As a kid, Janice Chang loved making tiny clay sculptures of food and reading children’s books.
“Honestly, not much has changed,” says the LA-based illustrator. “Growing up, I had a vague idea of what you could do with illustration, but it was only when I went to school did I learn the different avenues you can pursue.”
“When I first graduated, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in motion because my interest in animation grew towards the end of school. But most of my portfolio consisted of paintings and small sculptures, so it took a bit of time before I was able to get my work ready to send out to studios.”
Janice worked at a Los Angeles motion studio, staying there for over two years before going full-time freelance last summer in June.
“When I left my full-time job, I was trying to combine what I did during the day, working in different styles depending on the clients’ vision for animation while working on my style [that I did by night] for editorial commissions. But on my own, I didn’t have the opportunity to do an animated piece in my style. Then when I left to go freelance, I was asked to work on a campaign for Bumble and Virtue on the benefits of virtual dating”.
“This was such a challenging yet fun and rewarding project since there were a lot of firsts for me. It was an opportunity to direct and produce a couple of animated spots for social media and be a part of the whole process, from pitching ideas to working with an animator to bring everything to life. It’s a project that taught me so much and has opened up the opportunity for me to take on animated commissions.”
Janice says a lot of her work is influenced by the diversity and culture she grew up with in LA. She also loves working on projects that explore interpersonal relationships with a hint of humour behind it.
“A lot of this is inspired by the different personalities around me. My work is mostly done digitally, using bright colours and lithe bodies to illustrate for commercial or personal work. Much of the pieces I’ve done usually show people intertwined to represent solidarity and community, which is usually centred around discussions of social issues.”
Recently with the pandemic, Janice has found herself making pieces revolving around connecting in new ways, whether it be with others or herself, and trying to find “that connection that we’ve all been missing.”
2020 saw the artist paint her first mural, something she’d love to do more of this new year as “it was such a great experience, working on something tangible and off-screen.”
“I’d also love to do more packaging design and collaborating with other artists and animators.”
Follow Janice Chang on Instagram.