Here are some of the answers to the frequently asked questions about my art. If you have any questions about your order from my online shop, please refer to the Shop FAQ. If you have a question that's not answered here, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Why do you call yourself "Yuumei", and what does it mean?
A: Yuumei is the username I chose when I first got my deviantART account at the age of 12. As I posted more and more art under that username, Yuumei simply became my 2nd name.
Yuumei (幽冥 or 幽明) means light and darkness, strange and deep, hades, and semidarkness. Not to be confused with yuumei (有名) which ironically means famous. The 12 year old me who picked this name did not foresee this.
Q: Where did you learn to draw?
A: I grew up in China where parents compete and show off their child like some sort of hobby, so drawing was one of the many things I had to learn. I really loved it so I took more classes but not too much. All my Chinese art classes focused on realism and drawing from life. That gave me the foundations to draw everything else but drawing is not a magical process where you take a class, and BAM! you're an artist. It's all about hard work and practice like everything else in life.
What helped me the most was actually being part of the deviantART community where I learned from other artists by observing their works, and the free tutorials they provided. There are many art classes out there, but there are even more free online tutorials and resources made by kind hearted artists. Anyone can learn how to draw for free, and all you need to bring is determination :)
Q: Do you make tutorials?
A: Yes! I love tutorials because they helped me as an aspiring artist and I want to give back to the community. I haven't had time to make all the tutorials I have in plan but I will get to them one at a time. You can check out all the existing tutorials I have on the Tutorials Page.
Q: When will you post the next chapter of your comic/ upload a new drawing?
A: I don't have a set schedule for my work. I hurt my hand many years ago from over working. Due to the pain, I had to limit how often I can draw each day. Recent'y I've been working with a 3D team to build models for my comic, which I can then paint over and save on time and hand strain. It takes a long time to create enough models that goes into a comic, so please be patient as my team and I work as fast as possible without compromising quality or our health.
Q: Can I draw fanart/ write fanfiction/ compose fan music/ cosplay your characters/ translate your story into a different language and post it on my site?
A: I would love to see that! Please send me a link :) It brings me so much joy to see others reinterpret my work into their own art!
Q: What education did you have?
A: I spent the first 9 years of my life in China under its strict education system. School was 6 days a week from 9am to 6pm. After coming to America, I went to public schools in not so great neighborhoods until I graduated as Valedictorian and went to University of California Berkeley with the intent to major in Biology. After one year, I realized my true calling in art and switched majors to reflect my passion. I still love biology and the sciences, but became clear to me that I could make a greater impact in the world with my art. I graduated with my Bachelor's in art in 2011. At one point I firmly believed that I would go to grad school until I realized I learn best by creating art with my hands, not sitting in a classroom reading about other artists.
UCBerkeley's art program is heavily philosophical, focusing on the purpose and meaning of art, rather than the technical skills needed to create art. I am self taught through free online tutorials about everything from anatomy to how to use a drawing or 3D modeling program.
If you're an aspiring artist, but lacking the financial means or parental support to go to art school, don't hesitate to Google for everything you need. The online art community is amazingly friendly and artists are happy to help each other out with free tutorials of every kind imaginable. You can check out my tutorials section for starters :)
Q: Can I use your art/ post it on my website/ or sell it?
A: My art if free for public viewing, and as long as you credit me as the original artist, and provide a link to my website, you are free to post my drawing on your own site, blog, social media, etc. You are also welcomed to use my work in Youtube music videos as long as I am credited in the description.
However, under no circumstances can you try to sell or profit from my artwork. That includes putting my drawings on posters, T shirts, mugs, mousepads, calendars, etc and selling them. You also cannot sell digital versions of my work. That includes wallpapers, or music album art. If you want to license my work as part of your commercial product, please contact me for the proper procedure to avoid copyright infringement.
Nonprofit charities and educational institutions are welcomed to use my work for free, but I would prefer to be notified beforehand.
Q: Can I meet you in person/ when and where will you appear at the next convention?
A: I would love to meet everyone in person :D I live in California and I attend a lot of the anime conventions around here, especially the SF Bay Area. Here's an updated list of all the confirmed conventions that I will be attending, and I'll be constantly updating the list with new conventions as well.
I always announce on my Facebook or other social media of when I plan on attending the next convention, so please follow me there for all the latest updates. I'm usually in the Artist Alley or Dealer's Hall with copies of my drawings and books. I'd love to meet with everyone, chat, and sometimes get dinner together after the convention hall closes :)
Q: Why didn't you reply to my social media comment/message/e-mail?
A: I'm terribly sorry but due to the enormous amount of messages and comments I receive, it's simply impossible to read and reply to most of them. I love reading everyone's messages and I tried to reply to all of them but it eventually just got to be too much and took time away from drawing. If you have very important news to tell me (such as reports of art theft, requests to help nonprofit organization, or business offers, etc) please e-mail me at email@example.com.
Q: What tools, programs, or materials do you use?
A: I use a variety of mediums but I'm most comfortable with digital art. The majority of my illustrations are done in drawing programs like Paint Tool SAI, and Photoshop with a Wacom Intuos tablet. I usually do most of the drawing and painting in SAI, and some final editing, color and texture touchups in Photoshop.
For graphic novels like Fisheye Placebo, I integrated 3D programs such as Sketchup, Esri City Generator, and other procedural generation programs to help me quickly and efficiently create backgrounds and settings. That way I don't have to draw the same table or building over and over again in the comics.
When not doing digital work, I like to sketch in ball point pens. Watercolor is my prefered traditional painting medium but I also enjoy acrylic and oil paint. I dabble in origami once in a blue moon, but I've spent many years sculpting with ceramics, and briefly worked with welding metal and chainsawing wood sculptures. I really enjoy integrating digital and physical media such as laser cutting and 3D printing.
I created the initial prototypes of my Axent Wear Cat Ear Headphones design (now licensed by Brookstone) in Sketchup and 3D printed it at my university's Invention Lab. I look forward to creating future integrated media art with drones and other technologies :)
Q: How long does it take to finish a drawing? Or comic?
A: The answer can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the drawing and how inspired I am. Sometimes I'm doing speed paint and can finish a fairly decent drawing in 30 minutes but other times I spend days sketching, refining the composition, touching up on colors and minor details before I'm satisfied with the final result.
As for my graphic novels, the short one shots can take a few months to go from initial idea, to script, to storyboard, before finally drawing out the pages and finalizing the dialogue. The longer comic series may require years of research before hand to design the characters and develope the world they exist in. For works like Fisheye Placebo years of planning goes into the plot and setting before the first panel is even drawn.
Q: What inspires you?
A: That's a complicated questions with a complicated answer. In short I am inspired by nature, my personal life experiences, other artists, and simply the beauty and complexity of life, but for the full story please check out my biography (under construction).
Q: Do you take requests, art trades, or commissions? What about volunteer or donation art?
A: I don't take requests, but as a kid, I loved doing art trades with fellow artists and I still do, but as an adult I simply don't have the time anymore. I also used to be open for commissions to help pay the bills, but I've been too focused on personal projects to have time for that as well. For the same reason I'm don't have time for commissions either.
If you're part of an environmental non-profit and would like me to illustrate for charity work, I'd be happy to help if I have time. Feel free to contact me about your cause! :)