A few years ago, I was absolutely obsessed with Van Gogh so much so that my uncle bought me his biography, Van Gogh: The Life (I still haven’t finished it). While searching for all things Van Gogh, I came across A Little Drawer, Rita. I don’t remember which of her pieces first kidnapped my interest but to that piece, I owe my gratitude.
For a while, I admired Rita’s work from afar (literally, she’s based in Hong Kong) until I was suddenly possessed by an idea for a new tattoo design. She wondered that I’d trust her with a tattoo design even after learning she’s never designed a tattoo before but I insisted my trust was genuine. That and I find I’m fairly easy-to-please when it comes to appreciating art. If I like it, I like it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Our commission-exchange is over but from it evolved a friendship. She even sent me a postcard (that she drew and printed!) for the holiday season. (I love mail.)
I figured if I like Rita and her art, maybe you will, too, so here she is, in her own words:
Why did you choose drawing as your mode of self-expression?
I really like the endless possibilities in the world of painting. I also enjoy the process of creation. It is not me who choose to paint, it is the paint that chooses me. And apart from painting, I really enjoy the waiting time for the drying of the paint!
In addition to expressing myself, I would like to bring a little happiness and warmth to my hometown. Hong Kong is experiencing severe difficulties nowadays. I hope that my paintings will bring some warming power to Hong Kong people. Although my strength is little, I hope I can make a contribution to society.
What are some other mediums you want to experiment with?
I have always wanted to make ceramics because I like collecting cups and saucers. Whenever I go traveling, I would buy a cup or a mug as a souvenir. I hope I can make my own cup one day.
How does your art help you grow?
The arts have always occupied an important position in my heart. When I was a child, I liked to paint on paper with colored pens. From primary school, secondary school to university, I always chose art-related subjects. Now I am an illustrator. I really like a quotation from Vincent Van Gogh that “I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.” Art brings me dreams, and it makes me more meticulous in observing everything in life. I believe that art comes from life, and I am still learning every day.
When creating art for yourself, what do you do to keep self-doubt at bay?
I have encountered many difficulties in these two years working as a freelance illustrator. There were times that I doubted myself. But it is these doubts that make me want to change the world and do everything positively because I know that I like painting very much.
What about when creating commissions?
I really look forward to the process of commissions even though I am nervous. I am worried that my clients are not satisfied with the final product sometimes. But I am very fortunate that most of my clients gave me a lot of encouragement and freedom to paint and they liked my work very much.
What has been the most-random source of inspiration? Or, in other words, where was the most unexpected place you have found inspiration?
The bathroom! I often get inspiration while taking a shower. I also often walk down the street to observe what is happening around me. I find many interesting things doing that.
Does it surprise you that you inspire others?
Honestly, I never thought that I could inspire other people. I have always insisted on doing what I love, and I believe that if you do something with your heart, someone will definitely see it.
How do you hope your art will evolve?
I have a series of illustrations that were inspired after traveling. For example, I went to Iceland last year and the landscape was unforgettable. I hope I can travel to more foreign lands around the world to see people. My advice to any artist is to enrich your experience by traveling and use your own brush to record every unique place!
Thankfully, my conversations with Rita aren’t quite over. I still have to get that tattoo she’s designed for me but in the meantime, you can browse her shop A Little Drawer on Pinkoi. Feel free to keep a piece of her art in your personal museums. You can also follow her on Instagram @ALittleDrawer. Tell her I sent you!
some fun facts about Rita, A Sagittarius born in the Year of the Pig and she may or may not own too many mugs.