“I felt like I was a bumpy potato”: Megan Du on rediscovering her passion for illustration

Now Megan is studying illustration at the University of the Arts London and is carefully figuring out her own personal style. She adores creating “nonsensical stories”, so she has been busily writing up new narratives inspired by dreams, everyday life and “daytime fantasies” that she hopes to make into a series of new prints, zines and comics. With the end of her studies looming, Megan feels intimidated yet excited to begin making her way into the role of a freelance illustrator. “I know this is not an easy task,” she says. So keeping her mind firmly focused on the present rather than worrying too much about the future, Megan is happy to continue experimenting with Risograph and screenprints and concocting funny little stories in her vivid world of colours.
This experience put Megan off painting for a while. At college, she decided to do a course in visual communication, “I felt it was a very free field and you could express yourself in any way you liked.” But when one of her tutors brought in some European and American comics and zines during an illustration short course in her junior year, it awakened a dormant passion: “I felt as a young child lying on the floor reading the picture books my father bought for me,” she says. “I’ve always been a person who follows my heart, so I picked up the brush again and started experimenting.”
When Megan got to secondary school and began to pursue her childhood daydreams, she hit a ski bump. “Every Chinese student who wanted to study art or design in college had to take an art exam,” she tells us. “In order to pass this exam, Chinese students would undergo about six months of art training, during which everyone was asked to draw the same things with the same tools and methods, which I found very disappointing and uninteresting”. She continues: “I felt like I was a bumpy potato in a square box being asked to grow into a specific shape, which was very depressing.”

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