Lisk Feng's Sketchbooks

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday August 23, 2017

The 2017 Summer Invitational: Pimp Your Sketchbook, in which artists show their personal work and open a window onto their creative process, continues with Lisk Feng, who lives and works in Queens, New York.

Sketchbooks play a big role in my daily brainstorming process. I have kept several sketchbooks for different purposes, small ones used mainly for train rides and coffee shop time, larger ones mostly for coloring and inking experiments. When I taught at the University of the Arts this year, I told my students that sketching is the most important thing to do in addition to the curriculum subjects. 


I like to keep my sketching process very playful—loose and relaxed—moments without overthinking. My colorful markers and pencils are right on my desk so that I can grab them for doodling at any time. Sometimes sketching is a brilliant way of warming up before going to my assignments.

Working on finished pieces for editorial projects sometimes burns out my creativity. No matter how hard I brainstorm, good ideas don’t always easily pop up. Whenever this happens, I go to my sketchbooks, which I keep organized by the years I created them, flip through and try to find something interesting as an inspiration. Sometimes I just start doodling on a new page; it helps me forget about being stuck and to focus on creating something fun.


Inspiration is like little pieces of paper flying around in your head. You have to jump and catch them through doodling and writing. Otherwise, they will fly away. Sketching is more like collaging, putting together fragments of ideas—its like a perfect "me time."  

There is one thing I want to do more of, which is drawing from life. Working as a freelancer 24/7 with tons of daily obligations, it is a bit hard to often leave my studio. I wish I could more often have a peaceful afternoon sitting in a beautiful park drawing birds, trees, and people. 

Lisk Feng is an awardwinning illustrator who is originally from China, and now become a New York based freelance illustrator. She graduated from MFA Illustration Practice from Maryland institute College of Art in 2014, and at the same time received some awards such as Society of illustrators, Communication Arts, 3X3 Student Award Silver Medal, 3X3 Children's Book Honorable mentioned, 3X3 Silver Medal, American Illustration [chosen winner, selected winner and annual], Adobe Design Award Semi-final, AOI Illustration Awards(UK) shortlist etc.


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