Chen Chun Hong, aka Eszter Chen, is a Taiwan-based illustrator and visual artist. She grew up in Los Angeles and graduated with honors from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena with a degree in illustration art and design. As a student, she was already collaborating with various fashion magazines. Upon graduating, she went on to work as a textile designer in the fashion industry, but also freelanced as an illustrator and artist on the side. The theme in the majority of her work tends to be more feminine in nature, with fashion and floral patterns being some of the common elements in the majority of her art. The vibrant color combinations of her illustrations often leaves a lasting impression on viewers. Eszter finds herself to be endlessly fascinated by color and the different ways that colors can be combined.
Eszter Chen, 又為陳純虹，是位現居臺灣的插畫師和視覺藝術家。她成長於美國洛杉磯，畢業於加州藝術中心設計學院的插畫藝術專業。在校期間，Eszter就開始與時尚平面雜誌合作，之後在洛杉磯成為專業服飾品牌印花織品設計師和接案插畫師/藝術家。她的大多數作品都具有女性相關的主題，畫面中隨處可見時尚和印花。明亮活潑的色彩組合給人十分愉悅的印象，也讓人對她的作品過目不忘。而色彩本身以及新的色彩組合正是她本人所一直著迷的事物。此外超現實主義的敘事手法也是她所偏好應用的。
Eszter decided to move back to Taipei mainly because her family and fiancé. After being back, she quickly realized that she enjoyed the more laid-back lifestyle and overall pace of Taipei, more so than Los Angeles. She was excited to introduce her illustration work and personal style in her hometown, especially with the local art scene and illustration culture being rapidly on the rise in Taipei. She was eager to see the Taipei art scene develop and grow, and wanted to work with local artists who came from different backgrounds and perspectives than hers, with the goal of being able to find inspiration from one another. Eszter now works with a group of local artists, with whom she has since started a studio together. She now pursues her own personal illustration projects and textile designs full-time.
Neocha: When did you first develop an interest with illustration and painting? Was there anything in particular that happened that first got you interested?
Eszter: I started drawing when I was in kindergarten. I was drawing many dresses, portraits, and stories. Many of them were from my own imagination, some of them were references from catalogs, commercials, and things that I saw. I forgot about drawing when I got a little older, all the way up until my high school years. I didn’t want to go to university studying majors that I had no interest in, so I thought long and hard about what I could see myself dedicating years of my life to studying, and without a doubt, art was the the first thing that came to mind.
Neocha: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Eszter: I look at work from fashion designers, photographers, illustrators, artists, and paintings. I am pretty much inspired by all the visual artists and designers that I like. I also try to read unique fiction novels, including those are able to provide storytelling inspirations that I can apply to my illustrations. I enjoy the aesthetics of modern art and design. As far as colors go, I often get my creative inspiration from looking at classic paintings done by the great masters, mother nature, toys, and Japanese package design. I also love Pinterest and looking through some fashion magazines for quick visual stimulation.
Neocha: You have a very keen sense of aesthetics and your work radiates cheerful and positive vibes. Is this similar to your own personality?
Eszter: I try to stay cheerful and positive in my life, even when things don’t go my way. In my work, I also try to follow that guideline, even when what I am creating might be a serious or negative subject. I really believe that having a keen sense of aesthetics is more important than skill. I incorporate this belief in the way I draw my characters, their environment, and in the way I utilise colors. I like to research historical and modern references, as well view work from other artists, designers, and photographers. I like seeing new things and seeing the different aesthetics of other artists, through viewing these things I hope my own work can improve and become even better.
Neocha: Describe for us a couple of your favorite personal works. Why are they interesting to you?
Eszter: Illustration Lab (18 x 12.5in, acrylic gouache and aqyla paints on paper) is a piece about what I imagine would be my ideal lab building. It is a retired animal shelter, but rebuilt as a creative illustration lab. You can see some pictures of the deceased animals in the building. Each room is set up for a different purpose.
The Funeral (16 x 11in, acrylic gouache and color pencil on paper) is a piece about my personal memory with death. It was the very first time I experienced someone very close to me passing away, and also the first time I’d gone through the whole funeral process. But I painted it with very cheerful colors to establish contrast.
Eszter:《Illustration Lab》(18″x12.5″，紙上丙烯水粉和水性亞克力繪畫) 是關於我想象中理想的實驗室大樓。這座樓是由動物收容所改造而成的創意繪畫試驗室。妳可以看到樓裏還掛有已經去世的動物們的圖片。每個房間都有著為不同技術所做的場景布置。
Neocha: What are some of your future projects?
Eszter: I’ve always wanted to create a calendar filled with my art, so that will be something I will be working on. I also want to make some limited edition prints. Ideally, I will be making a fun concertina book soon. Lastly, I will try to plan my next exhibition in Taipei, so I’ve started sketching some new paintings to put in the show. Hopefully in the future, I will have the chance to work with different companies on an international level.