Originally from China, Yukai was sent to learn Chinese painting when she was 4. The fineness of Chinese painting was something she could not appreciate at that age. Yukai gradually gave up and was eager to learn something perhaps more interesting like animation. Later on, she moved to London and established my career as illustrator and animator. Last winter, she went back to Beijing with her parents to see where her granddad grew up. After refreshing my memory of the buildings and landscapes, she started to think about her roots, the culture differences and what made her unique today. Then she have picked up her study of Chinese painting, in which she wanted to find a way to depict Chinese landscapes with some Chinese painting skills and her 'westernised' illustration style. Yukai experimented with the symbolic cyan blue, some fine thin lines to depict hills and long horizontal clouds.
Yukai Du is a Chinese-born illustrator and animation director based in the UK. Since graduating from Central Saint Martins London in 2014, she has been exploring and establishing her work in both still and moving images with her unique style. Yukai's inspiration for her work lies somewhere in the dichotomy of Impressionism—the dash of lines and layering of dots to create a surface—combined with her love for the simplistic and geometric structures of Brutalism.
After university at Guang Zhou Academy of Fine Arts, Yukai moved to London to attend Central Saint Marks. It was in London that she began to play with color in her work. She found it revelatory that in China her work was primarily black & white with hints of yellow, but her thesis short film Way Out was the first time color was introduced. Today, her bold use of eye-catching color is one of the most defining aspects of her work.
Yukai's ability to look within, recalibrate, and reset to really get to the core of her craft is what propels her work. Yukai's clients include Adobe, Apple, WeTransfer, LUSH, the New Yorker, TED Talks, Yora, and more. She has received a number of international awards such as 3X3 Illustration Best of Show (Student Show), Adobe Design Award Honourable Mention, and a D&AD New Blood Wood Pencil.