Host Spotlight: Marie-Charlotte Yao

Since March is #MarchMeettheMaker over on Insta, we thought it would be nice to share more about who we are by sharing a few "Host Spotlights". Our fourth and final host, is our incredible Marie-Charlotte Yao aka @yaomacha !

Please can you give us a brief little introduction about yourself?

Hi! I’m Macha (short for Marie-Charlotte) and I’m a french illustrator and graphic designer living in Leeds, UK right now with my husband and our 2 young kids. I studied cinema and video graphics at Uni (12 years ago ouch!) but then decided that my main priority in life was to be able to travel the world so I became a freelance graphic designer. Two years ago I realised in term of client work what I truly enjoyed was always the illustrations so I decided to become an illustrator. I’ve always been a doodler but never had the confidence to call myself an illustrator before so I took great online classes, made awesome friends on the way and here I am cohosting this sweet club with 3 amazingly talented ladies! 

What inspires you?

Definitely travelling, I was born in France and live in UK now but I was lucky to live in Japan and China for a while. I dont feel I belong to one place only but to all of those at the same time and I think I put a bit of those experience in my work. I’m also very inspired by childhood, my own memories obviously, and my kids that give me inspiration every day but I also enjoy listening to other people childhood stories, all of this give me a lot of new ideas! 

What is your favourite thing to draw?

I like to draw strong girls and cool non gendered animals characters, as I really missed that in stories while growing up, and for that reason I remember refusing to be a girl for a while! My eldest also find challenging to identify to girly characters so I always keep in mind I want to  create something she can recognise herself in. I’m also a sucker for anything 90s themed and like to put bits of this in my art. 

What art goals do you have for this year?

In my client work If I could switch my current 80% illustration graphic design / 20% illustration to the opposite way around that would be amazing!  I also want to work more on character consistency, develop my portfolio, make more surface patterns...I feel I have so many goals! Finding a few cool gigs in children clothing and children editorial would be the dream. 

What techniques/supplies do you use?

I use Procreate most of the time as I love the flexibility of the iPad! When I need a break from the screen I enjoy trying new mediums but I don’t have a big studio space so can’t go too messy (also toddlers love to eat paint sooo...). I feel in love with Posca pens recently. I’m a fan of super bright colours so they are perfect. 

What advice would you give to another doodler/artist?

Can I give three? 
Don’t compare yourself to others. The world is full of talented artists and that’s great, but your voice is unique so don’t torture yourself by comparing skills. Make friend with your ‘competition’ instead. Community is everything. 
Draw every day, at some point you’ll start to enjoy what you create (if not already), and from there it’s a drug you can’t stop! 
Finally, fake it till you make it baby!  It’s my credo and it’s working pretty well. 

Where can people go to learn more about you or see more of your work?



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