Hello! My name is Rayna and I am an artist living in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. I am a calligrapher, illustrator, & educator.
I am a second generation Taiwanese American and am exploring what this means to me. Even though I was born in Chicago, I’ve never felt American enough. And when I visit Taiwan, I don’t feel Taiwanese enough either. As a kid, this experience was really confusing. But now, I see this unique environment as a privilege as I get to explore my identity through these in-between homes.
Growing up in a non-homogenous society, I’ve learned to quickly adapt and absorb every culture. I also grew up in a Westernized Chinese restaurant and the multicultural exposure conveniently came to us. It was beautiful place to share our culture with our customers, and vice versa. I’m still amazed at how my dad somehow learned all his customers’ respective languages and was able to greet them accordingly. Grateful for my dad’s influence on me, I realized I’ve been doing the same with my art. My art has become a reflection of me growing up in this multicultural experience.
I create art in different languages. I teach traditional Chinese calligraphy to share my culture. I illustrate art that acts like a bridge between traditional Asian and contemporary art. I don’t have an art school background to lean on so I am always learning new tools and techniques and evolving as I go. I’m a self-identified chameleon.
Once I got acclimated to Adobe Illustrator, I created my avatar chameleon character – Leon the Bearbot! I wanted to use my voice to illustrate issues that impact us all, regardless of our backgrounds. I’ve been creating art to preserve my culture but I also want to ensure we have a future to pass these ideas to. This is where I have Leon spread my message about being more kind to our home—a home that has given me so much.
I believe that understanding where you come from strengthens your roots. And that understanding where you want to take yourself defines your destiny. This is where I’ve taken my art so far and I’m excited to see where this journey goes.
Thanks for taking the time to learn a little bit about me. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. I’d love to hear from you!