Lea Woo coaxes subtle polarities from her illustrated interactions. Centering on women in moments of quiet affection and admiration, the renderings contrast a vintage style with modern subjects and a largely soft color palette with spots of bolder hues. “Red, a frequently used tone in my works, represents bravery and boldness and green a close relationship with mother nature,” she shares. Grainy, paper-like textures add to the retro feel of the scenes, which convey a warm tenderness between people and the birds, fish, and cats around them.
Based between Shanghai and Hangzhou, Woo draws stark distinctions between her personal works and commissions—recent collaborators include Burberry and The New Yorker. For the latter, she tends to start with a sketch that captures the directive, while other projects are more instinctive. “I open my heart for all possibilities and unexpected ‘accidents,’” the artist tells Colossal. “I collect and save my daily doodles and pictures I took for future use. With less set-ups, more random arrangements, I find it so much fun to freely combine different elements and they turned out to be harmoniously together at the end.”
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