Artist Spotlight: Lillian Lai

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For this month’s Artist Spotlight we talked to Lillian, a long-time Kickstart team member who’s currently doing art direction for Hatchimals. You can check out her work on her Instagram or her fancy website.

Tell us about your personal project.
I used to always have ongoing projects with some sort of goal or practice. These days I am mentally tired after work and freelance. I don't force myself to draw and instead when I do, I focus on drawing for pleasure! This way I hope drawing continues to be fun and not burn me out. Currently I draw comics of everyday thoughts that pop into my head that I think might be funny. Whenever someone tells me it made them laugh, it makes me happy! Fan art has also been a big thing Ive been drawing a lot of this year haha.

What’s your favourite 2-3 colour combination?
There are too many colours to choose! I love colour! I don't have a favourite colour combination but my personal favourite colour is teal.

Can you think of a particular moment when you realized you wanted to be an art director?
I remember when I realized when I wanted to try art direction. I attended a lecture on leadership and realized that leadership is a skill that can be learned and practiced just like any other. Before that, I had never thought of myself capable or inherently a person who could lead. After that, it became something I was interested in challenging myself with.

What is the highlight of your career so far?
Every time I do something that I was scared, nervous or uncomfortable to do is an accomplishment for me, big or small :)

What are you trying to improve in your work?
Artists can relate, but we are forever trying to improve ourselves and are never truly 100% happy with our work. There are many areas that I know are not my strengths and I would love to improve them. Right now, I'm more focused on improving more of my soft skills! I have a lot to learn and hope to keep improving!

What’s your idea of the perfect Sunday?
This is Sunday where I don't have any appointments, work or obligations. The house is already sparkling clean and there are no errands that need to be run. This is a Sunday where I've woken up semi-early and rested. Ive worked out and am feeling good about myself. Lots of delicious food is eaten! No matter what I end up doing, I would be taking the time to feel grateful and appreciative!

What is your most memorable non-animation job?
My very first job was at a 24-hour gas station. I remember the joy of my first paycheque! We sold lottery tickets and had many regulars who would come in to play. I once checked the ticket of a man who won $250,000. I congratulated him and he tipped me $20. For someone working $6/hr, that was a lot to me! He didn't need to tip the kid who scanned his ticket, but I appreciated his small kindness!

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What have you consumed lately that inspired you to create—podcast, tv, movie, music?
I love reading books! I am constantly borrowing from the library or spending my money away! The stories, the visualization, I love it!

What’s on your work playlist?
I have to admit it's a lot of pop because I love a good bop to give me energy to keep going!

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