Director/illustrator Yukai Du
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Posted on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 · Leave a comment

From the publication:

Final Frontier welcomes a new addition to Asia this week: illustrator and animation director Yukai Du.

Yukai comes from Guangzhou, China and currently lives in London. Yukai graduated from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts with a bachelor's degree in animation and a master's degree with distinction from Central Saint Martins, London, and entered the scene in 2010.

Her customers included Adobe, TED, Facebook, BBC, MTV, and in 2019, Apple chose Yukai to promote its series of offline workshops and events. Her creation has been used in various Apple stores around the world. On the way, she received a D & AD New Blood Wood Pencil, an Adobe Design Award and an ADC Award.

Chris Colman, executive producer at Final Frontier, said:
"We are all very happy to welcome Yukai to the family. Their art is rich, complex and beautiful. We are happy to be able to offer it to more customers in Asia."

Final Frontier spoke a few words with Yukai about the possibilities of Chinese illustrators in the digital age:

FF: What opportunities did you see for illustrators in China?

YD: China Post invited me last year to design a series of youthful and energetic stamps, our second collaboration in stamp design. It was a great opportunity to make illustrations accessible to a wider audience. My colleagues were particularly asked for editorial illustrations because they were commissioned by well-known publications such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. There are many, sometimes unexpected ways for illustrators to show their work.

FF: You create both commercial illustrations and animations. What is the difference between your approach to illustration and animation letters?

YD: Looking at it quickly and conveying brand information is something illustrators have to think about. In order to move the image, illustrators have to consider the language of the camera. A personal illustration style is a great advantage, while in animation projects a style that can be flexibly adapted to the needs of the brand is more valuable. Nevertheless, I think it is ideal if a director has a uniform narrative style.

FF: Are there styles or techniques that are currently popular with Chinese illustrators?

YD: When illustrators like Victo Ngai and Lisk Feng became famous, their styles became very popular. It is so common to see imitations of their work that people think this is what all the illustrations are about. But there are many other possible directions and we have many talented illustrators with different styles in China. I really hope that more of these special and unique styles can be seen.

FF: What are the challenges for Chinese illustrators?

YD: Some of my friends in China no longer work in the creative field because it was difficult to get good opportunities. Sometimes they weren't paid as much as they deserved, or little creative work was required. However, the environment is getting better as many local businesses start to appreciate creativity and invest more in it. If the public were to accept a more diverse visual expression, and if developers were given more confidence and freedom to explore new creative approaches, it would help the brand stand out while promoting the development of the illustration and animation industry.

FF: Why did you want to join the Final Frontier squad?

YD: Final Frontier is unique in China. It crosses geographical boundaries and brings along excellent international animation directors and teams of all styles to help brands create the highest quality commercial animations. Although I am based in London, I would like to work with more Chinese brands because I am Chinese. I am glad that Final Frontier can help me to get in touch and communicate with customers in China.

FF: What is the advantage for you if you work with a production company instead of just working directly with a customer?

YD: Animation production poses more technical challenges than illustration. Customers can easily get in touch with their favorite illustrators via social media. However, when illustrators become animation directors, various problems such as management and team building arise. Good commercial animation is the result of teamwork where all sorts of adjustments are made to strike a balance between the style of the director and the appeal of the brand. To control the process, it is therefore better and indeed necessary to work with a more professional, standardized and experienced production company.


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