Min Liu is a Taiwanese motion graphics designer and animator, now based in New York.
She earned her BA in 2010 from National Taiwan University in Taipei and her MFA in Computer Art with a concentration in 2D animation and motion graphics from the School of Visual Arts, NYC in 2013. She focuses on hand-drawn cel animation since then.
Interview by Dominique Musorrafiti
This is a selected interview from
Planet China Vol. 02 issue
celebrating International Women’s Day 2018
China-underground: How did your adventure in the animation and motion graphics design world begin? How did you understand that being an animator and motion graphics designer would be your profession?
Min Liu: My major in college was accounting, but I had always felt something was not quite right about my life. Then I accidentally picked up a portfolio of Aaron Nieh, a famous graphics designer in Taiwan. That when I found what I really want to do for myself. I started from scratch; I self-studied basic software, applied for the School of Visual Arts in New York and moved to the States. At first, I focused on graphic design in the broadest sense of the word, but the more I learned, I realized that animation is the right media which helps me tell my story.
Who influenced you as a person and as an animator and motion graphics designer?
The very first artist that inspired me as an animator is Shi Shi Yamasaki. I love the feeling of hand-drawn animation and studied hard to create something like hers. Another artist I like is Junji Ito, a Japanese manga artist who’s notorious for his disturbing horror stories. I like something dark with a weird sense of humor.
Inspired by #The100DaysProject Min Liu challenged herself to publish a unique animation every single day and made Bloody Dairy
Did you do specialized studies or your work are the results of your passion?
I studied basic software. I feel that inspiration from daily life is more important to me, a technique is something you can learn and become fluent at. I am still in the process of trying to master the art of animation.
What are your sources of inspiration and what is the creative process behind your animation?
Daily life mostly. I enjoy going to concert/art show/museum, or just walking around the street, watching people etc.
“I always like things with dark humor. Something twisted and disturbing but not too horrific.”
Do your animations express your mood and the way you see the world?
How would you describe Bloody Dairy and #The100DaysProject? How did the idea come about?
I always love doing cel animation, after I finished a long-term project last year, I decided to take a break from work for a while and do what I really love. At that time, there’s a trend on Instagram called #the100dayproject, this is a project that people do a thing for a 100 days, it can be anything, drawing, photographing, cooking etc…
So I decided to do an animation every day for 100 days. I carried a sketchbook with me during that period, whenever I saw something or thought of something interesting, I did a quick sketch. When I running out of ideas, I will go through the sketchbook.
I don’t really have a big picture for this project, I guess I just want to push my insanity and see how far I can go.
You create a lot of three-chromatic animations (red, black and white). Why did you make this colors choice?
I always like things with dark humor. Something twisted and disturbing but not too horrific. The combination of red, black and white is actually an accident. I used black for outlining, then used red as a placeholder at first. But after I finished the draft, I was fascinated with the violent beauty of the color palette, I just went with that.
“I don’t really have a big picture for this project, I guess I just want to push my insanity and see how far I can go.”
Living outside Asia affect your way of being inspired?
I will say yes. Living overseas definitely opens my eye to the world. And especially living in New York. This is a great city for all kind of culture/style/people, I really feel I am more comfortable and confident here.
Animations courtesy of Min Liu
Also published on Medium.