Illustrator and animator Jun Cen is the sort of artist your favorite artists are following. Known for his careful compositions that take into account the invisible movement that takes place within each scene, his work presents slices of everyday life, celebrating the inner magic of the mundane.
“Interestingly when I create a still image, I always imagine the motion of it,” Cen recounted in an interview with Tiny Pencil, where he explained the ways in which his animation informs his illustration work and vice versa. “But when we come to the difference between them, I would say making an animation is more of the montage of a series of images no matter if they move or not,” he went on to explain. “Because the montage itself is the main movement of a film. When I am working on a drawing, I also think about the movement. Composition does create movement as well. But it would be the movement within the image itself only.”
Born in Guangzhou, China, Cen received his MFA in Illustration degree from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2013, and is currently based in New York where his work has received much praise both online and offline. With recognition from The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, 3×3 Illustration Competition, amongst others, his illustrations are constantly featured in publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe.
“I tend to create an atmosphere in my work,” he notes. “And the characters (if a piece has characters) naturally react to the atmosphere I create.” You’d want to engage with his work as well.