Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Featured Artist: Lisa Chow

Today’s guest artist is Lisa Chow, a Houston-based illustrator who has turned her art making into her own business. I fell in love with her cute and playful patterns at the Austin Renegade Craft Fair, and she has graciously shared her story with us.

A: What’s your background? When did you really get into art? Do you have formal training, or are you self-taught?

L: I have been drawing and painting since childhood. One of my earliest memories are of my crayon family portraits drawn onto my childhood home's living room walls (sorry Mom!). Elementary, middle, and high school days were filled with art classes, art clubs, and art competitions. But when it came time to choose a career, I traded in my paintbrushes for a business degree and worked in information technology for a few years. I found myself unsatisfied with my desk job and I began drifting back towards art. It has been a slow transition but I am now a full-time, self-taught artist and illustrator. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

A: What (or who) are your inspirations?

L: My favorite sources of inspiration are children's stories and movies. Currently: Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom and Fantastic Mr. Fox. Always and Forever: Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland

watercolor painting of a girl

A: How did you get started designing patterns?

L: I really wanted to see my drawings used in different applications, especially as gift wrap and on fabric. Patterns naturally followed.

A: How does your medium influence your work?

L: Watercolors can be beautifully soft and sheer and delicate. All three things I strive for in my work.

watercolor pattern designthin watercolor stripes

A: Can you please describe your work process?

L: Everything starts with an idea and a sketch. Once I'm happy with a sketch, I will transfer the image onto nice paper. Then it's onto coloring, shading, outlining and magic making.

writing tools on a sketchbook
gems bows candy stars butterflies flowers treble pattern

If I am creating a pattern, I will then scan the image into Photoshop to touch up. Then import the image into Illustrator and play around until I have the pattern just right. I'm still fine tuning this process and learning more each new day but it's definitely fun.

making a pattern in adobe illustrator

A: What are your essential tools?

L: A mechanical pencil, a kneaded eraser, smooth hot pressed watercolor paper and watercolors. 

sketches of swimmers

A: Anything else you’d like to share?

L: I am finally making some progress into getting my designs onto fabric. Stay tuned! (And cross your fingers for me!)

A: Will do! Thanks for sharing, Lisa!

In addition to her pattern designs, Lisa also creates many beautiful illustrations. Her cards, giftwrap, and paper goods are offset printed (I love this) so the imagery is crisp and high quality. Be sure to visit Lisa’s fantastic website to check them out, and be sure to like her facebook page.