TCHS Rampage

Temple City High School


February 8, 2017

Alumni Watch: Taking a Chan-ce


Children and parents began filling into the second floor of Vroman’s Bookstore for a book-signing event on Sunday, Jan. 29. Sitting at a small desk, 2001 Alumna Erika Chan signed a book while she opened up about her first experience of illustrating for a story.
Chan worked for the LA Zoo from 2008 to 2012 as an informal educator at animal exhibits and an art teacher in its summer camp. There, she met author Dave Keliher. Keliher later invited Chan to illustrate for his book, “Where Does Time Go?” which is a short story about a boy who ponders the concept of time and finds out the answer from his mother.
“The story struck something in me because I really love my mom and my grandmother,” Chan said. “Although I love my father as well, it’s something powerful and unique that mothers universally have.”
Chan started her illustrations for the book using pencils, pens and paper. However, she later took an extra step to transfer her drawings onto the computer and colored them in digitally. This technique is called vector art, which is a form of digital illustration based on geometric shapes. By combining traditional art with vector art, Chan successfully brought Keliher’s story to life after one and a half years.
“It was a great experience working with Erika,” Keliher said. “She is very open and talented. Basically, it was her vision to create these illustrations for my book. She incorporated different things into the drawings but made them come together.”
After high school, Chan majored in Illustration and Entertainment Art at Cal State Fullerton. Over the years, Chan has worked in various aspects of art industry, from painting and watercolor to sculpting and film production. Particularly, Chan takes strong interest in creating artwork with the purpose of animal conservation. Through observing nature, Chan is able to animate her artwork with a sense of life and harmony. Currently, Chan is a dog trainer and dog walker by day. At night, she turns into an artist and creates work with inspirations from her day.
“As a freelance artist you just have to be a chameleon and figure out niches for yourself,” Chan said. “I once worked in furniture repair and painted the grains of wood, and learned all the surfaces and finishes of the wood. A lot of people wouldn’t usually consider it as an art industry, but it really was.”

About the Author

Bobbins Moose
Bobbins Moose is the mascot of Rampage. He represents all alumni that have come and gone through Rampage program here at Temple City High School.



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