The 2023 AOI Mentorship scheme is fully underway, and we are proud to introduce and champion this year’s mentees in a new series of interviews. A free program first introduced in 2020, this initiative champions a select group of 22 underrepresented illustrators, empowering them with dedicated support and guidance in the course of six months.
Ivyy Chen is a Taiwanese Illustrator based in London, UK, paired with mentor and Agent Matthew Shearer from BA Reps. Continue reading to learn how her mentorship is going so far, her key takeaways from the experience, and much more.
What does being part of the AOI Mentorship mean to you?
It holds significant meaning, and I am immensely grateful to be a part of this program. Despite my extensive experience in the creative industry, primarily in animation, I found myself wanting to further advance my illustration skills without knowing where to begin.
The desire to find a mentor or ‘senpai’ was already on my mind when I came across the AOI Mentorship program, and it turned out to be the perfect opportunity for me
How has the mentorship helped you tackle your goals? In what way(s) has your mentor supported you?
Though we’ve only had a few sessions, I’ve already learned so much! Matthew perfectly understood my career stage, the challenges I faced, and where I needed support. Drawing from his years of agency experience, he guided me towards potential directions to work on, providing invaluable insights. I am currently expanding the subjects of my storytelling and focusing on character design.
Having a mentor to guide and witness my growth has made this journey incredibly enjoyable. I am very excited about what we can achieve in the upcoming months
“The desire to find a mentor or ‘senpai’ was already on my mind when I came across the AOI Mentorship program, and it turned out to be the perfect opportunity for me.”
– Ivyy Chen
What has been a key moment or takeaway from the mentorship so far?
A pivotal moment in this mentorship was when I realised how to enhance my character design. While I possess versatile drawing skills, I sometimes struggle to unify them. In our sessions, Matthew pointed out how I can mature my character style by considering various elements beyond just facial features. I now understand the importance of their backstory, daily outfits, age, postures, interactions with other characters, and the environment they inhabit.
This revelation has helped me see my characters not just as standalone figures, but as integral parts of the environments I create in my storytelling
Thank you Ivyy for taking the time to give us this interview. See more of their work on her website and Instagram
Keep checking our Mentorship section to meet more mentees!
Learn more about the AOI Mentorship and our 2023 Mentors.
The AOI Mentorship scheme is one of many initiatives offered by us. Find out more about membership today.