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The UPS Store Small Business blog
  • 13 October 2021
  • Public Relations

The Global Wisdom of Eve Liu

Eve Liu is a lifestyle illustrator and product designer originally from Changsha, China and currently based in New York. Her work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Tokyoiter, The Budapest Café, and The New York Times for Kids. Most recently, she created “Different Cultures, Same Drive” artwork for the limited-edition UPS Express Box as the latest Proudly Unstoppable collaboration with UPS to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander-owned small businesses.

woman managing finances on her laptop

Infusing Environmental Influences

Eve’s creativity has been shaped by her surroundings at a young age. Her early art education in the Chinese city of Changsha put a heavy emphasis on mastering the fundamental skills that still serve her well to this day. “Some people may find it very rigid, but I think I deeply benefited from it,” says Liu. She’s now made her way to New York, which she describes as a global village that has expanded the way she approaches her work. “I naturally broke away from traditional concepts and let my intuition lead me to create more diverse and concise designs,” she shared. When asked what settings inspire her, Liu recalled a place from her childhood. “I used to like to go to an old provincial library in my hometown. There are many picture books in the foreign language area. I would often stay there all afternoon.”

Creating “Different Cultures, Same Drive”

To create “Different Cultures, Same Drive,” Eve drew from her experiences studying in graduate school at Maryland Institute College of Art and living in New York City. During these chapters of her life, Eve met people who exposed her to the cultures of South and Southeast Asia, along with those of the north Pacific islands. When designing the piece for UPS, she tapped into this expanded knowledge to represent unique aspects of each culture but acknowledged their common ground as well. “What unifies us is that we are always trying to live our best life and put forth as much effort as we can.”

Liu worked diligently and paid careful attention to make sure elements of all Asian cultures were thoroughly represented in this piece. “I made around four drafts for this, so that I could make sure every aspect was covered”, she told us. “In addition to my personal experience, I also did a lot of research and watched some documentaries, such as PBS’ ‘Forever Chinatown,’ and ‘Asian Americans,’ which gave me more insight and inspiration.”

Overcoming Challenges

Despite the challenges inherent to pursuing her career in art, Liu is undeterred. We asked about those challenges, along with the hurdles of moving to a new country and her reply aptly illustrated her attitude of persistence. “As long as I can continue my creative career, I can face any challenge that comes my way!” The artist offered a simple and direct piece of advice for members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community with business aspirations: “Be persistent and don't compromise on things you don't like.”

Aspiring to Thoughtful Designs

While Eve’s work is vibrant and original, she stays grounded in practicality as well. “Always think about what is accessible for the audience or user,” she offered to aspiring designers. “A good design can hardly be separated from functionality.” She also emphasized the importance of becoming familiar with the brand you’re working on. “I conduct detailed research into the brand’s client base and incorporate key elements into my design to reflect their characteristics and mine.”

We want to help you be unstoppable! For more small business advice, keep checking back and follow us on social media. This series will continue as part of UPS’ Be Unstoppable campaign, featuring inspiration and insights from small business owners across the country and beyond. Read more about the Proudly Unstoppable program and how we’re celebrating diversity in business ownership through stories, artwork and community.

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