Zhu Li is a awesome artist from China whose works can really bring us a refresh feeling.
At work, he is a concept designer who brings others’ ideas into vivid pictures; off work, he is a creative artist having fun in the worlds he created for himself. This humble artist told us that he wasn’t really trying to tell something special through his works, but we see stories in them. Follow us on the interview and see what’s in ZhuLi’s mind and the insight he would love to share!

Q1. Thank you for taking up the interview first. We don’t have much information about you, could you introduce yourself a bit to us?

Hi everybody! I am Zhu Li from China. When I was little I was made to attend drawing class by my parents because they didn’t know what to do with me, and that’s when I began to draw. Right now I am an Concept Designer.

Q2. Your pieces present an ethereal and imaginative feeling. Where do you get your inspiration? Chinese myths for example?

When talking about my inspiration, I think mostly it’s because my curiosity about everything and accumulation of mysterious things during my days. Since I was a kid, I have always loved fairy tales, and I was always curious about the things described in those books, then I would form a picture in my head of what they should be like. Along the years, these pieces helped to create my unique way of seeing the world. Surely there are something to share about how I come up with an idea during my creation. Let’s say a piece featuring a simple character, I would first take some time to imagine what’s the character’s profession, race or gender, and what his or her world is like. That’s how to gain recognition from the audience, to believe your character really exists in some kind of space. Then I would create a background that best suits the character.

Q3. What kind of style you are trying to present through your artworks? How would you describe them?

I always create something that I enjoy when I’m not working. Actually there isn’t anything that I want to express specifically, it’s my passion for anything related to magic or si-fi. More could be done to improve my works, I still have difficulty in creating the very world that existed in my head. I am still trying hard and experimenting, hopefully I get better just through learning and communicating with others.

Q4. What are the tools you use? And normally what’s the process when creating a piece?

I normally use Photoshop through my work, of course I made some brushes that I personally find useful. As to my work, other than what I have mentioned above about ideas, I would take the popular way, to sketch the draft first, then color it. This is how a not-so-skillful artist can handle the overall image of the picture easily and create the mood he wants. Using this method, you can change the original color, lights and shadows of the objects while not destroying the elements of the image. What worth mention is it can form some kind of balanced color naturally, this is really sweet for someone who’s still learning, you should try that!

Q5. Did you self-taught all the skills needed for your creation or did you go to some sort of school for that? And when did everything begin?

I really don’t have a good command of all the techniques and skills, what I do is focus endlessly on details except finishing few elements using brushes. Most of my knowledge about drawing came form books, Internet and through communicating and learning from those in the field, if not counting what I learnt from the drawing class when I was a kid. From the moment I could understand comic, I have started to create works of my own. I stumbled a little bit through the process, then I slowly realized the importance of some theories. At the moment I am trying to present the world and colors I want to show everybody using lights and shadows. Let’s all keep going!