Illustrator & Webcomic Creator
It starts with a vision, then I ask myself what I want to convey with this piece.
A sensitive touch of hope in a world of despair
That's how the digital artist slash comic creator and entrepreneur Wenqing Yan, mostly known as Yuumei, starts her creative process. Born in China, now living in California, Yuumei started exposing her art at the early age of 12, and has now reached a nearly cult status in the manga community. The first thing that strikes in her stunning work is her ability to transpose the viewer into her magic world full of hope but also despair. Life is never a simple matter for Yuumei, and there are always two sides to a story or an image. Her artist name actually means light and darkness in Chinese, a dichotomy that has become one of her trademarks. Art has always been a way to cope with life for Yuumei. Some of her works are for instance inspired by her traumatic experience of being kidnapped by her extended family as a child. This event came to shape her vision of life – no matter how dark things can get, there is always a ray of sun to catch somewhere. You just need to know where to look, or find the courage to ask for help to find it. So no matter how dystopian her work can appear at a first glance, you can be sure to always find a reassuring bright color or neon light in it.
I recently watched BBC's Our Planet documentary and it showed both the beauty of our world and the destruction mankind has done to it. It's truly heartbreaking but I hope we can come together and undo the damage to our home. We can all do small things every day to help.
Saving the world, one artwork at a time
Yuumei studied art but also environmental science at Berkeley University, CA, and has become more and more engaged in the protection of the environment and addressing climate change issues. Her way is to paint. And spread her vision of the world where there is always room for a ray of hope and a better future, like the children in her webcomic Knite, who are trying to put stars back into the polluted skies of China with lights attached to their kites.
My parents didn't support my career as an artist, and if it wasn't for those free tutorials, I wouldn't have been able to afford to learn.
Learning, posting and sharing
There is no doubt Yuumei is a gifted artist with a unique style. But she's also admired for her advanced digital painting techniques. She learned to master various editing softwares by herself with the help of online tutorials. Today Yuumei is happy to be able to share her own expertise with the rest of the world. She spends a lot of time recording tutorials about various image editing techniques, and people love them almost as much as her art. A couple of her videos exceeds 100k views on Youtube, whereas she has no less than 610k followers on Instagram – enough to make her one of the most influential and promising young artists in the valley, that we're delighted and proud to share with you!