Embracing New Beginnings: Lily Kong’s Rituals for Creativity
In our conversation with Lily Kong, the London-based artist and illustrator hailing from Hong Kong invites us into her enchanting work inspired by playfulness and joyful shapes. Apart from gaining insight into her rituals for embracing the magic of new beginnings, Kong also reveals the unexpected artistic delights that have blossomed from her return to paper-led canvases.
Can you share a specific ritual or practice that helps you embrace the essence of "the magic of the beginning" in your creative work?
“There are moments I want to make a new beginning in my creative journey. It usually involves a lot of self-reflection and self-critique, as artists always do! That’s when I would revisit my old notes, little sketches and phone photos. I try to get inspired by the things that I already noticed but haven’t had the chance to develop yet. The beauty of making something new is the excitement that gets me to start making again.”
In the meantime, I keep an inky pen and a notebook with me everywhere I go, even grocery shopping.
I take notes of the things I find interesting and jot them down immediately whenever I can.
I once read about a ritual that asks creatives to treat inspirations like catching the wind.
Can you reflect on a memorable moment where the act of starting a new illustration on paper led to an unexpected and enchanting artistic outcome?
“I work on digital media a lot. Going back to paper-led canvas was both challenging and joyous. I played around with different types of paint, shades of colours, thickness of layering paint and various pencil textures. The process was playful and nostalgic. I found the pure joy of making something I love and the good intention of why I wanted to be an artist in the first place. I love making art! And I think that’s the magic of the beginning in a creative journey.”
I found the pure joy of making something I love and the good intention of why I wanted to be an artist in the first place. I love making art!
And I think that’s the magic of the beginning in a creative journey.
As an artist collaborating with Arctic Paper, how does working with high quality and environmentally friendly paper enhance your creative process?
I have been a big fan of Arctic Paper for a long time. I make a lot of work about the Climate Crisis and prompts on caring for the environment, which leads me to using consciously-made materials like Arctic Paper. The silky smooth surface, bright colour and the feel of the paper are great for drawing, printing, painting and writing. For example, I have been using Munken Paper for a lot of my Risograph prints in the past few years and they are wonderful.
Lily Kong is an illustrator and artist who spends most of her time drawing and exploring the subject of joy in her creative work. Originally from Hong Kong, Lily is now based in London. This series of work centres around playfulness and bubbly shapes. She takes inspiration from clouds, rounded canopy and chubby dogs and their cheerful movements.