Lydia Law Li
Currently based in Berlin, Lydia maintains a professional career as an app developer and UI/UX designer, while also devoting time to her hobbies such as climbing, dancing and illustrating.
Drawing upon her diverse background and experiences, Lydia's art takes on a playful, joyous and at times surreal tone, allowing her to explore questions of identity and heritage through her unique lens.
To help me understand your overarching goals and themes and to provide context for your specific works and pieces, can you describe your vision and goals as an artist and how they inform your various artistic pursuits?
My vision and goals are twofold. First and foremost, I use art as a tool to help me on my personal journey of self-discovery. Through my art, I'm able to explore what's best for me and what I want in life. I see each piece I create as an opportunity to express myself and share my experiences with others.
Secondly, I aim to create art that is transparent and vulnerable. By doing so, I hope that my work will resonate with others and help them on their own journeys. For me, art is about experimentation and playing with different ideas. By pursuing this approach, I'm able to create pieces that are honest and authentic.
My relationship with art is still developing, as I continue to explore what role it plays in my life. While I've considered pursuing a traditional artistic career in the past, I've always felt blocked or limited by that idea.
After completing a master's degree in 2D-3D Animation production, I realised that I lacked passion for working in this industry. I began to experiment with different types of artistic expression and discovered a newfound enjoyment in creating art simply for the sake of it.
Now, I create art to accompany me on my journey of self-discovery. I'm not concerned with conforming to any style or genre, but rather I allow myself to be vulnerable and open to new ideas. Through my art, I hope to continue learning about myself and the world around me.
permanent marker mixed media 30 x 40"
As you have participated in a couple of exhibitions with the gallery I am familiar with your Farticles: Deck of Cards from the Games We Play exhibition. Can you walk me through the creative process of bringing your Farticles: Deck of Cards to life, from inspiration to completion? And how did you decide on the name Farticles, such a playful and engaging title?
The Farticles: Deck of Cards game started as a pile of sketched drawings that my partner Sam and I created during a brainstorming session. During the session, we cut out some papers and drew various seemingly unrelated items, and we then improvised games and stories using the drawings on the cards.
I decided to refine those sketches into fully rendered illustrations, which in turn allowed me to share some memorable moments from my relationship with Sam. I set myself a challenge to complete the deck in time for Sam's birthday, which served as great motivation for me to complete all the illustrations in a short time.
The name Farticles was inspired by combining fart + particles and was chosen to give ourselves permission not to take ourselves too seriously while exploring the endless possibilities of the universe through our artwork.
On a practical level, I wanted the artwork to have a modern look with good use of colours and shades. I frequently used a Pinterest board for inspiration on colour schemes and illustration styles.
permanent marker mixed media 14 x 20"
As an artist, you continue evolving and experimenting with new forms and ideas. Can you share with us any current or future developments for Farticles? Have you made any recent discoveries or breakthroughs that might change the direction of the project?
Regarding Farticles, I'm considering making a digital printable version of the game. It has already served as an icebreaker for my partner and I to work together on more creative projects. I am also exploring the idea of creating a themed version of Farticles, such as a deck representing the theme of "Berlin'' and other interesting ideas. My main challenge in this regard will be to secure funding and collaborations and to reach a wider audience.
In terms of recent discoveries or breakthroughs, my focus has been on exploring different ways to use the Farticles game as an educational tool, where players can learn about different topics or engage in self-discovery exercises. I am interested in exploring collaborations with other artists and creatives to further expand the potential of Farticles. Overall, I'm excited about the future possibilities for Farticles and the ways in which it can continue to evolve and expand.
permanent marker mixed media 14 x 14"
Engaging with fans and followers is essential for any artist to build a successful career. It's fantastic to see you taking feedback from your audience on prints for Farticles: Deck of Cards. How have you found the reaction so far? Are there any surprises or insights you've gained from this interactive approach to your work?
I have found that taking feedback from my audience on prints for Farticles: Deck of Cards has been a great way to connect with my audience. The reaction so far has been very positive, and it's been rewarding to see people close to me react with laughter and other positive responses.
Through this interactive approach, I've gained insights into what resonates with my audience and what they find interesting or humorous. I'm always looking for ways to push the boundaries of my work and this feedback has been invaluable in helping me to do that.
One surprise was that some of my audience members were not necessarily fans of card games, but still found the illustrations and designs on the cards to be entertaining.
Going forward, I would love to find a way to create a deck with other people, such as engaging with the audience themselves or collaborating with other creatives. This way, the deck will represent and resonate with a broader range of people. Ultimately, I believe that this approach will help to build a stronger connection between my art and my audience.
Farticles : Deck of Cards
permanent marker mixed media 14 x 20"
You've mentioned before that entering your works in online art contests is a source of inspiration. What about the contest format do you find inspiring, and how have these contests impacted your art practice? Have you noticed any changes in the elements of your art that are highlighted or embraced due to contest criteria or preferences?
I find that having a theme to work with is a helpful constraint, as a completely open-ended project would likely scare me. Participating in a contest where the theme is not something I would normally choose challenges me to get out of my comfort zone and experiment with new ideas and techniques.
For example, when I participated in a contest with the theme Under the Sky, I was encouraged to experiment with painting landscapes, which was not something I usually did. However, I enjoyed the challenge and learned something new from it. Having a theme also helps me to think more deeply about the subject matter and how to express it in new and interesting ways.
Deadlines are another benefit of entering art contests. While procrastination can be an easy trap to fall into, knowing that there is a deadline coming up can be motivating and help me to produce quality work in a timely manner.
As for the impact of contests on my art practice, I have noticed that they have pushed me to experiment with new mediums and techniques that I might not have tried otherwise. Additionally, I've learned to adapt my art to meet the specific criteria and preferences of different contests, which has helped me to improve my art overall.
Overall, I believe that entering contests has helped me to grow as an artist by pushing me out of my comfort zone and challenging me to explore new ideas and techniques. Plus, the positive feedback and validation that comes from winning a contest or even just placing in one is a great motivator to keep going.
Farticles: Deck of Cards
permanent marker mixed media 32 x 36"
Your art practice seems to span across various mediums and formats. The work you entered for the Under the Sky exhibition for instance you created digital art. How do you approach creating for each medium, and what drives your decision to choose one over another?
My art practice spans across various mediums and formats, and I tend to approach each one differently. Recently, I invested in an iPad Pro, so I have been studying and experimenting with digital painting. This has made me lean towards this medium above others because of the convenience and versatility it offers. However, I am not attached to any medium and I'm always eager to try new techniques and experiment with different ways of creating art.
When it comes to choosing a medium for a particular project, I typically consider the subject matter and the emotional impact that I want to convey. For instance, when I created my work for the "Under the Sky" exhibition, I decided to create digital art for that project because I wanted to convey a sense of wonder and exploration associated with the vast landscape, and digital art gave me the flexibility to experiment with different colour palettes and lighting effects.
Ultimately, I don't think that any one medium is better than another: rather, it's about finding the right medium for the project at hand. I enjoy the process of exploring different mediums and discovering what unique qualities they bring to my artwork. This approach allows me to stay open-minded and flexible, and to continually push the boundaries of my art practice.
watercolour 14 x 20"
Collaborations can often lead to new and exciting ideas. Do you have any current or future collaborations in the works? What type of artists or creatives do you enjoy pairing your work with, and why?
I am very open to collaboration and believe that working with other artists and creatives can lead to exciting new ideas. However, now, I am unsure how to reach that point as I have a small network of artists around me and my work is not widely exposed. So, any suggestions or guidance on how to connect with potential collaborators would be highly appreciated.
Currently, I am working on building a board game from scratch with my partner and friend Sam, who is the co-creator of Farticles. He's a developer and an enthusiastic maker, and it has been a lot of fun diving into this new field together, with many new learnings and discoveries. We are both excited to see where this humble project takes us, and hopefully, we can share it with our audiences soon.
In terms of the type of artists or creatives that I enjoy pairing my work with, I am open to anyone who shares my passion for storytelling, creativity, and visual aesthetics. I believe that collaboration should be a two-way street, with both parties bringing their own unique perspectives and skills to the table and finding new ways to inspire and push each other creatively.
Overall, collaboration is an important part of my art practice, as it allows me to explore new ideas and approaches and learn from the experiences and perspectives of others.
digital 14 x 20"
You often incorporate humour and playfulness into your compositions. What do you believe is the importance of humour in art, and how do you use it to connect with your audience?
Humour and playfulness play a significant role in my art practice. I try to keep a positive attitude towards life despite facing many struggles along the way and this is the vibe that I often want to represent in my pieces. Overall, I think humour makes certain topics easier to tolerate and digest, including rough negative emotions, struggles, hard truths, taboo topics, and even poop jokes.
Additionally, I believe that humour and play have the power to make learning more engaging and entertaining. Even though my art is not explicitly educational, incorporating humour and play can make it more relatable to a wider audience and help them connect with the emotions and messages that I am trying to convey.
As someone with a child-like attitude, I find that humour and playfulness come naturally to me, and I enjoy exploring how far I can push my artwork in terms of weirdness and quirkiness. However, I also appreciate feedback from my audience to see how well my humour and playfulness are received, to make sure that my work still resonates with people in a meaningful way.
Overall, I believe that humour is an important element in art, as it can bring levity to difficult subjects and help connect people to the emotions and messages that the artist is trying to convey.
digital 14 x 20"
There seems to be a strong narrative thread running through your work. Drawings & illustrations that capture memories and highlight quirks like your early foray into sales with your sister at flea markets. Can you speak about this observation?
There is a strong narrative thread that runs through my artwork, as I am fascinated by the power of storytelling and the human experience. Many of my drawings and illustrations capture memories and highlight quirks from my own life, such as my early foray into sales with my sister at flea markets.
To me, art has always been a way to process and make sense of my own experiences and emotions, and I believe that by sharing my personal stories and perspectives, I can create a deeper connection with my audience. Even though I sometimes experience existential crisis and self-doubt, I still appreciate and accept the past that I have lived and want to share my own unique view of the world with others.
Ultimately, if I were to die now, I would be content knowing that some of my stories were told, but I would love to live long enough to share even more of them. It's through my art that I hope to create a legacy and contribute something meaningful to the world.
In conclusion, storytelling and personal narratives are a central part of my art practice, as they allow me to connect with my audience on a deeper level and share my experiences in a creative and visually compelling way.
© 2023 COPYRIGHT retained by Lydia Law Li