I am Tu Ha An

You can call me An, and it’s pronounced “Ann”.

I create stories and I tell creation stories, mostly through my dreamlike and sparkling illustrations.

I am described as “too dreamy for an engineer” and “too down to earth for an artist”. So I take this opportunity to create with the heart of an artist and the brain of an engineer.

I am an illustrator and content creator. I am also a graphic designer and Art Director at The Present Writer.

I am Hanoian (Vietnam) and I live in Dijon (France).

"I am an illustrator."

Fifteen years have passed, from the moment I first realized that I wanted to be an illustrator, to the moment that I can officially say those words for the first time.

My story - My “ why ? ”

Growing up in the 90’s in Vietnam, I could not even dream that one day my profession would be drawing. At the time, we were told that creative jobs were not real jobs, and especially not a job for women.

At that time, when televisions were still in black and white, when the internet did not yet exist in my city, and when power cuts occurred once a week, my only allies were the illustrated supports. I cherished the posters that my sister brought back from a language center, the pieces of magazines cut out by my cousins, the chocolate wrappers offered by my father’s friends, and above all, the children’s books. They were my escape, the cradle of my imagination, the hope that there was another world, another “reality” where everything seemed possible.

The illustrations printed on these supports have remained in my head like a secret treasure. Their power is just unimaginable. They allowed me to dream, to act, to get out of the old “reality”, to meet people who saw in me, not what I looked like, but what I could be.

Today, as an illustrator, I would like to create the same impact. I would like to create images that allow children and former children to dream, without being limited by their gender, their social background, their physical appearance or their origin.

Why did I start blogging?

“It's great that you have a creative hobby. But don't turn it into a job, because, you know, that kind of job is only for talented people! "

That sentence seems cruel, doesn’t it?

But this sentence was said with all the sincerity by my father in the middle of Charles De Gaulle airport (Paris, France), during his stopover between Hanoi (Vietnam) and Wroclaw (Poland). That was his last piece of advice to me before take off, after my 7 hour trip from my home (Dijon, France) to the airport, just to have the opportunity to have lunch with him.

And that was the end. I decided to give up.

That year I was 25, with an engineering degree, and a permanent contract in railway safety sector for a big company that is part of a major international group.

No, I haven’t decided to give up on being a illustrator.

I give up the effort to prove to my parents that I deserve, I give up the goal of convincing my family that it is a real profession, I also give up the fact of living by constantly compromising to please others , even if it is the person I love most in the world..

At this very moment, I realized the gap between the general public’s vision of creative professions and reality (with the clichés of broken, perched or contemptuous artists who considered themselves better than everyone …).

During my adolescence and my first years of adulthood, I had the opportunity to exercise several creative activities in a more or less professional way, such as writing, singing, acting, directing short films, organizing shows… (a large part of which was in secret).

So I want to use all these experiences to build a blog about creativity. This blog will be the place where I share the stories of creation, my thoughts on life during the journey to become an illustrator and the life lessons I learn from the creation process. I hope I can help to make people understand that creativity isn’t just for elites (or weirdo).

Lately on

Instagram

Find me on Instagram for news, behind-the-scenes creative insights and day-by-day thoughts!

@tuhaan.art
  • 🇨🇵 Ma première illustration terminée de l’année 

🇬🇧 My first completed illustration of the year

🇻🇳 Bức vẽ đầu tiên được hoàn thiện vào năm nay

#kidillustration #childrenbookart #watercolor #aquarelle #illustration #dailyart #childrenbook #childrenillustration #illustrationoninstagram #artoninstagram #illustrator #illustrationartist #artistoninstagram #dreamlike #onirique #multicultural
  • 🇨🇵 « Comment t’as su que tu n’allais pas regretter de quitter un CDI pour te mettre à ton compte ? »

Ma réalité est que… c’était (et c’est) toujours un long processus où des fois, je ne savais pas exactement quelle serait l’étape suivante. 

Cependant, c’était un processus rempli de « signes » qui confirmaient que j’étais sur le bon chemin.

Dans le premier article de blog de l’année lunaire du dragon, je vais vous dévoiler un de ces signes. Contre toute attente, il s’agit d’un retour négatif. 

Nous allons décortiquer ensemble comment une critique a validé mon choix de freelance ?

Vous trouverez le lien pour lire l’article sur mon profil.

🇬🇧 “How did you know that you would not regret leaving a full-time permanent job to set up your own business?”

My reality is… It was (and it still is) a long process that sometimes I was unsure of what the next step would be.

However, it was a process filled with “signs” that help me confirm that I was on the right path.

In the first blog article of the Lunar Year of the Dragon, I will tell you about one of these signs. Unexpectedly, that sign was actually a negative feedback. 

But together, let’s look again at how did one negative feedback validate my choice of freelance?

You can find the link to read the article on my profile.

🇻🇳 “Làm sao An biết rằng An sẽ không hối tiếc khi từ bỏ một công việc ổn định để làm freelancer?”

Sự thật là… đó đã, và vẫn luôn là cả một quá trình dài, mà đôi khi mình không biết chính xác đâu là bước tiếp theo.

Tuy nhiên, quá trình đó vẫn luôn gửi những “dấu hiệu” xác nhận rằng mình đang đi đúng đường.

Trong bài viết đầu tiên của năm Giáp Thìn, mình sẽ tiết lộ với các bạn một trong những “dấu hiệu” đó. Bất ngờ ở chỗ, đó là một phản hồi tiêu cực. 

Chúng ta sẽ cùng nhau phân tích làm thế nào mình nhận ra bản thân sẵn sàng trở thành freelancer nhờ… một lời chê.

Các bạn có thể vào link trên bio của mình để đọc bài viết nhé.
  • 🇨🇵 Ce petit garçon grandit (un peu) trop vite aux yeux de son papa. Cette mini illustration est là pour que le papa puisse emporter avec lui une tranche de vie avec le souvenir de l’été entre père et fils, et la rencontre des lémuriens. 

Et le petit garçon continuera à grandir avec des tonnes de souvenirs que son papa tient à lui offrir à chaque moment qu’ils passent ensemble. 

🇬🇧 This little boy is growing up (a little) too fast according to his dad. This mini illustration is created so that his dad can carry with him a slice of life, with the memory of the summer between father and son, and the meeting with the lemurs.

And the little boy will continue to grow up with tons of memories that his dad is determined to give him every moment they spend together.

🇻🇳 Cậu bé này đang lớn (quá) nhanh, dưới đôi mắt của bố cậu. Bức vẽ tí hon này được tạo ra để bố cậu có thể mang theo mình một lát cắt của cuộc sống, vào mùa hè của riêng hai bố con và cuộc gặp gỡ với những chú vượn cáo.

Và cậu bé sẽ tiếp tục lớn lên, trong hàng tấn kỷ niệm mà bố cậu đã và đang dệt lên tặng cậu vào mỗi phút giây mà bố con cậu được ở bên nhau.

#kidillustration #childrenbookart #watercolor #aquarelle #illustration #dailyart #childrenbook #childrenillustration #illustrationoninstagram #artoninstagram #illustrator #illustrationartist #artistoninstagram #dreamlike #onirique #multicultural
  • 🇨🇵 La mini statue est la miniature de celles qu’on trouve à Wroclaw, la ville où mon père a laissé une partie de son âme. 

La chouette est le symbole de Dijon, offerte par mon bro, acheté dans notre magasin japonais préféré.

La médaille est un souvenir de Brest, offerte par une ancienne collègue, avec l’image du téléphérique, le projet sur lequel nous avons travaillé jour et nuit…

Et un petit morceau de Hanoï, à travers mes traits, inspiré par le texte d’une collègue / amie / créatrice que j’ai enfin rencontré dans la vraie vie, à Hanoï, notre ville natale. 

🇬🇧 The little statue is a miniature of those found in Wroclaw, the city where my father left a part of his soul.

The owl is the symbol of Dijon, a gift from my bro, bought in our favorite Japanese store.

The medal is a souvenir of Brest, offered by a former colleague, with the image of the cable car, the project we worked on day and night...

And a little piece of Hanoi, through my features, inspired by the text of a colleague / friend / creator that I can finally met in real life, in Hanoi, our hometown.

🇻🇳 Bức tượng bé xíu là phiên bản thu nhỏ của những tượng đồng ở Wroclaw, nơi mà ba mình đã để lại một phần trái tim.

Con cú là biểu tượng của Dijon, do một anh bạn mình tặng, mua từ cửa hàng Nhật Bản yêu thích của chúng mình.

Đồng xu lại là kỷ niệm từ Brest, được tặng bởi một người đồng nghiệp cũ, với hình khắc của cáp treo, dự án mà chúng mình đã cùng làm ngày đêm...

Và một chút Hà Nội, qua nét vẽ của mình, được truyền cảm hứng từ những dòng viết của một người đồng nghiệp / bạn / người làm sáng tạo @thaonguyenreads mà cuối cùng mình đã gặp mặt trong đời thực, tại Hà Nội, quê hương của chúng mình.

#kidillustration #childrenbookart #watercolor #aquarelle #illustration #dailyart #childrenbook #childrenillustration #illustrationoninstagram #artoninstagram #illustrator #illustrationartist #artistoninstagram #dreamlike #onirique #multicultural
  • #artvsartist #artvsartist2023

🇨🇵 Je suis reconnaissante d’avoir eu la santé, le temps et la confiance de mon entourage pour réaliser ces illustrations.

🇬🇧 I'm grateful for my health, for the time and for the trust of those around me to create these drawings.

🇻🇳 Mình biết ơn vì đã có đủ sức khỏe, thời gian, và sự tin tưởng của những người đang kề bên mình, để vẽ những bức tranh này.

#kidillustration #childrenbookart #watercolor #aquarelle #illustration #dailyart #childrenbook #childrenillustration #illustrationoninstagram #artoninstagram #illustrator #illustrationartist #artistoninstagram #dreamlike #onirique #multicultural
  • 🇨🇵 Cette interview de Chi Nguyễn, docteure en éducation, autrice, bloggeuse, YouTubeuse, podcasteuse, fondatrice de la marque @thepresentwriter, est un diamant !

Et si aujourd’hui, nous découvrons les étapes concrètes (cinq étapes de polissage avant d’obtenir le diamant), qui ont emmené Chi d’une étudiante lambda en autrice, chercheuse et créatrice à forte influence ?

Vous trouverez le lien pour regarder la vidéo et lire l’article sur mon profil.

🇬🇧 This interview of Chi Nguyễn, PhD in Education, author, blogger, YouTuber, podcaster and founder of @thepresentwriter brand, is a diamond. 

What if today we were to discover the precise steps (five polishing stages before having the diamond), which took Chi from when she was a lambda student to become a highly influential author, researcher, and creator?

You can find the link to watch the video and read the article on my profil

🇻🇳 Cuộc phỏng vấn chị Chi Nguyễn, tiến sĩ giáo dục, tác giả sách, blogger, YouTuber, podcaster, chủ nhân thương hiệu @thepresentwriter, chính là một viên kim cương.

Và sẽ ra sao nếu hôm nay, chúng ta được cùng khám phá các bước cụ thể (năm bước mài giũa kim cương) đã đưa chị Chi từ một sinh viên bình thường trở thành tác giả, giáo sư đại học, người làm sáng tạo có tầm ảnh hưởng phủ khắp cả nước?

Các bạn có thể vào link trên bio của mình để xem video và đọc bài viết nhé.