Illustrator Audrey He builds fantasy worlds out of love, beauty and dreams

The illustrator from Shanghai and New York is a formidable talent who graduated from Tsinghua and Cambridge University. Drawing on influences as broad as literature, psychology and her degree in economic management, she has created illustrations for the fashion brand Modern Beijing and several newspapers, books and magazines.

Audrey worked digitally and tried to capture a feeling or a certain atmosphere in her illustrations. “Color is my best friend,” she tells Creative Boom. “I try to stay more expressive by using hand-crafted brushstrokes to convey emotions. I believe imperfect makes perfect.”

Being born into a loving family that encouraged Audrey to pursue her creative ambitions is evident in her work, with many critics describing it as optimistic, romantic and emotional. “My main sources of inspiration come from either my knowledge and values ​​of the world or my memories and feelings from earlier in life.

“And that’s how I like to build my ‘fantasy world’. In short, the fantasy world in my illustrations is made of love, beauty, faith, dreams and hope. It is a high concentration of the best moments and brightest sides of our lives.”

This does not mean that Audrey is naively oblivious to the dark sides of life or that she wants to make them too beautiful. Instead, she feels that these gloomy feelings can be inferred from her art, whether it’s a woman looking wistfully out a window or a series of clouds exaggerating and changing shape. “I just try to stay aloof and subdued,” she explains. “I try to see the world as it is and to love it.”

She adds: “We all experience ups and downs, but we never give up hope. I always cherish my life and the world, and I hope that my artworks can soothe and heal both readers and myself, especially when we are suffering. “

Armed with a manner of words and a keen eye for art, Audrey has three metaphors that she uses to process thoughts and feelings in times of suffering. The first is that thoughts are like clouds, which explains their recurring appearance in her illustrations. “Sometimes too many clouds create temporary gloom,” she explains.

“But if we just sit quietly and patiently on a bench in a garden and watch them come and go without judgment, we would find that the crystal clear sky is always there after the clouds have cleared.”

Second, she claims that thoughts are like a wild horse. “To tame and calm them, we may have to loosen the reins and win the horse little by little by handling it gently and patiently.” Finally, she says that if our minds are too busy, we should “put them in separate luggage bags and just let them go”.

It is a comforting outlook on life and one that is encapsulated in her art in both style and substance. And if you want to enjoy Audrey’s comforting art and philosophy at home or on the go, be sure to check out the prints and merchandise in her online shop.

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