Lisa Ha spreads joy with her delightfully colourful and whimsical illustrations
London-based illustrator and designer Lisa Ha seeks out the positives in the world with her joyful artwork that focuses on "exploring ideas and bringing them to life with imagery."
Sometimes the world can feel like a bit much. The news can easily bring you down, and even the escape from social media can trigger all sorts of unwanted feelings. That doesn't mean everything's all doom and gloom, though. There's plenty to feel happy about if you look hard enough. In fact, you don't need to look much further than the work of Lisa Ha.
Brought to life with beautifully-textured washes, Lisa's illustrations are a lovely reminder of the joy that can be found in the world. Depicting everything from cities to portraits to strawberries, her art is infused with a reassuring glow and a sense that everything is going to be okay.
"I've always loved art and have enjoyed experimenting with colours, paints, and all types of mediums," Lisa tells Creative Boom. "Although I trained as an architect, I've always been itching to do work that allows more creative freedom. Over time, my occasional artistic pursuits have evolved into a full-on illustration adventure. I continue to learn every day and find the process fascinating."
Lisa's illustrations are Inspired by an eclectic mix of artists, including the likes of Judith Kerr, Studio Ghibli, Salvador Dali and Camille Pissarro. And the one thing they all have in common? They create playful, colourful artwork that brings her joy. " But I'm also fascinated by pieces that have deeper meanings, even if they may appear simple at first glance," she adds.
Her emphasis on everything upbeat comes as no surprise when Lisa reveals that she is a generally positive person. "I find that creating positive artwork is a way to take a break from all the negative news and information that circulates in the world today," she explains. "Even if it's just a small dose, I hope to bring some form of happiness to those who view my work."
This enthusiasm carries over into what Lisa chooses to illustrate. Her portfolio is filled with people and emotions, as well as plants and food, simply because these things bring her happiness, and she wants to bring this fascination to life through art. "These things also play a big part in our lives, and finding a way to express this is a constant joy," she adds.
As well as focusing on joy, Lisa also uses images to create engaging narratives. These are usually inspired by people, places and emotions as they help to from the stories of her artwork. "With this in mind, I consider how colours, textures, and shapes can introduce form into a blank canvas. My process often begins with loose sketching on Procreate, and from there, I experiment with colour and brushes. Regardless of the subject matter, I view a blank canvas as a means of self-expression and an opportunity to express my thoughts in the moment of illustrating."
Lisa's favourite example of her narratives in action is the Through Nature's Lens project, which she worked on early last year. "The narrative I wanted to convey was about looking towards the future and focusing on what lies ahead," she reveals. "This is a message that I remind myself of every day!"
And as for what she's working on at the minute, Lisa is currently searching for new ways to expand the narratives in her artwork. "I'm pursuing personal projects that enable me to further explore the craft and delve deeper into design and illustration," she concludes.