Pollyanna Jaime, an artist who is a designer by day. Social philosophical illustrator by night...
Updated: Jun 17
"Howdy! Pollyanna Jaimé is not my real name. It’s a name I created for Facebook to post my
fucked-up artwork while preventing my family and coworkers from seeing it. Pollyanna is the
opposite of how I feel people perceive who I am. Jaime is the direct translation of my given
name in Mandarin 潔明.
In Spanish, Jaimé is the masculine given name for Jacob, James, Jamie, or Jacques so I added the accent at the end. I love the ambiguousness of combining a feminine and masculine name. This persona allows me to be open and honest when I make my art.
My two most recent series, Lonesome Mistresses and Resident Aliens Project represent two
important aspects of my life.
The series, Lonesome Mistresses, investigates womanhood through examining the relationship
with my mother and my 2 sisters, exploring sexuality through past romantic relationships, and
friendships with other female counterparts. The term “self-love” never occurred to me until I
ended a toxic relationship 9 years ago. The idea was first introduced to me that all women shall
love themselves starting from loving their own bodies. Because I was never comfortable in my
own skin, I created this persona so I could be my own muse. I referenced myself to draw sketches of female bodies in a very specific outfit–almost nude with striped pattern over-the-knee socks. I gave it a dark, distressed and circus-ish look because it represents expressions of my confusion about interpersonal relationships, sexual or non-sexual, but I eventually eased out of it at the end.
I worked mostly with Color Erase Blue pencil, 0.5 mechanical pencil, and solid watercolor on a 7.5 x 7.5 Moleskine Sketch Album. I love to work with these medias because it’s easy to access, I can create expressive and moody line drawings in my fingertips. I intentionally never clean my watercolor palette, to preserve the muddiness throughout the series.
The 2 full-color pieces, Besties and Ma Lou Marilou, I worked with acrylic and color pencil on illustration boards. For as much as I’d love to work with oil, my circumstance at the time was just not ideal. Therefore, I found an alternative using Winsor Newton Professional Acrylic colors and loved it. It contains high pigment color. Colors are vibrant and easy to blend for most pigments. It’s fast drying, odorless and also safe for my cat, Luna.
The ongoing series, Resident Aliens Project, consists of illustrations and short animated videos,
depicting my experience being an outsider and an immigrant from Taiwan with limited resources
and no family backing, trying to get acquainted with this new world that I’m in. Alienboy is an androgynous character without distinct genitalia. They are unapologetic about being who they are, that they are curious about learning the differences of others and always have an open mind to learn new things. In spite of Alienboy’s love for the world, in reality the world just doesn’t necessarily love them back, and it’s okay. They never stop finding love.
I started building the Resident Aliens Project world in college. I started off creating an alien-looking character and an anteater-looking creature just out of boredom sitting through a class in the lecture hall and found it amusing, making up all these characters on my own.
I started to build an environment for them and continued adding more characters to the narrative.
After meeting my partner, Timothy, a filmmaker, he took an interest in the story and helped to embody the concept to a tangible art project."
We posted most of the concept artwork and animation in our website:
LONSOME MISTRESSES SERIES
'Besties', acrylic and color pencil on illustration board, 16 x 14 inches
'Ma Lou Marilou', acrylic on paper, 13 x 13 inches
'Lonesome Mistress Series', mixed media on Moleskine sketchbook paper, 7.5 x 7.5 inches
Pollyanna Jaimé is a Taiwan-born artist currently living and working in Los Angeles, California.
She is a designer for a woman owned lifestyle brand by day, and a social and philosophical
illustrator by night.
She began to become enthusiastic about drawing after she was hospitalized for a severe car
accident when she was 12. She was introduced to Japanese Manga by her cousin, and she
became extremely fascinated about the aesthetic and the stories of the books she was reading
at the time. Her near-death experience inspired her to explore ideas about pain and suffering in
life and became interested in learning about death. The Hospital has become her favorite place
where she feels safer than her own home.
In middle school, she spent quite a lot of time practicing drawing manga after school. She has
become very passionate about the idea of becoming a manga artist. She formed a comic club
when she was in 8th grade and had recruited about 10 members who were total strangers. To
an extent, she cold called the editor of a manga publisher in Taipei, showing her eagerness to
learn about the industry. She was promised to be even offered a job as an editor in the
company after she graduated from high school. She found her calling and decided to skip high
school and enrolled in a vocational school pursuing a diploma in advertising design instead. It
was the closest thing she could choose other than attending regular high school where the
emphasis would never be on art.
Lin's style was largely influenced by Japanese Manga from the 80s and 90s and Japanese
subculture. While she was attending vocational school, she was intrigued by Guns N’ Roses
from America and became a highly addicted rock and roll fan. Because of Guns N' Roses and
Levi's Jeans, she decided to move to California for college. She attended California State
University, Long Beach and received a BFA in Illustration in 2004. At first, she felt discouraged
when her professor told her that her style was too Manga-like, and it would not benefit her
career as an illustrator. She had an open mind and started to explore other possibilities in order
to disprove her professor’s stereotype about the genre. Later on, she appreciated the criticism
from the professor and discovered her own potential of becoming more than a Manga doodler.
Though her love for illustration is unquestionable, the reality was just like a slap on her face.
There were not many illustrator jobs available in the job market. Illustrators are mostly
freelancing. They were either being represented by a gallery or agency or getting work on their own.
Work for hire was rare in the Illustration industry even today. In order to make ends meet, she
took a job at a print shop and her career as a prepress technician has lasted more than a
However, her passion for drawing hasn’t died down completely.
She started posting her sketches on Instagram as Pollyanna Jaimé @resident.aliens.
She created a series of nude sketches and had gained quite a few followings. She works mostly with pencils, especially color erase blue pencil and 0.5 pencil on Moleskine sketchbooks. Sketching is a great way to practice her artwork that accommodates her busy working schedule. She also worked with acrylic on
wood panels when she was in the mood with painting in color. She’d prefer oil over acrylic, but
unfortunately, the limitations of her residence at the time didn’t allow her to set up oil painting
equipment in her tiny space.
Because of her appearance on Instagram, she received several opportunities doing illustrations
for cicatrix publication and arts for a video game,Tinder Box as a concept artist in 2017.
Her series, Lonesome Mistress was selected for the exhibition, Red Hot Wicked in 2017, at Studio C Gallery in
Los Angeles, California.
This was her first ever art exhibition aside from the graduation art show from college. A year later, more pieces from the series were selected for the Red Hot Wicked II exhibition at Studio C Gallery, in 2018.
Pollyanna Jaimé continues to create her artwork not limited to pencil sketches. She is currently
working on a cartoon series, Resident Aliens Project, about her immigration experience in
America, in collaboration with her partner, Timothy Jansen, who is a filmmaker and composer.
Some visuals are available to be viewed on their website: www.residentaliensproject.com
RESIDENT ALIENS PROJECT
'Stairway To Heaven', mixed media and animation
Polly Lin, working by night, in her studio.
Instagram: Pollyanna Jaime @resident.aliens