The Creative Story of Janice Chang
Growing up I was a pretty active kid, playing sports and getting into trouble trying to climb up everything that I thought could hold my weight as a six year old. Sitting still for hours proved to be difficult, except when I would draw and paint. I quickly discovered my love for making things and creating stories through my drawings or with clay figures and objects.
At the same time, being raised by parents who immigrated from Taiwan to the US, I feel like I was constantly trying to find the balance and duality of what it means to be Asian American and what is expected of me. This has led me to pay close attention to peers around me because I thought that was how I should act or carry myself. Because I constantly observed people, the ways we would engage in conversations, and our unique behaviors, this has led to a common theme that is present in my work today.
Fast forward many years later, drawing has stayed a huge part of my life, it has become my way of exploring my relationships and connection to the world around me. My approach to work has really allowed me to open up and learn how to empathize with stories and backgrounds from different perspectives. When I first started my career as an illustrator, I was fresh from art school with a handful of acrylic paintings and sculptures that I made in class. I was always interested in depicting people because I wanted to imagine a world where our differences were celebrated and show a certain sensitivity of what humanness is. Grappling with what kind of narratives I wanted to share and how to combine that with a visual language, I started to turn towards working digitally which has helped me find my groove, yet still keep some of that tangibleness and texture of working traditionally. Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects have given me the opportunity to use my voice to navigate the world, support the stories of others, and create a sense of togetherness and belonging.