Johnny Mei: You’ve recently moved to Chicago from California. How are you adjusting? Are you enjoying the skyline?
Quynh Pham: I kind of jumped off the deep end when I moved to Chicago by myself without really knowing anybody. I didn’t know anything about the city other than it being nicknamed the Windy City (and rightfully so). So I was immediately in an almost “panic zone” situation, but I had to adjust quickly and learned quite a bit in a short amount of time this way. I’m a winger.
As far as adjusting to the city, people, and lifestyle. I’ve actually found that I’m much more suited to this place rather than where I came from. Having lived nearly my whole life in California, of course, I didn’t realize that I didn’t belong there until I actually left. I love everything about Chicago. My place is about a 2 minute walk from the lake and I can see the downtown skyline from there. It still leaves me in awe every time I see it.
JM: You’re a self-taught designer and illustrator. You studied social work in university however. Do you remember the day that you made up your decision to go forward with the change?
QP: Some time in March last year. About 2 months before I actually moved. I had actually applied to a masters program for social work. I waited till the night before to fill out my application. When the day came and I handed it in, it became very apparent to me that I couldn’t go through with it and that I had to leave.
JM: Illustration plays a major part in your work so far. What do you use to draw? Pencil, pen, stylus, mouse?
QP: All of the above. More often than not it’s a combination of them. I’d sketch in pencil or ink. Then bring it into illustrator or photoshop, in which I’d use the mouse and stylus/tablet. But if it’s just doodling for leisure, I almost always only use my black Pilot pen. I had a 20-pack of them, but I’ve somehow managed to misplace 18.
JM: Animals, food, and shoes. These are some of the recurring elements in your professional and personal work. First, what’s your favorite animal?
QP: I don’t have a favorite animal, although the ones that are fluffy and cute are higher up on my likable list.
JM: Food. What did you eat today?
QP: Stir fried noodles. A mini muffin. Iced milk tea. One wheat cracker. Some more leftover noodles and roast duck. Three pieces of dark chocolate. Some steamed taro root with condensed milk. A slice of green tea cake.
JM: Which pair of shoes are you wearing most often now?
QP: Depends on the weather. When it’s chilly like it is now, I wear my leather oxford boots the most.
JM: What is on the last page of your sketchbook?
QP: An armless legless girl.
LINK: Quynh Pham