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Meet Vi Pham of Vi Draws in Serra Mesa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vi Pham.

Vi, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’m a freelance artist because I felt I couldn’t do anything else, really. But there’s also a part of me that innately loves the process and problem-solving aspects in it. I somehow wound up doing primarily children’s book and while I plan to continue with it, I am in the process of building my own content. Aiming for something with more of my own interests and personal voice, despite my reserved personality – and I have my professors and close friends to thank for giving me the courage to do so.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The biggest struggle I’m coming to terms with is creating work that is sincere and reflects my own experience. I’m a non-binary person from a traditional immigrant family and not surprisingly, there was often a clash of cultures and point of views. With nothing but good intentions, I was told to avoid creating most of the (queer) content that interested me – especially if I wanted to make a living. Luckily, I have friends who support and encourage me and I’ve seen plenty of inspiring queer creators who are thriving.

Alright – so let’s talk about your work.
I’m a freelance illustrator. I’ve done children’s book and miscellaneous illustration projects for clients including Y-USA, National Institute of Health, Write Brain Books, Englishunt, and several independent authors. It’s important to me to be queer-friendly and diverse, and so I’m lucky that this is requested more and more by clients.

I’m actually the proudest of my MFA Exhibition “Who You? Who Me?” – despite not being created for business. I’ve had a lot of things feelings and thoughts that are put onto paper but never see the light of day. This exhibition was just a drop in the bucket but it was a refreshing one that gave a peek into who I am while educating on basic aspects of sex and gender at the same time. This aspect is now also a part the direction I’m heading in for my business too.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My professors at Academy of Art University helped me hone my technical skills which got my resume rolling and my professors at CSULB really pushed me to uncover my own voice.

My close group of friends who help me stay on track and just be braver! Juston Mckee being one of them. He collaborated on a piece for my exhibition, he helped me hang up the show, and proofread.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Wheel of Labels photo taken by Jimmy Pham

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