Diploma in Banking & Financial Management, Class of 2004
Becoming Giphy's Top Artist
‘Ai and Aiko’ by Peter Draw was the most-viewed artist channel of the year 2021 in Giphy. Giphy is a popular platform that allows users to search and share GIFs and stickers on social apps like Telegram and Facebook.
The first GIF of Ai and Aiko (https://giphy.com/AiandAiko/) was uploaded in 2018, and within three months, Ai and Aiko had hit its first billion views with its heart-warming and encouraging GIF content! Now, four years since the first upload, there are more than 2,000 Ai and Aiko GIFs, garnering over 42.7 billion views!
Peter Zhuo, the person behind Ai and Aiko, graduated from Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) with the Diploma in Banking and Finance Management in2004. Since graduation, Peter had also broken 4 Guinness World Records - World's Longest Drawing (2014), World's Longest Drawing by Individual (2014), World's Largest Art Lesson (2010) and World's Largest Caricature (2007). NYP is proud to be a part of some of these memorable events.
Today, we catch up with Peter to find out more about Ai and Aiko as well as his plans for the future.
What made you want to post your first Ai and Aiko GIF on Giphy? What were your goals back then?
This brings me back to September 2018 when our first GIF was published and verified on GIPHY. Our first GIF was an animated Ai and Aiko sitting on a paper plane, flying. The idea behind that GIF was to remind myself and people around me that sometimes in life, it's okay to take a leap of faith. I believe our first intention is very important because it forms the foundation of everything we do. Whether it’s a word we say, an action we make, or a decision we make; it is important to always begin with love. Back then, my goal was to hopefully hit the magical milestone of one million views within one year. But within 24 hours, we had crossed 15 million views.
When creating Ai and Aiko content, where do you get your inspiration from?
Ai and Aiko's earliest inspiration came from my grandfather. He told me about a little boy who was like me. That little boy never gave up on his dreams and successfully created Disneyland. My grandfather said the little boy’s name was Picasso. When I went to primary school, I learnt that Picasso and Disney were two different people. Nonetheless, this story had inspired me to create my own ‘Disneyland’. In December 2000, my grandfather passed away. His stories and encouragements lived on with me.
The design of Ai's hair and Ai's round face was inspired by Picasso's dove and Disney's Mickey Mouse. Over time, I visited and drew pictures with children from different countries, children who had lived in poverty and children who had survived Tsunamis and earthquakes. These experiences gave me new lessons and meanings in life, many of which are reflected in Ai and Aiko.
In 2021, Peter was the first Asian artist to have his digital art exhibited with W1Curates in London, after Gagosian and other top international artists. They are currently in talks for their second exhibition. The theme for 2022 is for Ai and Aiko to expand and extend its intellectual property (IP) into other areas, including digital art, entertainment, and lifestyle collections.
Many people have been inspired by your works. What advice or tips would you like to share with NYP students to help them achieve their dreams?
You can do it too. While achieving our dreams is cool, it is even more important to be a good person. In a world where we can become anything, choose to be kind.
The second image below shows Peter’s choice of his signature work. The GIF shows Ai and Aiko comforting each other, which reminds us that everything is going to be all right. Peter’s message remains the same “Love can happen anywhere” and that we can always find the warmest love even in the coldest winter.
Images of Ai and Aiko page on GIPHY, Peter’s selected GIF as his signature work of Ai and Aiko, and Peter’s digital art exhibited with W1Curates in London