Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are you accepting commissions, requests, or portraits?
A: Sorry, no, I'm focusing on my own projects right now, so commissions are closed at the moment.
Q: What software do you use?
A: I use Photoshop on a Cintiq (I'm also practicing on the iPad Pro, Procreate right now. Super excited to get better at that!)
Q: Do you have a Twitter account?
A: No, I do not have a twitter account. There are accounts posing as me on Twitter and other platforms - to make sure you are following the real me, use the social media icons here on my website!
Q: How much time do you spend on the drawings?
A: I usually work on these in the evenings, and it's hard to calculate because I'm always taking breaks to spend time with my family. If I had to guess, I'd say between 2-4 hours, depending on how focused I am, and if I have a clear idea of what I'm going for in each painting. I'm constantly trying to push myself to do different things, so sometimes the trial and error takes more time.
Q: Do you have any training videos or youtube channel?
A: I don't have any at the moment.
Q: Do you sign your prints?
A: Yes, I do, but only if it's not too distracting to the print.
Q: Are these images based on your daily life?
A: No. A lot of these images are inspired by events or experiences, but they are not a daily journal.
Q: Did you go to art school?
A: Not really. I learned mostly from on-the-job experience and practicing in my free time. For undergrad I studied art, technically, but it was so broadly focused that courses ranged from life drawing to sewing. For grad school I studied animation, but more about how to use Maya, and was also very generalized. I took Animation Mentor later on to learn character animation, which was by far the most useful and rewarding, but again the main focus was on animation.
Q: Can I use your images on my personal blog?
A: Generally I don't mind, as long as A) you list that the art is by Yaoyao Ma Van As, B) do not use it for commercial purposes, 3) do not claim it as your own, and 4) do not use it for spam posts, for example, spyware...Gross. As long as these conditions are met, feel free!
Q: Can I use your images for my avatar, or wallpaper?
Q: Do you use reference?
A: Of course! In the animation industry, reference is very, very important. No one has a complete knowledge of how everything looks from different views, how the light affects and interacts with objects or people. Looking at reference is an essential part of the process (no shame in that!). However, unless you're using that reference to study how to draw exactly that image or for a color study, I personally think you will benefit more by trying to create our own idea, using that reference as a guide for proportions etc (For example, if I'm drawing an image of a rabbit who is facing away from us, I would look up how the back of a rabbit might look, but I wouldn't use use that exact image I find on the internet and plug it in my drawing.) Also, if you do use reference, it's always a good idea to credit where you got the reference from.
Q: What brushes do you use?
A: I mostly use the standard Photoshop brushes, and I purchased a megapack from Kyle T Webster which I like a lot.
Q: I have a list of questions for you, can you answer them by tomorrow?
A: Believe it or not, I get this a lot. I love helping out and answering questions, but please email me to ask me ahead of time if I am available. Answering these kinds of questions is very time consuming (usually it takes a couple of hours to answer one!), and I my schedule is very packed.
Q: I tried to message you on Instagram and Facebook…
A: I used to have time to reply to almost all of my Instagram messages. This year has been crazy busy, so I haven't had time to read my messages at all (I'm sorry!). I do go through the comments, and I really appreciate all of you guys for commenting! For Tumblr, I actually don't see notifications, so I rarely remember to actually go through that tab to check for messages.
Q: Can I sell your art on my website?
A: Right now I'm only selling them exclusively on mine. Thanks for asking though!