Lisk Feng is an award-winning illustrator who is originally from China and now become a New York-based freelance illustrator.
She graduated from MFA Illustration Practice from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2014, and at the same time received some awards such as Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators, ADC Young Gun Winner 2017, Communication Arts Excellence Award, 3X3 Silver Medal, 3X3 Childrens Book Honorable mentioned, 3X3 Silver Medal, American Illustration chosen winner, selected winner and annual, Adobe Design Award Semi-final, AOI Illustration Awards(UK) shortlist etc. She published several childrens books with Nobrow Flying Eye Books, Abrams, Kids Can Press and so on, and has many editorial illustrations published by different magazines and newspapers.
Interview by Dominique Musorrafiti
China-Underground: How did you realize that being an illustrator would be your profession?
Lisk Feng: I love books, and I love to see my creations on paper media, after doing the illustrator job for a little bit, I figured doing illustration is something deeply from my passion, to illustrate narratively whimsical pieces for the audience. I enjoy it every minute.
How did you start? What was your starting point?
When I was little, around ten years old, I started to read a lot of comics and manga and thought of being one of them, that was where I began to draw. My grandfather also painted a door black in our backyard, so that I could pull with chalks on the door, no matter how messy I want to get, they always cleaned after me. Around middle school, I began to use Intuos to draw on a computer; I found it more interesting than any other games. When I got better at drawing with the digital tools, I had a blog at that moment which accidentally got favorite, so my works got published by some of the most important magazines to showcase my works and blog, I was sixteen at that moment, and decided to become an illustrator.
“I always thought illustrations (especially cool ones) are personal. The article is about information wave in the universe, and I did the sky and some other coloring on the character, jun did the rest. I will remember the brainstorming process forever, very happy and creative.” Itsnicethat
Fantasy and reality. Which one is the main inspiration for your illustration?
I would say both, I look outside of my window a lot when I was young, and noticed the smallest sprouts and the most tin blossoms. I look at the world-changing every day too, smell the wind, listening to the trees, etc. Fantasy is kind of important, because you get to bring original stories from your life, and build a world around your own stories.
What better focus your personality, in your creations?
Happiness and joy.
Do the colors of your illustration also express your moods?
A lot. The color from my work changes with the weather too.
Lisk Feng illustrations have a unique charm, they are full of magic, and happiness. She drawing whimsical fantasy and playful world, that will bright you up and you will immediately fall in love with her warm and joyful characters.
What emotions do you try to inspire?
Always very optimistic. I like warm sunshine, and outdoor places, so I love to create an environment like that for my characters.
Being based in New York has changed your way of being inspired and being creative?
New York is full of creative people and abundant artistic events; it helps me thinking and absorbing new information from other artists.
The food and my family.
Client List: Apple, United Nation, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The LA Times, Chanel, WWF, Pentagram, The Boston Globe, Penguin, Daniel Wellington, Macmillan, Psyop, TED, Kids Can Press, Esquire, The Atlantic Magazine, Atlanta Magazine, Wired, etc.
Photos courtesy of Lisk Feng