Qing Han aka Qinni has died at the age of 29 following a battle with cancer. The Canadian artist had amassed more than two million followers on Instagram and was a celebrated creative on DeviantArt.
It was fellow illustrator, Courtney “Seage” Howlett who broke the sad news of Qinni’s passing. Howlett tweeted, “I’ll be away for some time while I sort through my emotions. I love you, qing… I’ll miss you. Rest in paradise.”
In the wake of Qinni’s sad passing, many of her fans have taken to social media to spread her artwork using the hashtag “galaxiesforqinni.”
Here’s what you need to know about the tragic death of Qinni:
1. Qinni Said in December 2019 That Doctors Had Given Her At Least a Year to Live
On December 28, 2019, Qinni told her social media followers that she had been diagnosed with stage 4 fibrosis sarcoma. The disease was terminal, Qinni said. She tweeted that her doctor had told her that she had “a year or year and a half left.” Qinni added, “hey guys how do i stop randomly bursting into tears lol.”
In a follow-up statement on the diagnosis, Qinni said, “I appreciate all the support on Twitter and people becoming my patron is just so sweet, thank you guys so much. I apologize my condition might only get worse before it gets better though, I still have a lot pain problems right now actually… [I] think that’s the worst part ofo thise though, is the pain. god. I’m so tired.”
On February 5, Qinni posted on Instagram about her condition saying, “Not feeling the best today, but at least last round of chemo went better than my first round so I will take it. ” Qinni said that despite the illness, she had “never had such strong urge to keep drawing, so I might have pushed my body a little too far yesterday…”
2. Qinni Grew Up in a Household Where Her Artistry Was Not Encouraged
Qinni had said previously that she was introduced to DeviantArt in 2005 but did not begin posting her own work until 2008. In February 2017, Qinni was awarded DeviantArt’s Deviousness Award. Qinni was celebrated as having, “Exemplary Membership and an Outstanding Spirit of helpfulness and mentoring within the DeviantArt community.” At the time of the award, Qinni wrote on the website that she grew up in a household where artistic pursuits were not encouraged.
Qinni added, “[Deviant Art] was really the place where I got the encouragement and confidence to try and convince my parents I wanted to become a professional artist.”
The website paid tribute to Qinni with a tweet on February 10 that read, “Today, the world has lost a wonderful artist, and a wonderful person. Thank you for inspiring us with your art, Qinni. We hope you rest in peace.”
3. Qinni Says Her Parents Agreed to Let Her Study at in College Because it Was Relatively Cheap
Qinni graduated from Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, in 2012 with a BAA in Animation, according to one online profile. That bio says that Qinni has worked with Disney XD and for Motorcity. The piece adds that Qinni had been working as an artist since 2008.
Qinni told Urban Muse in 2017 that her family agreed to let her study art partly because of the relatively cheap cost of college compared to the United States.
4. Qinni First Told Her Fans of Her Heart Health Issues in 2015
Qinni has spoken openly about her health issues in the past. On her Twitter profile, she boasted of having gone through four successful open-heart surgeries thanks to a genetic heart condition. In 2015, Qinni first disclosed her health issues to her fans. Later, Qinni said that her doctors advised her to seek care at a clinic in the United States. Qinni joked, “US medical fees are so much I dunno if I’d wanna go or just die and save some money for my aging parents.” In that same post, Qinni said that on top of her own health issues, she also wanted to go to China to visit her ailing grandfather who was suffering from cancer.
Qinni said of her various health issues, “I actually think I managed to produce better stuff when I was depressed hahaha. I think this sort of feeling is great fuel for emotional art, and it just feels good to sort of blarrgh feelings onto a page. Art therapy is a real thing hahaha.”
5. Qinni’s Work Became So Popular in 2016 That it Generated a Snapchat Filter
In 2016, one of Qinni’s most famous pieces of work, “Starred Freckles,” became a makeup trend, according to Pop Sugar. The Pop Sugar report said that Qinni’s trend became so big that Snapchat developed a photo filter around it.
Qinni said that in making “Starred Freckles,” she was “Mapping out the constellation with her freckles, in the night sky…” Qinni said of her fame in her Urban Muse interview, “I’m still having a hard time comprehending it. I try not to think about it to be honest… it’s pretty daunting and I’d have to sort of watch what I say all the time now… and of course put up with a lot of people who hate me because they, like me, don’t understand why this happened, hahaha. I just wanted to be like…medium-well-known. Like, a hundred thousand people was already a lot to me and I was pretty happy with that. But now it’s just crazy.”