Xiaojie Liu is an award-winning illustrator based in New York, received a BA in illustration from the Hubei Institute of Fine Arts in 2015, and an MFA in illustration from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2018. Liu’s artistic focus is on children’s illustration, editorial illustration and surface design for a wide range of projects including children’s books, publications, magazines, advertising, and packaging. She combines mixed media and materials to create illustrations, which include digital and hand drawing, paper cutting, clay, and fabrics. Liu has been selected to appear in American Illustration, Hiii Illustration, and Asia Illustrations Annual Awards.
Client List: Lyft (Nice Ride), Children's Theatre Company, St. Louis Park Friends of Arts, Weisman Art Museum, Hao Hao Tea, Phoenix Publishing and Media Inc, YIMU Children’s Book Library, Literature for Children, China Education Press, China Campus Literature Magazine, Red Scarf Magazine, The Forum of Leadership Science, Campfire Sunday Comics, Illozine
At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to become an artist? Did the realization emerge slowly?
After I graduated from high school, I went to Hubei Institute of Fine Arts and learned many art skills such as printmaking, watercolor painting and illustration. I think that was the first time I realized that I wanted to become an artist and defined myself and started my career as an illustrator. The whole process lasted at least 4 years, so I think the realization emerged very slowly.
How did you evolve your style and favorite mediums?
I love fauvism, for example, Matisse. He is one of my favorite artists. I love his color. I love his decorative patterns, and I love his paper cut collage, so I learn from him. I also inspired by some contemporary illustrators and pattern designers. I love to search for their website and find some interesting parts of their illustration. My favorite traditional mediums are watercolors, I admire the loose qualities of watercolors. In my opinion, watercolors are relaxing and diverse.
What are your time management techniques? Do you have regular working hours...or favorite times to work?
I am a very good time manager. Usually, I work from 9 am to 5 pm on workdays. Sometimes, I do some personal work at night, and I think that is my favorite time in one day.
Do you work on more than one piece at a time, or primarily just on one?
I work on one piece at a time, because I need to focus on one piece, otherwise, I can’t do my best on that one.
Does trying something new and not knowing the rules -- the boundary pushing -- create anxiety or excitement in you? (Or both?)
I have both. I want to try everything new or interesting for me, at the same time, I have a fear of the unknown. I think the biggest influence for me is aspiring for success. My goal is to be a professional illustrator and artist.
Do you enjoy having the "duality of both chaos and control" or are you happiest with a set plan?
I am happiest with a set plan. It makes me feel secure all the time.
Do you have any projects or events forthcoming?
I am creating a lead illo for a company, and the illo is about a guide on how to navigate section 8 housing. It is a very fun project, and I really enjoy it.
St Louis Park