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Beautiful Story behind Lin Chia Ning - Part 2

Beautiful Story behind Lin Chia Ning - Part 2

In our previous post, we talked about our amazing opportunity to participate in a collaboration project of a Japanese stationery maker Papier Platz and a Taiwanese artist Lin Chia Ning.  Today we would like to share our exciting meeting with her in Taiwan last summer.  We are so excited to share the story behind Lin Chia Ning with you!

Ayako:
Hello, Lin!  Thank you so much for taking your time for us to interview you!

LCN:
Thank you so much for coming all the way to Taiwan from Japan!  I am so happy to finally meet you in person!

Ayako:
Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you become an artist.

LCN:
I am Lin Chia Ning.  I love nature and hiking, and I have two cats, Mini (15 y/o female) and Eggroll (14 y/o female).  Also I have two pythons, 
Hana (female) and Haru (male).  I do volunteer work with bats for four years, with the Bats Conservation Society of Taipei.  We focus on educating people how important it is to protect the environment and bats together.  I studied design at school for a while but realized that it was not what I wanted to do, so I left school and started working in a company.  However, soon I realized that I had a strong passion to work with my hands, so I left the company and started to make and sell my hand-carved rubber stamps in the Creative Market.  It was 5 or 6 years ago.  At the beginning, it was so hard.  Hand-carving one rubber stamp takes a long time, so even though I was spending most of my time carving stamps, I could not make a living by that.  This is one of my very first hand-carved rubber stamps.

Ayako:
Oh my...this is so beautiful!  I can't believe how detailed the design is!!

LCN:
Thank you!  There was a time that I was competing with my friend who was also a rubber stamp engraver to see which can carve the smallest thing.  It was fun and indeed pushed me to improve myself.

Ayako:
Well, I am a little surprised to know that you started your career as a rubber stamp engraver because I know you draw beautiful watercolor drawings.

LCN:
Well, at first I wasn't good at painting.  I didn't know how to paint with watercolors until few years ago.  At that time, I wanted to produce washi tapes, so I thought it was time for me to learn how to draw and paint.  I started to paint with watercolors and it was awful!  Hahaha.  Here is one of my very first washi tapes.


At the creatives market where I shared a table with my artist friends, their tapes literary vanished in minutes whereas I still had a mountain full of tapes on the table...That experience really made me work hard to improve my skill.  I wanted to create something that people like - something that will make people happy and smile.  I spent months and months learning and practicing watercolors and finally I was able to do what I wanted to do with watercolors.  With watercolors, you can do so many things - very detailed patterns, mixing colors to create the color you like...so much fun.


A
yako:
Your effort is amazing.  So you started your career as a hand-carved rubber stamp artist, and then you started designing your washi tapes.  Now you have non-hand carved rubber stamps in your collection.  What is the process of making a rubber stamp? 

LCN:
Normally I start with hand drawing and scan the pattern into my computer to adjust the lines and dots or add details. Then I send the file to the factory and wait for the samples.  After I get my samples, I’ll have to check if it’s fine or I need to re-do it again.  Here is the sketch samples.


Ayako:
What is the most fun part of being an artist?


LCN:
Sometime it can be very stressful when the things didn't go as I wished, but  the fun part is when something that I knew it would be fun and it turned out exactly how I imagined it would be.  When I share my crafting ideas or release new products, people tell me how much they like my work and how they use them.  This is super nice and sweet.

Ayako:
For new products, do you decide a theme or do you have many designs and ideas that you keep in stock? 

LCN:
Most of the time I have the ideas first, what kind of theme I want to develop for this year.  Everything comes naturally.  All I have to do is to gather my thoughts together and bring them out of my head.  For example, I love the moon but couldn't find the moon rubber stamp I really love, so I created my own moon rubber stamp, with the perfect size and the pattern I love.  So are the ferns rubber stamps.  I wanted to create a realistic and delicate leaves on collage without actually using real leaves, so I created my ferns stamps.  When drawing, I need to remember that the designs have to be just right, not too realistic.

Ayako:
Where does your inspiration come from?

LCN:
I like everything from the Mother Nature.  I love whales, ferns, fungus...  That's why I go hiking almost every weekend.  I always find something inspirational in the mountain.  In my art work, I simply try to express what I saw and how I felt.  Few months ago, I traveled Morocco, and when I saw the dunes of the great Sahara dessert, I thought maybe some sand stamp will be interesting, or a wind stamp...this trip to Morocco was so inspiring to me.

Ayako:
If you give an advise to a person who wants to become an artist in the future, what message would you give to him/her?

LCN:
Please trust yourself.  This is the era of opportunity.  You can do whatever you want to do and there is always a chance for you.  So don't be afraid, just try.  Eventually you will find the way.  That is exactly how I started.  Now there are many companies who are willing to produce a small quantity for those new starters.

Ayako:
Do you receive feed backs about your designs from your customers?

LCN:
Yes, it is important for me to know that my customers will like and enjoy my designs and products.  Sometime if a design is not so popular, I carefully listen to the feed backs to learn why it is not popular.  All of the feed backs from the customers are valuable for me and help me create designs that my fans will truly love and enjoy.

Ayako:
Can you tell us your goal?

LCN:
My goal right now is to present everything I see to people and to bring joy to them.  I really hope that people will feel some happiness when they use my products.  That is very important for me.

Ayako:
Thank you very much.  It was a huge pleasure to meet you in person.  We are really looking forward to meeting you again sometime!


LCN:a
Thank you very much for supporting me.  I will keep improving myself and try to bring more beautiful things.

(Here is her beautiful studio where her beautiful designs are born.)




It was such an amazing time to get to know her and her passion in person, and we are so happy to have her beautiful products in our shop!  Please check our collection of Lin Chia Ning's products.  You will be in love with her work!

Love, Ayako and Junko

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