Yaoyao : An Interview

Yaoyao Ma Van As creates pictures that tell a story in almost a documentary sort of way. Her scenes depict the everyday life of a girl and her dog going out for walks, eating and occasionally she paints about embracing adventure alone. 

Who are you and what do you do? 


I've been working as a background painter for tv animation for the past few years, but I see myself as an artist who is interested in many different things. 

You draw images that seem so true to life. Are they based on your life? 

A lot of the images are based on emotions and feelings from my life that I've experienced. 

Why do you mainly draw humans? What attracts you to capture mundane human life through art? 

I've never really thought of that before...I guess it's just easy to relate to when I start drawing. But I definitely want to start drawing more animals though. The mundane human life is something that we all go through, and a lot of times we forget about the little moments. I think those are sometimes the most special.

Carry On - Yaoyao

Carry On - Yaoyao

How long have you been making art? 

I've been doing these illustrations since January of this year, but I've always been doing little doodles here and there (too embarrassing to share though because they were really bad) 

Bathroom Can Wait - Yaoyao

Bathroom Can Wait - Yaoyao

What do you like about capturing environments? 

I think environments tell a lot about the passage of time and also about the person that is in it. I also like to practice drawing them because they are hard to draw! 

Come What May - Yaoyao

Come What May - Yaoyao

Any fun things happen while working on Rick and Morty?

I loved working with my friends when I was on Rick and Morty, but my favorite part was that there were a lot of super cute dogs that came to work with us, and playing with them was my favorite part.

What is one of your favorite pieces you've created? 

I think Good Morning Life is my favorite illustration that I've done

Do you ever paint traditionally? Or is it all digital for you? 

I used to paint traditionally, but I haven't done any in ages, mainly due to time and space. But one of my goals is to do more this year. 

Can you talk to me about your upcoming animation at all? 

I'm going to do a short animated film, but I've been having a hard time finishing the story. I've had a few that I was super passionate about, but they might not be the right "first film" that I make. My goal is to make something that people can relate to, but without having anything super cliche in them. 

What's next for you? 

I'm taking some time off work to focus on my own projects right now. I'm going to take advantage of this time period to work on different drawing techniques (so my daily sketches might be more sporadic), work on my short, and finally, finish my animation reel. 





Fun Questions 

If you were stranded on an island what five items would you want with you?

  • toothbrush/toothpaste (I'm lumping this together as one)- because I cannot stand not brushing my teeth
  • bug spray (I am super allergic to mosquito bites)
  • sunscreen
  • knife - to cut coconut with because hopefully, it's a nice island 
  • phone- the option to call for help if I get tired of being stranded

If you could have a super power what would it be? 

I really hate deciding between flying, being invisible, and having telekinesis powers.....

If you could meet any artist living or dead who would it be?

Oh Glen Keane for sure

What was one of your favorite cartoons to watch growing up or currently now as an adult?

I really loved watching She-Ra!