Born to Chinese parents in Yorkshire, Chrissy Lau grew up in a family that runs Chinese takeaways. She’s highly skilled with a wok and, if you’ve ever seen a cookery program where the wok is alight and the chef is flipping food up in the air – well, she can do that.
However, her pen and ink skills are even more impressive. She’s been a freelance illustrator since 2002 and has developed a bold-yet-intricate style that’s perfect for fashion, beauty and lifestyle work. It was a big commission from Orange that enabled her to travel from the UK to Australia, which is where she met her husband. Now settled in Sydney, she loves gardening and growing her own herbs, tomatoes, oranges and lemons.
Chrissy has been drawing ever since she could hold a pen and during her career has designed stamps, coins and textiles as well as taking on all kinds of editorial projects.
Whenever Chrissy sees something that sparks her imagination, she takes a snap and adds it to her library of reference images. Her compositions are quite fluid but she usually starts with a focal point and from there it’s an organic process as she adds line upon line building up the image and its textures. Dashes of colour are added digitally.
Chrissy’s work is full of detailed patterns and intricate line work, and often includes a lot of hair. The black line work is brought to life with a dash of colour. Her Chinese heritage inspires her, but there’s also a twist of surrealism and quirkiness.