Cai Jia Eng is an illustrator, designer, paper artist and teacher living in London. She graduated with a BSc in Architecture from The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL in 2006, before beginning her own business creating intricate cut-out greetings cards and dioramas. Her greetings cards retailed at Fortnum and Mason and were featured in a-n magazine.
Cai Jia was awarded a scholarship by QEST in 2008 for her paper work, which enabled her to take an Art Foundation Course at London College of Communication. Here she gained more traditional Applied Arts skills to build on her practice with paper, including bookbinding and printmaking, and experience in magazine production.
Since receiving the scholarship, she has exhibited her paper work in London, Oxford, Edinburgh and Barcelona, and taken on bookbinding commissions and book restoration projects. She also expanded her practice to include graphic design and illustration, including designing the publicity for several years for The Oxford Lieder Festival, and illustrating Katie the Ordinary Witch, audio stories about a teenage witch by Storynory. Her illustrations have been published as an app for iPhone and iPad and sold on iTunes.
Inspired by an interest in learning, and the opportunities that her own education gave her, Cai Jia went on to take a PGCE in Art and Design at the University of Cambridge in 2010, and now teaches Art and Photography at a secondary school in West London. She continues to practise in illustration, graphic design and paper-related arts whilst teaching, with the intention of combining her passion for visual arts with education. Her most recent project in 2014 was the illustration and design of the Bingham Centre’s Rule of Law Education Resource Pack for the new Key Stage 3 Citizenship curriculum. She has also taken on a project creating a book sculpture to be auctioned for the educational charity PEAS, and is looking forward to illustrating a new series of Katie stories this year.