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Say 'Hello' to Student Thuy Tien Ho (Ha Chan)

Mon 6 Mar 2017 < Back to listing

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Take a look at Thuy Tien Ho's website here or head over to her Behance profile here

  • What are you studying at CSVPA? 

I’m studying MA art & design at CSVPA and specialize in Illustration and animation 

  • What dream career are you working towards?

In my greatest imagination about my future, I would be a University art tutor and have a freelancing job by the side. And during the weekend, I would like to do small workshops with children. 

  • So far, what projects/ experiences have you enjoyed so far?

I graduated from BA (Hons) Graphics & Illustration from CSVPA in 2015. I really enjoyed my BA, especially having opportunities to work with different Medias or talking with professionals in the industry. My BA classmates and tutors made college feel like home. They were really supportive and understanding. 
Throughout my BA, I realised that I’m really into topics surrounding children but during the time I was at school I did not know what to do with my interest.  In my 2nd year and 3rd year, I developed a project about children bullying, using stop-motion animation & clay modelling. Part of the reason which interests me in working with children is when I went to Vietnam during the summer and was commissioned by Plan International (a non-profit organization to protect children rights) to illustrate and design products for their promotion purpose. 
Besides, I have always been fascinated with observing the human hand. It is amazing how much your hand can tell you about yourself: your race, gender, jobs, your hand movement can tell me your unique characteristics, etc. From that, it leads me to body language and sign language. In my 2nd year, I designed a calendar using sign language as a code.
After graduation, I took a gap year and went back to Vietnam to work. For the first few months back home, I worked for an architecture design agency to help them with multiple graphic elements. Our major project was to restructure Hanoi Museum, one of the biggest museums of the capital city. It was a big project but it was not what I wanted to do. I got tired working in the office from 9 to 5, so I decided to quit. At the same time, I applied to a local kid art studio named ‘Ti Toay Atelier’ as a teacher and got accepted.  


Working with children is great fun, and it’s amazing to see small artists starting to grow and form their personalities through their works. At the studio, we teach children from the very basic drawing techniques (straight line, curve live, wave line, etc) to art histories (From Western arts: native American masks, Renaissance, etc to Eastern drawing: Chinese painting, Lacquer or Wood printing) & introduce them about famous artists around the world such as Picasso, Monet, Dali etc. My job involved coming up with lesson plans every week and teaching during the weekend. In the end of every course, I arranged small exhibitions for students and their parents. We also did a summer camp at the studio.
At the end of the summer I got a MA offer from CSVPA and decided to come back to study. During the first term of the course, I was working on an interactive illustration book to teach children basic sign language, to help hearing children communicate with people with hearing lost. At the moment, I’m excited to develop a book about children with autism.

  • In your course, tell us about your style and passion?

I would say the most important thing when I work is for it to be ‘Playful’. I develop my imagery through doodling, varying in sizes, paper types and materials. Because I get bored really easy so I always jump from one material to another. I love making a mess when I work: spread out all my brushes, paper and colour, try different materials (clay, photography, etc.). The looseness of lines, strokes, the texture of objects and accidents creates something playful.  I want to celebrate the idea of creating physical works. 

  • What are you looking forward to at CSVPA, and why?

I have been a CSVPA student for a long time since 2011 until now. The fact that CSVPA is an international college is really important because I have friend from everywhere in the world. It’s a great opportunity to learn and understand different cultures. I was really excited when CSVPA started their MA course, and on top of it, it has a partnership with Hearst magazine. I’m also looking forward to working with professionals in industry to develop more connections. They also give me feedback from different views and it helps me develop my works and my own critical judgment.  

  • Could we have three pictures of the top three pieces of work you are most proud of and tell us why? 

1. Hidden bullying.

This is a scene from my stop-motion animation in BA. I got emotionally attached to this piece of work because I got bullied a bit, and I understand how it feels to be a victim. In the picture, the clay character leans forward with various injuries on his back. I did not want to show the weapon that hurt him because most of the physical and mental bullying are hidden where the victim often surfers alone. It breaks their confidence and destroys the victim from the inside.

2. Jordan yard

It’s a wallpaper illustration from my MA project. I was given a task to respond to a certain place in Cambridge and visualise it. I choose Jordan yard as a starting point. It’s a small alley next to our college and used to be CSVPA’s main entrance. Since the first day I came to the UK, all my good and bad memories relate to this place: first day I came to school, waiting for a friend, eating dinner in La Tasca and looking out or simply avoiding the rain. I often look at people pass by, or count all the bricks whilst waiting. When you're alone, waiting generally feels much longer and we often find something to distract ourselves. Otherwise, we would be really troubled. I think the illustration visualised that feeling clearly.

3. Sign language activities book

 I experimented with a student who got rejected because he had a hearing problem and it wasn’t pleasant. This is the starting point for my Sign Language picture book. It’s an interactive picture book for children (from 5-7 to be specific) to teach them basic sign language. From "Hello”; “How are you?” to “What can I help you with?” The book will help to educate children with sign language in their early age, so that they can be more open with people who cannot hear. As a kinder garden teacher, I understand that children should be taught not to discriminate people in their childhood and keep it in their mind as they grow up. This topic is a really sensitive matter, so I wanted to plenty of research and understand communication without offending the subject. I worked closely with a sign language interpreter from SAVE CHILDREN VIETNAM to develop it. 

  • What inspires and motivates you in your work?

I often find inspiration within my own experiences. It removes the burden of finding specific content and gives me more freedom to concentrate on visualizing my feelings. For example: ‘The Jordan yard’ wallpaper or the sign language book
The one I’m working on at the moment is about children with autism. The starting point of this project is my little brother. He got autistic since he was really young. A lot of people do not understand where it is easy to show discriminative attitudes toward autistic people. I hope my works become public to empathise with autistic people and help them feel more comfortable being in crowded places. Additionally, I also want to gather more information about autism to support my brother in the future.

  • How has CSVPA helped you so far? 

CSVPA creates a professional and competitive environment. Meeting and working with creative people of different styles, ideas, backgrounds gives me the chance to learn and focus completely on creating, improving my artistic skills. It also provides me the right knowledge and experience to pursue the career I want.



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