Marcos Chin queer american illustrator
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March 23, 2022
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An exploration of Marcos Chin’s intricate and magical illustrations

Being an illustrator for more than 18 years, Marcos Chin's work and environment have continuously evolved. From advertisements with big names companies to personal work, his world is vast and fascinating. Dive into the magical and queer universe of Marcos Chin.

Born in Mozambique, Marcos Chin grew up in Canada in an immigrant and working-class family. Always drawn towards arts, his parents didn’t back his aspirations, concerned by financial issues. He ended up applying in secret to the Ontario College of Art and Design. There, he focused almost naturally on illustration, and has now an impressive career behind - and ahead- of him.

Coming from a Chinese family-based in Mozambique for decades, and moving as a child to a multicultural neighborhood in Toronto, Marcos Chin was always surrounded by a great diversity of people - a diversity he wouldn’t find in the illustration. When he came out as gay, his agent at the time advised him not to disclose it, fearing that it would impact his career. Realizing the importance of representation, as he gained more financial security and the freedom that comes with it, Marcos Chin introduced characters that reflected the world he lived in: characters with a diversity of body types, ethnicities, and sexuality.

Every time he has the opportunity and the project is fitting, Marcos Chin expresses his sexuality freely into his illustrations. He draws queer characters of color in daily life situations and portrays the community fiercely. His art always has a dreamy component: from the colors to the intricate details, it’s a wide world you want to dive into. Working with mixed media, both analog and digital, and experimenting with supports, his style is nonetheless always recognizable.

Marcos Chin also teaches in art school, where he can give young artists the confidence to draw whatever they like, without self-censorship. Seeing an artist working with mainstream brands while being able to express his sexuality freely in his illustrations is certainly inspiring, gradually setting a new normal. That’s one of Marcos Chin’s goals: to make inclusive representation not a forced token but a norm.

Scroll down below to discover some of our favorites illustrations, and visit Marcos Chin’s website to see more of his work!


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