duyen tran


Hello! My name is Duyen Tran. (My first name is pronounced U.N like the United Nations.) In Vietnamese culture, kids celebrate their first birthday with their family who displays a tray of objects representing jobs the little ones will get in the future. On my first birthday, I knew I would one day be an artist. I treasure art and its ability to communicate without language barriers and to bring people together. I am in love with peaceful, soft colors and tiny objects. My dream is to illustrate children’s books, toys, and collectables with whimsical, light-hearted style of illustrations.



The symbol of the house holds a special meaning to me. Being an immigrant from Vietnam, my family and I have been constantly moving from place-to-place. We lived in six different houses and apartments before we finally settled down in a place to call home. I think it is not only me, but many people in the United States, (and maybe those from other countries, might share a similar experience at least once in their lives.)

The first moment my family came to America, it was immediately a memorable experience. Everything was strange and foreign to me–the language, culture, weather, food, and clothing. I was extremely nervous, and excited to learn about a new place. My illustration thesis is based on a little girl’s experience who just moves into a new place with her family. She begins to explore a new world and gets to know her neighbors at the town where her family is going to live in.

Using a mixture of media I explore four design concepts and illustrations–a house and several independent stores in the new neighborhood where the main character lives in. From those designs, the character's house and the bakery are turned into 3-dimensional display models.