one take-away you'd love viewers to gather after experiencing your work?
My artwork isn't overly complicated but my sources of inspiration vary widely and are generally things that I enjoy the most like nature, food, cats, Japanese culture, surface design, animals, 90s nostalgia, films, hand lettering and pop culture.
I want viewers to experience an immediate sense of joy and appreciation in these subjects and connect with them the same way I have.
What would 'success' look like to you with this passion of yours?
My parents were self-made business owners and so I would be thrilled with any opportunity that allows me to make art and be a little bit more self-sufficient in the long-run. I have some background in product design so I’d love to license my artwork to interesting brands or projects like a fabric line or a stationery program.
It would be super satisfying to see my designs existing on physical products that are actually out in the world and not just hidden away in my sketchbooks.
What are 3 words you'd use to describe your unique art style?
Funny. Colorful. Eclectic.
How do you know when a piece is ‘done’?
At the beginning stages I take a lot of time researching, sketching compositions, and picking out color palettes. However, when it comes to actually executing the piece I work pretty fast. My attention span is incredibly short at this stage so a piece is generally done when the colors are where I want them to be and I’m tired of looking at it! I don’t like to overwork something. The things I spend the least amount of time on usually end up being my favorite pieces!
TELL US ABOUT the studio / space you've created to work in and how that impacts your process & final product.
My workspace is usually in the corner of a second bedroom in my apartment or at my dining table if I need more room. It’s a messy but modest space. I’ve jam-packed it with posters, plants, art supplies, books, toys, and silly knick-knacks from my friends and past adventures. I’m a huge collector of random stuff! It’s a great personal space to tuck into late at night with a podcast or audiobook going in the background. I also work digitally on my iPad Pro so lately my studio can be anywhere! I particularly enjoy quiet libraries, the dark corners of bookstores, bustling Korean bakery shops, and wifi-enabled cafes.
“I can get bored easily so the environment I work in is constantly evolving which is definitely reflected in my artwork and subject matter.”
What’s been your biggest struggle to getting where you want to be creatively & how did you overcome it?
I spend a majority of my creative life chipping away on a project by myself and that isolating environment can create a vacuum for self-doubt. As an introvert, I’m often terrified of reaching out to other people for advice or help and that has made it difficult to flourish creatively sometimes.
Social media has helped me tremendously over the past few years.
I was a little scared when I started sharing my artwork online, but its been a great step forward. Etsy and Instagram have been a wonderful way to get my art out there. It also helps that many of my coworkers at my design job are also amazing artists and designers with a wealth of knowledge and resources. I hope to join art communities and craft markets in the future as a way to connect more.
advice / tips for PEOPLE looking to pursue their own creative passion?
Pursuing a creative passion can take a lot of time and hard work so my first tip would be to just come to terms with the fact that it might not be all glamorous and fun all the time. You might feel like you don’t know what you’re doing at first but that’s okay! My advice is pretty simple.
“Keep learning, keep friends, and keep at it!
If you can be consistent, industrious and stay energized about your passion then you’re already winning half the battle.”
It’s time to get an expert designer on your team!
Let’s get you looking great online.
I know you have your own artistic passion that you’re ready to take to the next level.
Let’s work together to build a unique brand you can be proud of.
Schedule a time to chat with your new design sidekick (me!) — tomorrow you’ll wish you had started today!