Born in China, raised in Japan, and then moved to the US in fourth grade, Xin Shan is currently a pre-med undergraduate at Stanford University, studying linguistics and biology. Though her interests vary, she is always experimenting with combining art, medicine, language, and business in ways never imagined.
Xin is a member of Stanfordís business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, and dreams of inventing something that will write her name into history textbooks.
My drawing obsession grabbed me when I was a little girl in Japan, where almost every kid had manga and anime fever. As a four-year-old, I picked up a pencil and started copying characters to entertain myself. Gradually, I moved to sketching portraits of my parents for their birthday presents, changing my style ever so slightly every year. I also tried watercolor and oil, but eventually became an avid follower of digital arts. From logos to fliers to photo editing, my tablet became the ticket to my endless creative endeavors.
About her work:
I entice and express emotions. I learn languages because I want to acquire the new dimensions of emotions that accompany each culture and then communicate with those who share the same understandings. I create fliers and digital graphics that are not simply pretty but also emotive so that they penetrate a personís mind to their heart. My name Xin means ďheartĒ in Chinese and Japanese, so maybe thatís not a coincidence.
About her interests:
I have random interests. For one, I really like cutting hair. I often give my friends haircuts and I haven’t visited a hairdresser here since middle school! I also love to do self-photoshoots and then edit the photos to create model-esque Facebook profile pictures. Posing when you’re alone gives you so much more freedom to try eccentric poses. I also like to just socialize with my amazing friends and meet new people. There are so many cool things out there I have no idea about!
On entering the FluevogCreative contest:
The Fluevog shoes are just so interesting. You donít find them in ordinary shoe stores, and that attracted me. Iíve been creating fliers and mini-ads for a while for organizations and friends, so when another member of Alpha Kappa Psi forwarded this competition to me, I wanted to try my hand at pinning down these innovations on paper.
I spent a few days just thinking about it: in the shower, right before I sleep... those times when creativity flows to me. A few days before the deadline, I finalized the concept and then spent a night on the outline and colors with two more nights on fixing the details.
On the inspiration behind her winning ad Rebellious Conservative:
The ad design inspiration came from the description of the shoe--it can be conservative but still have a rebellious appeal. Black and white was used to depict a conservative suit-wearing man who isnít afraid to show off his red Gateway Downing to the also red-toed lady next to him. I like art with simple ideas people can relate to and remember, but still has those intricate details that show I really care about what I create.
On what the dreams and future hold for Xin Shan:
Right now I am a student aspiring to become a doctor, but I like to take detours to enrich my experiences: I want to be fluent in at least six languages (two more to go!); I want to invent something really simple but practical, like a paperclip; I want to start my own business that combines medicine and language; And I want to create viral pieces of artwork that people remember me by. But in the end, I just want to enjoy life and be happy, surrounded by my friends and family.
Keep an eye out in Filter, Fader, Applied Arts, Juxtapoz, and Wax Poetic magazines for Xin's winning design in print.