From a place of child-like wonder and finding inspiration from a creative spark, artist Shu Pi creates intricate illustrations that bring life to storybooks.
The name Shu Pi is one that she chose for herself, based on an artistic twist to her given Chinese name. Thinking back, what started her on this path of artistic expression was mainly her brother, whose house filled with artistic supplies opened new doors in her life. Today, Shu Pi creates multimedia pieces using various materials, including watercolor, markers, color pencils, ink, crayons and more. In her creative process, she combines the best of each material to draw characters and landscapes. In the same way, she takes inspiration from little pieces of good she sees in different people, breathing life into her work.
Shu Pi draws a lot of inspiration from people. Although she has adjusted to working in cafes this year because of COVID-19, her preferred workspace is where there is a constant flow of people. Occasionally, Shu Pi likes to draw a specific passerby.
The way Shu Pi sees it, art flows naturally from instantaneous sparks of inspiration. Her creative process perfectly reflects this idea. “When my pencil first touches the paper, I don’t have a clear idea of what I want to draw yet; the lines come first, then I figure out what I want to draw as I go.” From this, Shu Pi’s advice for struggling artists is to keep creating and going out to explore the world. She firmly believes that as you see and learn more about the world around you, your ability to express yourself through art will also grow.
Another source of inspiration for Shu Pi is her surroundings. Recently, in a visit to her grandma’s home, she made a few pictures of the neighborhood, trying to capture and convey the peace that she felt at the moment.
On a regular day, Shu Pi spends no less than 10 hours with her pen on paper. She spends a lot of her day teaching children aged 11 and older to make digital illustrations like hers. Overall, she sees her illustration work as a hobby rather than a job. However, this year, despite COVID-19, she has managed to publish a book that is currently available for purchase online. Besides illustrating books, she has also done a lot of fun, miscellaneous design work, including making posters for a real estate company, a logo for a restaurant, and some art for a cafe.
Shu Pi’s short-term goals include becoming an excellent teacher to her students and perfecting her illustrations for the four books she is currently working on. In the long term, her goal is to immerse herself into art and draw every day.
The amount of time, energy and hard work that Shu Pi has imbued into her art are clear as day. Her creative process brings art out of the ordinary. According to her, this is all possible through devotion and practice!