I'm so excited to introduce an interview with the amazing Maria Nguyen. She's an illustrator I found on Twitter, and I was blown away by her art, and I just had to find out what makes her tick, and introduce her to ya'll.
NAL: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
MN: My name is Thuy Duong Nguyen, but I'm commonly known as Maria Nguyen. I'm a freelance illustrator living in the Greater Toronto Area with my cat Cricket and plants.
NAL: Walk us through a typical day for you.
MN: I usually wake up to the sound of my cat softly calling me from the foot of my bed.
I get up and run through my morning routine.
I feed my cat and myself.
I go out to check on the plants and just take in the moment in my garden.
I am in my studio working until the afternoon.
I reply to emails, negotiate contracts, chase overdue payment, or go back to the garden before taking a lunch break.
I eat lunch.
Feed my cat.
I go back to the studio and work.
I eat dinner.
I work some more.
Feed my cat.
Run through my night routine.
I go to bed.
I think I should also add: throughout the day I am on Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, the floor petting my cat.
NAL: Who are some artists you admire?
MN: Sun Jun, Hiroshi Yoshida, Alphonse Mucha, Killian Eng, Takeshi Obata, Tan Jiu, James Jean, Ito Junji, Tessar Lo, Ness Lee
NAL: If you could live in any fictional world where would you choose and why?
MN: I'm not sure... Probably one where I am a modern-day witch and my companion is a dragon.
NAL: What is your most favorite project you've done?
MN: I love working on personal projects. It's really scary and challenging because I'm making the conscious decision to try something new on my own terms.
NAL: Whats your favorite movie?
MN: My Neighbour Totoro
NAL: Whose in your dream team up? *fictional or real-life*
MN: My cat, Sailor Uranus, Tomie, Hatake Kakashi and Ching Shih!!
NAL: What's your favorite way to break art block?
MN: Gardening, cat petting, hanging out with friends, watching a movie/tv show, reading, cleaning up, going to sleep, eating, shower...basically anything that isn't arting .
NAL: Whats your favorite medium to use?
MN: Black coloured pencil on frosted acetate + Cintiq and Photoshop.
NAL: Any advice for aspiring artists?
MN: Besides learning to be acutely aware of your physical and mental health while working: fill your life with things outside of art so that you can have an escape when art gets too overwhelming, practice, cherish & encourage your peers, and get yourself into a small business 101 course if you want to make a living off of art.
Check out more of her work here:
Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel,