Daren Lin is a New York-based freelance illustrator. He was born and raised in China. Daren received degrees in Fashion Illustration and General Illustration from the Fashion Institute of Technology. He also has a thriving business doing large-scale works and paints murals for local restaurants. 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 collaborating a storyboard campaign with AT&T’s TV commercial and 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
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.