In the vast tapestry of contemporary art and illustration, Daren Lin emerges as a standout talent. Known for his commitment to going beyond the ordinary, his diverse artistic ventures span from fashion sketches to dynamic murals. Delve into Lin’s illustrious journey through his Q&A where you’re invited to explore the world of an artist whose creativity and passion burn with intensity.
Introduction by Carlos Aponte Illustrator & Professor, Fashion Institute of Technology
In my class, if I asked for three sketches for a concept project, Daren would deliver six or even eight ideas. Daren fitted my motto: Provide them with a banana split if they ask you for an ice cream cone. A curious problem solver with extensive visual language, he can do anything. His creative mind is a passport that can travel to the land of fashion, editorial, murals, cartoons, graphics, you name it, all in his unique style. He has this passionate flame that could only grow brighter and larger.
Q&A with Daren Lin
What has inspired or motivated you to have a career in illustration?
I always loved picture books, and I grew up drawing and sketching. I found out that illustration allows me to put my passion for art to practical use.
What is your work philosophy?
I’m constantly inspired by the world around me. I want to share my discoveries, tell visual stories, and convey messages and ideas through my imagery in an intriguing way.
Who is or was your greatest mentor?
If I have to name only one mentor who has had a great influence on me, it would be Carlos Aponte. Carlos not only taught me how to draw stylistically but also how to design each image so it is impactful and dynamic.
What is it about illustration that you are most passionate about?
First of all, I love to create art, and illustration is all about that. Second, through this visual language, I can express my discoveries, opinions, and ideas to the world.
How would you describe your illustration style?
I would describe my illustration style as graphic and intricate.
What would be your dream assignment?
My dream assignment is to design costumes, stage props, and posters for a Broadway show and help it be successful. I’ve worked on a Broadway show poster in the past, but sadly the show never came out.
Who has been some of your favorite colleagues or clients?
My favorite clients are Bussolati and ACC Docket magazine. I’ve done many assignments for them, and our communication is always seamless.
What are the top things you need from a client in order to do successful work for them?
The number one thing I need from a client is their message and idea for the illustration. I focus on creating the perfect vehicle for what they are trying to convey.
What about your work gives you the greatest satisfaction?
I get my greatest satisfaction from the designing and composing aspects of creating an illustration. A great design catches people’s eyes and makes the concept behind it more intriguing.
What part of your work do you find the most demanding?
The most demanding part is the business and admin aspects of my work. This is not a conventional business. I have to figure out what works for me.
Daren Lin is an award-winning illustrator based in Orlando, Florida. His work is targeted at editorial and advertising markets. Daren studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and received degrees in fashion illustration and general illustration, disciplines that translate to his work in elegant and bold illustrative concepts. Daren started his freelance illustration journey with Merck Pharmaceutical, illustrating a series of medical illustrations for the company. He then kick-started his illustration career with a collaborative storyboard campaign for AT&T’s TV commercials with Grey Advertising. Besides illustration, Daren also has a thriving business doing large-scale work and paints murals for local restaurants and businesses. He has had work accepted into the Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, 3×3 Illustration Annual, Applied Arts, and more.