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Qian portrait

« As a content creator, I try to be actively engaged with what I’m watching. [...] I don’t like the lifestyle of being constantly passively fed with random content »


Qian is a super talented London-based Chinese animator and illustrator who works near the Canal in Hackney Wick.

She lives in a bright and beautiful flat by the canal overlooking Victoria Park.


3 steps morning routine

I make myself a cup of coffee that I try to enjoy in the living-room, which overlooks Victoria Park. The view is so beautiful!

I eat breakfast, usually fruits and yogurt or porridge.

If my current job allows it, I head over to my studio in Hackney Wick. I share it with a bunch of animators & illustrators, there are 14 of us now across 2 studio rooms. It feels like a small community and I really enjoy working from there.

Qian reading her illustrated book

Qian reading "The Weaver", a children's book she wrote and illustrated

3 steps evening routine

After work I go to the gym or swim near my studio several times a week, which leaves me very little time to do anything when I come back home late at night.

Otherwise I occasionally watch entertaining shows like Mind Hunter or Stranger Things, or animated series like BoJack Horseman Rick and Morty. As a content creator, I try to be actively engaged with what I’m watching. I've recently canceled my Netflix subscription because I realised that I carelessly watched “stuff” just because I could. I don’t like the lifestyle of being constantly passively fed with random content.

usually cook myself so that I can control what I eat. Eating out is great socially but it doesn’t allow for a very balanced diet!

Qian's shelf

Qian's shelf memorabilia

Top 3 creative moments at home

I listen to podcasts, my favourite being RadiolabReply-all is also a very good one, I find it really geeky but funny.

If I have time, I read my books: I’ve set up my own "private library" over the years, which I often come back to for inspiration while working on personal illustration projects, children’s books etc.

I often travel and I love to bring back books and memorabilia from the different places I’ve been to, that I then arrange around the house. I’ve recently been to New York and discovered many amazing independent bookstores there!

Japanese tea set

Qian's Japanese tea set

Top 3 relaxing moments and habits

I love to have friends over - for me it’s important to have a home where you can host. I’ve learnt the tea ceremony ritual from a Japanese friend and it’s a nice thing to do it with girl friends when I have the time.

I take care of my plants and my home. Cooking and doing home chores can be quite relaxing. I put on bluetooth headphones and work around the house while listening to podcasts!

I do yoga in the living-room, using an app called Keep which has video tutorials that I can follow.

Qian working with her art in the background

Working from home

Secret life hacks

You know when you wash white trainers, they often turn yellowish? Well, all you need to do to keep them white is wrap them in tissue when they’re still wet and let them dry like that!

Most treasured possession

I use a travel-size scented candle whenever I travel. It helps me feel at home wherever I am.

Sofa Qian The Sundown Society

Leafy and comfy sofa spot

Worst pyjama set

In China there’s this thing that people would change to their indoor clothes as soon as you get home. When I visited my parents a couple of years earlier, they bought me homewear set that weren’t of the best taste of patterns, and I felt a bit silly in them!

Dream home outfit

Something really basic and comfy, with the best comfy possible material.

Culture vulture - Qian’s current recommendations:

Last movie:

Ad Astra (2019) by James Gray - Enjoyable!

Last book:

The Lonely city (2016) by Olivia Laing, a non-fiction based in New York City about how people can feel lonely in big cities.

Last podcast:

Radiolab and This American Life. Always very good!

Last recipe:

Chinese home cooking: wok with a lot of veggies and some meat together. Comforting!

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