The artist Xi Ding is back on Bored Panda with more of his fun and colorful reimaginations of famous people and characters. The Chinese artist is well-known for his amazing artwork and ability to draw people. He highlights the most prominent features of a person's face and that makes them really easy to recognize.
On his Instagram, he has over 215k followers. He also likes to show step-by-step tutorials on his social media, which is very helpful if you would like to learn to draw caricatures or cartoons.
Bored Panda got an interview from the artist. He shared with us what inspires him to create: "I'm very interested in how we perceive the world. In general, visual art reveals the ways how our perception works and how our emotions are connected to it. In particular, I enjoy observing and drawing faces. The human face is a difficult subject for artists because we are very sensitive to minute differences in facial features. Besides, facial expressions evoke strong feelings in us. In the process of drawing caricatures and cartoon faces, I'm not replicating a face onto an image in a realistic way, but trying to figure out the essential elements that determine how we recognize a face and how we interpret emotions."
Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man)
Xi shared with us how he started creating art: "I was born and grew up in Shanghai. I started drawing at a very young age and kept that as my hobby. I came to Austria to study science, where I met my wife, who hired me to do portrait commissions for her business. I found out that I could turn my hobby into a career, and I did it. I've been doing art professionally for ten years since we married."
Angelina Jolie (Maleficent)
Keanu Reeves (John Wick)
"I haven't read the comics, actually, because where I grew up, there were no western comics. Now my knowledge of that is also mostly limited to the movies. The MCU definitely gets me most excited and hooked for its continuous and amazing character development. But I enjoy movies from DC too," said Xi when asked what his favorite universe is.
"My style is heavily influenced by the Disney and Pixar character design styles. I don't know how to describe my style, except for calling it 'stylized character' or 'caricature in a cartoon style.' Often people tell me that I have a unique style—honestly, I still don't see it myself, because I'm actually not happy with my current stage in art and am finding ways to make it look 'better,' but it's really nice and encouraging to hear that."
Zendaya (Michelle Jones)
"I always loved to draw teachers and students while I was in school in my home town. I discovered the art of caricature when I came to Austria. I found it utterly fascinating how one can distort the shapes of a face while retaining or even enhancing the essential likeness. I found out that this skill requires a precise methodology in observation and execution; however, when mastered correctly, it still leaves you lots of expressive freedom."
Macaulay Culkin (Kevin Mccallister)
The artist mentioned what he likes about creating art: "When from time to time, I manage to break out of my repeating pattern of doing art and get some novel bits in the result, I feel really satisfied and fulfilled."
Mark Ruffalo (Hulk)
We asked Xi to tell us about other hobbies he has: "I love to read about stuff on science and philosophy. I don't really play games, but I find VR fascinating. I'm really good at Fruit Ninja in VR."
He also shared what he does for a living currently: "To make a living as an artist, I draw live caricatures at events and do character designs in my studio. Now, during the pandemic, almost all events in my country are canceled, so I'm trying to move the live caricature part to Zoom."
Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)
Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven)
Xi shares with us more details about his life and his journey to who he is right now: "I was born at the time when China started to open up to the world after its long period of political turmoil. I've had a curious attitude since I remember. During my childhood, information from the outside world was still scarce, but I was eager to learn about it. I studied English really hard and was longing to see the world. I was planning to apply for a scholarship to study science in a college in the US, as many other Chinese students did. When I was about 20 years old, I decided to go to Vienna instead for studying because I was fascinated by its cultural tradition in art, science, and philosophy, and also because I wanted to learn another foreign language. At that time, I still dreamed of becoming a scientist and never thought that doing art could be a viable option, although I knew that art came more naturally to me. Then I met my wife and I began to take on the path that led me to where I am today. I'm filled with gratefulness that I can do something that I'm passionate about for a living, and that I have a wonderful family in a beautiful city. Oh, we just had our 3rd kid two weeks ago and we are on top of the world."