Artist Andrea Wan on the influence of Berlin

We’re just in looove with Andrea Wan. Andrea’s a Berlin-based illustrator who was born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver. Working mostly with ink on paper, she creates characters that one can only imagine in dreams. Her work’s been featured in Nylon, The New York Times and at Pow Wow in Oahu. We got the talking where she spoke to us about how Berlin has changed her as an artist.


Traveling and living abroad has always been an important part of my life and it helps shape my art in many ways. Through the process of getting lost, discovering and adapting we can learn a lot about ourselves and orient ourselves better in relation to the world. I always think that living in our cities we are like balloons that inflates a little bit everyday. When we stayed too long in one place, the air gets heavier and the city feel smaller, leaving no room for new stimulus. Traveling
makes me realize that the life I lived everyday is just a tiny part of what exist out there and it makes me appreciate the little great things from home.

Berlin is a big experimental ground for all kinds of creatives. The city has a laid-back
and nonjudgmental atmosphere, giving total creative freedom to those with interesting ideas. Everything in Berlin feels fast and fleeting, making shared experiences the only thing that really matters. The artists I met here are not afraid to share their knowledge and exchange ideas openly, which exposed me to many possibilities I have not yet explored in my own practice.

Feeling a little lost at first in such a big city, I learned to be focused on achieving my personal goals while keeping an open mind on the surprises that comes to me. After living here for almost 2 years now I was able to gain new perspectives and inspirations that helps strengthen my art practice and makes me grow as a person.

Photos: Andrea Wan