I think illustration is not just a drawing. It is more like a communication between me and the audience. It is interactive.

– Vivian Ho 何博恩 @vvvvnho

Talk of Tsuen Wan “荃說” is our publication booklet. The booklet circulates to over 2,000 JCI Hong Kong members and is distributed to our stakeholders and some NGOs in Tsuen Wan District. Our publication booklet publishes two times a year containing a cover story, latest news and highlights of JCI Tsuen Wan’s community projects and business affairs. We hope that people would understand more about JCI Tsuen Wan and our passionated members through this booklet.

Vivian’s Interview

Talk of Tsuen Wan
2022 Issue 1

Hong Kong.

Vivian Ho is lately the hottest and most wanted illustrator in Hong Kong. Our publication team interviewed Vivian to know more about her successful story and to share her igniting story to our members. Vivian’s work is amazing and very attractive to audience. Her work is all around Hong Kong, for example: 38th Hong Kong International Film Festival (第38屆香港國際電影節), Standard Chartered Arts in the Park Mardi Gras (渣打藝趣嘉年華), and MTR South Island Line Illustration and Tickets (港鐵港島南線列車車箱插畫及車票).

A: I am an individual artist. I work alone all the time. I don’t have a manager. I have to do all the things by myself. That gives me the opportunity to talk to my customers about what they really need. I think illustration is not just a drawing. It is more like a communication between me and the audience. It is interactive. We have to understand and agree on the idea of the illustration. To be honest with you, I did not like illustration at all in the beginning. I studied Oil Painting and Economics in college. Illustration was not my specialty. In a moment of serendipity, my high school schoolmate invited me to be the theme designer of the Hong Kong International Film Festival not too long after I returned home from the US. It was quite successful. I met a lot of artists like Louis Koo. After the success, illustration jobs were coming to me non-stop. I was so passive at the beginning since my mind was not ready. I did not think illustration would be my living. However, from time to time, I get used to it and start to enjoy my job.

A: What I did is to look for my own unique style of illustration. I spent some time finding my shining point. I would explore most of the possibilities using my own style. I try not to stay anything the same. Creation is like a running train. It has to keep running. I am really afraid of stopping to change.

A: I do not think of myself as great. At this moment, I do not expect my artwork to be on a museum level, which people can sit down and enjoy for a few hours. Life in Hong Kong is too rushed. I just want my work to be shown on the street, hoping people can slow down and spend a few seconds watching when they pass by. That’s why I spend more time thinking it through before I do my street work. I am hoping my work can lead the viewers to slow down and taste the feel of art.

A: I once had two devastating moments in my career. I felt like I was in the bottle neck, very hard to break through. I felt like I could not achieve the level that I was hoping I could get. That was a very depressing period. I had to leave what I was doing and switch to another career field. The first “run away” lasted 6 months. I became a business analyst. I did get some satisfaction from the job like compliments from my boss. However, the job was draining my energy. I did not have time and effort to do some drawing in my studio. I didn’t even go back because of the tiredness. I was in such a position for two years. And then one day, I could not stand it but I felt like losing my passion. I did not want to give up so I decided to take a part-time MBA course. After the MBA course, I gradually learned and understood what I should do in the future path. Although my path was full of twists and turns, I still learn a lot from it. I understand myself and my needs. Even if I have too many negative thoughts now, I know how to control myself. I feel like I am more capable of handling difficulties than before.

A:The most important thing I have learned is to ask for help and opinions from others. I used to think like a normal rebel youngster: I am awesome and I don’t need any advice. Most advice from seniors is not suitable for me. Their failures don’t mean a lot. I can do a lot better than them. However, the more I got a hit, the more I think differently. I started to believe in seniors’ advice because their words are their valuable experience. Even now, I began to advise some juniors just like the seniors advised me. I wish my experience could save some of their time.

Success is a mixture of sweet and bitter. It develops from layers of bitter failures. Starting up a business should be based on getting more connections. You should not stay in your ivory tower, separating yourself and the outside world. Go out and feel the world. You should also set milestones or goals to achieve, guiding yourself on a planned timeline. You should also learn how to balance stress, workload, and life.

A: I do think the current generation is lucky. Opportunities are everywhere. It is so easy to start up a business, like opening up an Instagram store. I recommend youngsters to do more “slash”. Flexibility is very important in our generation but before that, you have to clearly understand your advantages.