1. Tell us about yourself.
I am Jia Han from Korea. I studied the Children’s Book Illustration MA at ARU from 2012 to 2014.
During the course I illustrated and wrote two picturebooks called It’s Mine and Zedonk and I went to the Bologna Book Fair as part of the ARU stand, which exhibits every year. I met publishers at the fair and was offered a contract for Zedonk in 2014.
Both It’s Mine and Zedonk have been published since I graduated. Zedonk has been selected as a good picture book by the Ministry of Culture in Korea and published in USA in 2016.
Now, I am working as author and illustrator with many different clients UK, USA and Korea.
2. What is your fondest memory at Anglia Ruskin University?
Whilst on the course I won a competition run by Little Cam Books to illustrate a picture book featuring Fitz and Will the Cambridge Cats.
We are now working on the fourth book of the series. The May Ball Adventure is the first in the series bringing Fitz and Will to life as they make their way to the Trinity College celebrations. The Graduation Adventure sees the cats return to the city when Graduation Day at St John's College is in full swing. The third book is a Christmas adventure.
3. What advice would you give to current students as they're preparing to graduate?
I would like to tell the students that do many things they can, study, love, hang out with friends. Have your own dream; it will come true if you want really.
4. What do you know now that you wish you had known whilst you were studying?
It took a very long time to make one book, with lots of hard work and effort. The tutors encouraged me to try many processes, so I did many experiments in order to make one book. Now I know how to overcome when I am faced with problems during making picture books.
5. How did your time at Anglia Ruskin help you?
I learnt so much about picture books and enhanced my career with classmates and tutors. I felt comfortable in the atmosphere of the university and I could focus on my work very well there. It was very helpful to develop my books.
6. What did you love about your chosen course?
Studying the MA Children’s Book Illustration at ARU is the best choice of my life.
7. What would you tell someone thinking of studying at ARU?
It would be great when you study with professional and dedicated professors who will really help you out. I think the MA Children’s Book Illustration course is the best in the world if you want to study children’s book.
8. In one word how would you describe Anglia Ruskin?
Youth! (You can keep and radiate your youth at ARU.)
9. Who was the biggest influence on your career?
My best classmate
10. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
My proudest accomplishment is my books have been published in UK, USA and Korea. I’m very proud of the person I’ve become and look forward my future in the picture books. Also, I teach students at the university in Korea. I am happy with the achievements.
11. What advice would you give your younger self?
Love and give thanks always
12. What drives you?
Art, picture books.
Picture books make my heart flutter.
13. What’s next?
I would like to make picture books for giving comfort to people and touching their hearts and publish them in many countries.