“Like anyone, I get artist blocks… When I worked as a full time visual illustrator for the film industry, I was in a position to produce creativity with deadlines. The advantage I have running my own business is I can take a day off to explore the design and let it come to me spontaneously.”
Edward Juan, NSS exhibitor and founder of Forest and Waves
I was born and raised in a small beachside village in Taiwan. At a young age my family and I immigrated to Canada, establishing roots just outside of Toronto’s core. Growing up in a family of travelers and entrepreneurs, I was raised to respect and connect with the great outdoors. My dad had once sailed from East Asia to the Red Sea, and my mom would take the family camping several times a year.
As early as I can remember, I was always drawing. My parents were very encouraging and signed me up for after school art classes, however they had not expected me to pursue it as a career choice.
After a decade of working at animated film studios across California and Oregon, I realized that I needed a change of pace. In 2012, that change took the form of a backpack trip to South America where I wandered through the foothills of Patagonia. After returning to the States with a clear mind, I traded stability for chance and moved to Vancouver, B.C. While working full-time as a freelance illustrator, I began planning my small business, forging a path for what is now Forest and Waves.
When I’m not drawing or designing a product, I usually go for a run or a hike. Vancouver is positioned next to the Pacific Ocean and snow-capped mountains. I take full advantage of the proximity to nature and wilderness. Like anyone, I get artist blocks. My outlet would be to go for a surf session or go for a quick jog around the forest park trails. It helps me empty my mind and not feel pressure from being creative or productive that day. When I worked as a full time visual illustrator for the film industry, I was in a position to produce creativity with deadlines. The advantage I have running my own business is I can take a day off to explore the design and let it come to me spontaneously.