Based in Beijing, Hao Hao majored in stage design at the city’s Central Academy of Drama but her passion for painting has led to a highly successful career in illustration. However, that sense of space and drama honed while studying theatre carries over into her artwork where a deft use of scale, poses and exaggeration gives her images a unique edge.
Inspiration for Hao Hao comes from nature, with plants, flowers, stars and the moon often appearing in her work.
Painting digitally using Photoshop and Procreate, Hao Hao works with graphic forms and negative space for a bold composition, often inviting the viewer to fill in part of the story for themselves. She likes a warm, calm palette to set the tone.
Hao Hao works in a classic, abstract style which makes her work perfect for editorial, publishing and advertising projects. Her flat, elongated characters have a strong graphic presence whether they’re leaping into the sky or sitting in the corner quietly musing to themselves.
Question: What led you to become an illustrator? Hao: I like drawing and have a strong desire to express myself, but I am introverted, so I use the form of illustration to make my own voice heard, this feeling is very wonderful!Question: Did you study illustration in college? Hao: I majored in stage art design in college, and there will be drawing and oil painting courses.Question: Where did you grow up? Hao: Beijing, ChinaQuestion: Do you have a studio pet? Hao: Yes, I have a cat, 6 years old, whose name is DaliQuestion: How do you get your ideas? Hao: Observe people and imagine the stories that will happen to themQuestion: How much of your work is hand drawn? Hao: Most of my works are done in Photoshop, and a few are hand-painted for daily practice.Question: Who is your music hero? Hao: Coldplay and The LifeJourney ?Listening to their music while working can be very exciting!Question: Who is your design hero? Hao: Wang Zhi-hong, his design is accurate and elegant!Question: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be? Hao: Maybe I'm the owner of a florist or a dessert shop, Plants are vibrant and chocolate is a mood modulator.Question: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Hao: Don't be impatient, don't stop.Question: How would someone who knows you well describe you? Hao: Optimistic, detailed and forthright.Question: What is your go-to comfort food? Hao: Chocolate!Question: What movie can you watch over and over? Hao: Wall-EQuestion: What do you do when you have creative block? Hao: Stop, do something completely unrelated, and let my mind rest until I feel like picking up the brush again.Question: What is your favourite quote? Hao: There is a crack in everything,That's how the light gets in. ——Leonard Cohen