Artist Sophia Chang grew up in a culturally diverse corner of Queens, New York. As a child of the digital age, and an innate lover of music, she found herself influenced not just by the wide range of cultures in on display in her neighborhood, but by technology and hip-hop as well. Her varied passions have allowed her to work in everything from web publishing to fashion design to illustration.
In the spirit of Disney’s new game Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, which allows gamers to paint with a magic brush (among other cool things), we asked Sophia for some more insight into her process and aspirations.
What is your favorite work of art you’ve created?
I had a great time working on a series of posters for Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. I was given a lot of creative freedom for each piece. I was interviewed by Travel Channel, which launched the series through their website.
What inspires you as an artist?
New York City is such a great place to be an artist. Inspiration can be found everywhere—whether it’s on a stroll through the city or killing time at a bookstore—and I'm surrounded by a great network of people who continue to inspire me.
Describe your artistic style?
My style is very much influenced by the artists that I study and admire—James Jean, Jillian Tamaki, Dust La Rock, to name a few. It is very linear. Although, my style changes depending on what medium I am using, whether it is watercolor, pen, pencil, and so on.
How has technology influenced your art?
Technology has helped my art in development and promotion. My website esymai.com has allowed people to get to know my work, and social media has allowed me to share my work. Photoshop is also a huge help. I can work digitally, adjust colors, fix mistakes—I have a lot more creative control when I work digitally.
What is your first memory of the Disney universe?
Aladdin? Bambi? Beauty and the Beast? Definitely one of those. Like any child growing up in America, I loved Disney characters. Mickey Mouse is a character that represented fun and happiness—especially with all the Disneyland promotions. Cartoons encouraged me to draw, and to be animated in both my personality and my work.
In Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two you can use a magic paint brush to change the world around you, and bring things back to life. If you had a magic paintbrush, what would you do with it?
End poverty and animal abuse. I sponsor a child in Rwanda through a global charity. Her name is Clementine, and she is 8 years old. I'm also a dog owner, and an active member of my dog park community.