Qin Leng

Qin Leng was born in Shanghai, China. At the age of five, she moved with her family to Bordeaux, France, where she spent the next four years. Soon after, she moved to Montreal, where she spent the rest of her childhood. Having been born in Asia but raised in the West, she uses both cultures as her source of inspiration. Looking at her illustrations, one can see the presence of both East and West.

Qin Leng comes from a family of artists, where the visual senses have always been of the utmost importance. She grew up watching her father work with acrylics, pastel, and ink. Father and daughter often spent their days drawing side by side. Drawing first started as a hobby, but soon became a way of expression.

Despite her many years of study to become a biologist, Qin decided at the age of 20 to follow the same path as her father and enrolled in the School of Cinema to study Film Animation at Concordia University. She has produced animated shorts, which were nominated in various national and international film festivals. She has received various prizes for her illustrations and films, including the Teletoon Scholarship Award 2004 for best animated short, and the IMAF 2005 Award for best character design and best animated short.

Qin loves to read, travel, and spend time with her twin sister, all of which provide her with inspiration. Little Abby in A Flock of Shoes (2010) was inspired by a character she had created long ago, when she was still in high school: a quirky and energetic little girl not unlike her sister. Abby’s dad is actually a portrait of her own father. The next book she illustrated was Dogs Don’t Eat Jam and Other Things Big Kids Know (2011). This was followed by The Stone Hatchlings (2012), which reprised the character Abby. In Harry and Walter (Spring 2016), she teams up with one of Canada’s favorite authors, Kathy Stinson, to illustrate this heart-warming story about a young boy and his elderly neighbor. 

Drawing is her passion. It can offer so many things. Reality has boundaries, but with illustration, one can let one’s imagination create whole new worlds. Qin dreams of being able to illustrate more and more, and to share her ideas and emotions with many more readers.

Qin now lives in Toronto, with her inseparable twin sister, and works as a designer and background artist on feature films and television series, as well as a freelance illustrator. She has published numerous children books in Canada, United States, Hong Kong, Sweden, France, United Kingdom, and South Korea.