Worthy of the name

Worthy of the name

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edmond so
Photo: Edmond So

Local illustrator urges young artists to work hard and not be discouraged when their creations are changed, writes Wong Yat-hei

Lio Beardsley may have a name that sounds foreign but she is 100 per cent local. She adopted the last name Beardsley to show her appreciation for Aubrey Beardsley, a 19th-century English artist who she has idolised since she was a little girl.

As a child, Beardsley's favourite hobbies were drawing and reading comics.

When she was 12, her uncle gave her an album of Aubrey Beardsley's work, which captivated her. 'Aubrey Beardsley's works are special and left a deep impression in my mind. I liked her so much that I decided to use Lio Beardsley as my English name,' she says.

In 2004, she caught the attention of renowned fashion designer Anna Sui after winning a competition. And soon she was drawing for Sui and other famous brands.

It's often said that working for brand names is the death of an artist's creativity. Their fabulous work can be ruined by clients who have all the say.

Beardsley admits it can be very disheartening for young artists to see their creations 'tweaked'. But they should not be discouraged, she says.

The only way for artists to show their ability is through hard work, Beardsley believes.

'In life there are no shortcuts. Hard work pays off. When I first started on my job, nobody knew me and I had very little say. You have to gain your clients' trust with your work,' she says.

'I believe if you have the talent and are dedicated, sooner or later your ability will be recognised. To be successful, you need to try to do everything to the best of your ability, be honest, sincere and put your heart and soul [into your work].'

Beardsley knows what she is talking about - her success is largely built on hard work. And she is always on the lookout for inspiration.

'I read a lot,' she says. 'I look at other artists' work, I take note of whatever is interesting on the street or even something I bought may spark an idea. I never run out of ideas. All I have to worry about is putting the ideas together.'

Beardsley says she is blessed to have a job in which she is truly interested.

It is not surprising that animals are the most common characters in her artworks. Beardsley, who owns five cats, hopes to spread the message of animal protection and bring happiness to people through her illustrations.

To see Lio Beardsley's work, visit the exhibition at the World Trade Centre in Causeway Bay. It ends on April 25

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