Vivian creates incredible illustrations, character designs and loves animation. Check out her amazing work in our World Book Day 2024 launch animation below.
Vivian Truong is a British-Born Chinese comic artist from London. She is the illustrator behind the graphic novel series, City of Dragons, Cooking with Monsters; the part memoir, part life map book by Anjali Bhimani, I Am Fun Size and So Are You!; and many other books to come. Over her career she has also created illustrations and comics for Riot Games.
Find out more about Vivian on her website here.
We’re so excited that you are the World Book Day illustrator. What does World Book Day mean to you, and how did you feel when you were asked?
It’s a great honour to have been asked to be the World Book Day illustrator. As soon as I got the email, I wanted to write a big fat “YES!” immediately and tell the whole world! There’s been an amazing range of fantastic illustrators in the past and I hope I can bring a fresh new take on the World Book Day campaign with my style.
I’ve always loved World Book Day growing up. It was an exciting occasion to discover new books and bring them home. It has played such a significant role not just in my life but for schools and libraries to keep providing access to books for everyone and to keep the spirit of reading alive to parents and kids alike.
We love your incredible illustrations, from concept art and comic books to storyboards and animations. Can you tell us a bit about the different projects you’ve worked on, and what your favourite kinds of things to draw are?
I’ve been really fortunate to work on some amazing projects. City of Dragons: The Awakening Storm was the first graphic novel I’ve ever drawn and it’s everything I had ever wanted to read as a kid. It stars people of colour, action, adventure, and a cute dragon to boot! The best part of creating this book was actually being able to speak to enthusiastic young readers around the world who would excitingly recite parts of the story back to me.
Among other books I have worked/working on, my new teen graphic novel series Cooking with Monsters is one I’m very excited about. It displays my manga influences, love of fight scenes, comedy, and monsters in all its glory. I am a big fan of drawing strong but flawed women and love being able to represent people from different backgrounds. I can’t wait for everyone to read it.
Can you tell us about your journey to becoming an illustrator?
I was a very moany toddler to the point that my nickname in Cantonese was “fussy”. One of my earliest memories was my late uncle taking me to the lower floor of my grandma’s restaurant and drawing stick figures on a napkin to cheer me up. This was my only memory of him but it has stuck with me my whole life. As soon as I learned to pick up a pencil, I knew I wanted to make others smile with my illustrations as much as I did that day.
So I’ve been drawing pretty much every day since then. From copying the cartoon characters I saw on TV, to studying a cut up Pokédex my brother crafted together into a folder. I would make up my own stories, design characters, and draw scenarios for the characters to be in. I still have one of my stapled pieces of paper of my version of the hare and the tortoise story I drew when I was six.
Although comics were always my dream career, I studied 3D animation at Bournemouth University and storyboarding to serve as a “backup” career path to fund my comic dream. In the end, I never did land a full-time animation job and instead bee-lined straight to drawing comics for a living!
I love telling stories and especially ones that are more character driven. So far, for most of my published work I have partnered with another writer and they have all been wonderful to work with. We bounce back and forth ideas together and form a true collaboration. To get inspired while I’m drawing these books, I turn to a lot of graphic novels that I keep on my shelf in my office, but I also look at illustrations, photography, and films for style inspiration.
By grabbing as many graphic novels that are still on my list to read! And if any one chooses to dress up as someone from City of Dragons, that would make my day.
Creating the World Book Day 2024 Illustrations
In the below video, Vivian reveals the process behind creating the World Book Day illustrations, from her original concept ideas to the final stunning illustrations.