Artist Interview: Cindy Suen on Why She Loves Animated Gifs, Pizza, and Cats

NeonMob recently released "Cutie Treats," a collection of animated gifs by artist Cindy Suen. I'm a huge fan of Cindy's colorful, fun style, and so I was excited to ask her a few questions about her work.

I know you're originally from Hong Kong. When and why did you leave Hong Kong and where do you live these days? 

I currently reside in New York City, and I'm fascinated by it. It's busy. There is always so much going on. Skyscrapers are everywhere. It's easy to get around with the metro system. It's definitely very much like Hong Kong in so many ways. I like New York City, but I love my home in Hong Kong, and I would love to return some time soon. 

Here are some reasons to why I'm in New York City nowadays! If you browse through my blog, you would probably quickly notice that I'm a little too obsessed about cats. I've definitely drawn more cat gifs than years I've lived. Random, my friend told me that there's a cat cafe in NYC, so that's one of the reasons why I'm in NYC, hah! Another is the snow. (It never snows in Hong Kong).

Cindy's first cel animated gif

Cindy's first cel animated gif

When did you start working in gifs? What was your first gif?

I'm so glad that animated gifs is a thing. Ever since I learned about them, I've always been thinking about things in loop form. In other words, I've been looping things for about two years to date. I don't think my first gif was at all interesting – it was a little logo animation of my name that I animated with the key frames in Photoshop's timeline, which doesn't look like the cel animated stuff I do now. Speaking of which, this is my first cel animated gif. 

What gif of yours are people most familiar with? What's your favorite gif illustration you've made or project you've worked on?

Hmm... this is a hard question. I would wish people are familiar with all of my work, but that's not possible. I would say people are probably most familiar with the gif I made about me as a cat eating all the burgers I can on my tumblr dash

An animated loop from "The Show" music video 

An animated loop from "The Show" music video 

Favorite project is definitely this music video I animated for fun of one my favorite singers' song, Lenka's "The Show". 

I know you like illustrating cats, but do you have any cats (or other pets) in real life? 

Yep, you got this right. Cats forever and ever! Unexpectedly, I've actually never owned a real cat before, but I did used to have two dogs! 

From "Cutie Treats"

From "Cutie Treats"

For "Cutie Treats," there's an adorable happy blue blobby creature that interacts with sweet desserts. Who or what is that blob all about?

I have a big sweet tooth, and so does my mom and my sister. The three of us would literally go to desserts buffets all the time if we can! So the blue blob is kinda like us getting crazy about our desserts whenever we go to our desserts buffets. Plus everyone else on the planet loves to eat sweets! 

From "Cutie Treats"

From "Cutie Treats"

What projects are you working on right now that you're excited about?

I'm always excited about projects I'm working on. Whenever I get to gif stuff, I get super hyper! 

A gif Cindy made for her roommate.

A gif Cindy made for her roommate.

I love your Tumblr of other people's gifs. Have you ever collaborated with any of these gif makers?

Thank you so much! I definitely love to collaborate. It's fun to mix up different styles of what different gif artists are good at. To date, I've been lucky enough to collaborate with many incredibly talented gif artists friends of mine. I'm very grateful to have met them through the internet.  

Sloth on a pizza-eating flying cat carpet!

Sloth on a pizza-eating flying cat carpet!

Since you live in New York and love pizza, I gotta ask, what's your favorite pizza place in NYC? 

No favorites! But I can tell you that as long as there's a mountain of cheese on the slice of pizza, then I'm going there! (I love cheese!)