Strokes of fem­i­nin­ity

> This artist pays homage to wom­an­hood with a clas­si­cal twist

The Sun (Malaysia) - - YOUTH -

such as tra­di­tional Chi­nese ink, wa­ter­colour and dig­i­tal tools to cre­ate. She, and hence her work, is in­flu­enced by cal­lig­ra­phy as “it helps to cap­ture the nat­u­ral flow of the fe­male form”. “I have al­ways had a pas­sion for art. It was why I pur­sued my ed­u­ca­tion in it and built my ca­reer around art. I used to work as a fine art lec­turer and I’m now a pas­sion­ate il­lus­tra­tor.” Through an email in­ter­view, theSun caught up with this highly tal­ented il­lus­tra­tor who re­cently grad­u­ated and is now work­ing on her grad­u­a­tion show­case in Birm­ing­ham, United King­dom.

You have 10 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in tra­di­tional Chi­nese cal­lig­ra­phy. How did you get started with this art? I was ex­posed to it since young be­cause learn­ing cal­lig­ra­phy is some­how a tra­di­tion in my fam­ily. I didn’t fancy it at first be­cause I had to sit qui­etly at the desk for two hours to prac­tise – for a five-year-old, that’s akin to a tor­ture sen­tence! Nev­er­the­less, I stuck to it, de­vel­oped my skills, and by the time I reached col­lege, I started us­ing it as a form of med­i­ta­tion.

Which of your many projects are you most proud of? Ev­ery pro­ject has given me a dif­fer­ent sense of achieve­ment hence they have their own spe­cial places in my heart. Piece by piece, they have shaped my skill, di­rec­tion and vi­sion that made me who I am to­day. There­fore, it would be un­fair to give any pro­ject more grav­i­tas than the other as they all serve an equal role in my – per­sonal and pro­fes­sional – de­vel­op­ment.

Com­pared to when you first started, has your il­lus­trat­ing style changed? I wouldn’t say it has changed per se, but it has evolved. In the be­gin­ning, I learnt by em­u­lat­ing the works and styles of other artists. Once I’d nailed their tech­niques, I’d in­cor­po­rate other styles into my work and even­tu­ally cre­ate my own voice. I feel that I have cre­ated a unique brand by learn­ing from other styles.

Why are you fas­ci­nated by women’s curves, “beau­ti­ful fea­tures” and hu­man ges­tures? Ev­ery in­di­vid­ual has his/her very own form of ges­tures and curves, and th­ese quirks tell sto­ries about them. Shapes por­tray at­ti­tude, ges­tures por­tray per­son­al­ity; what could be more in­ter­est­ing and chal­leng­ing than this?

Art is a sub­jec­tive mat­ter; some may like your work and some may not. With this in mind, have you ever got­ten any crit­i­cism and how do you deal with it? Of course there will al­ways be peo­ple who don’t like your work, and they’re en­ti­tled to their opin­ions. Be­ing an artist in the pub­lic do­main is a great ex­er­cise in pa­tience, and it helps you to un­der­stand your self-worth too. I know my weak­nesses and I know that I can al­ways im­prove, thus when­ever I’m crit­i­cised I’ll put a smile on my face and say thank you for the ad­vice.

What do you think is most im­por­tant in art? To feel alive. To be alive. To cre­ate and have a pos­i­tive out­let to chan­nel my en­er­gies.

Ce­line Wong is a bril­liant il­lus­tra­tor who goes by the name Li­huà. She sums up her il­lus­tra­tions as “the beauty and el­e­gance of flu­id­ity”.

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