Yu-Chen Tseng wonders how her parents successfully introduced their kid into piles of illustrated story books, but failed to expect her to illustrate one in the future. When Tseng graduated from MacEwan University with a degree in graphic design, she cherished her friend’s appreciation for her watercolour illustrations of wild animals, and decided to showcase her work at the Whyte Avenue Art Walk.
“I was shocked when people stopped by with interest in my art,” says Tseng. “My inventory was sold out in a couple hours, and I thought to myself, crap, what do I do now?”
Tseng finds inspiration in nature, textile, vintage goods and everything around her. Her illustrated book, Koko the Bear, reflects Tseng’s mind journey to embrace her identity, self-discovery and her fondness for bears.
“I love bears, but in real life they’re not the easiest to hug. Koko the bear is soft, round and easy to hug. He makes people feel safe.”
While Tseng is also looking forward to collaborating with other local artists and writers, she has been thinking of creating an illustration book featuring Edmonton’s coffee roasters. Being one of the quietest passengers in the street, illustration is Tseng’s way of capturing the lovely moments in the city.