Daren Lin is a Florida-based freelance illustrator. He was born and raised in China, and received degrees in Fashion Illustration and General Illustration from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. He also has a thriving business doing large-scale works and paints murals for local restaurants and businesses. Daren started his freelance illustration journey with Merck Pharmaceutical, illustrating a series of medical illustrations for the company. He then kick-started his illustration career with a collaborative storyboard campaign for AT&T’s TV commercials with Grey Advertising. Daren has had works accepted into Society of Illustrators’ Exhibition, and the 3×3 magazine’s annual.
2016 Society of Illustrators Student Competition – Honorable Mention
2017 3×3 Illustration Annual 14 – Silver Award, Honorable Mention
2018 Applied Art – Honorable Mention
2019 Illustration West 57 – Bronze Award
2019 Communication Arts Illustration Annual 60
The Washington Post
America Crafts Magazine
California Real Estate Magazine
Collective Arts Brewing
New York Times
ACC Docket Magazine
Stain IAS International
Voice of Insiders
The first thing I do when I receive an assignment is carefully go over the brief and the accompanying materials. If it’s a story or an article, I underline the main idea and circle key words. I then start researching the subject to get a better grip on the story. Communicating with the art director is vital at this stage. It’s the best way to understand the client’s expectations for the job.
Once I have a clear understanding of the assignment, I roughly draw out the images in my head and start brainstorming. The question I ask myself the most is “How can I convey the idea through my illustration in an interesting way?” I carefully consider composition and how each element interacts with each other within the image. Three to five sketches will be presented to the client.
After the sketch has been approved, I work on top of it digitally to experiment with the color choices. Different colors give different moods. Usually two color variations will be provided.
I start working on the final illustration with traditional medium, usually ink and brush, to draw out the lines and the shapes. Then I bring my drawing to Photoshop for coloring. In the end, I apply homemade textures to the illustration to accentuate the natural look.