Tuesday, August 9, 2011

An Interview with New Member An Li Liu

by An Li of An Li Studio

Hello Boston Handmade community! I just became a member last month, so in this inaugural post, I will introduce myself. It’s nice to be here.

BH: Tell us a bit about yourself.
AnLiLiu: My name is An Li Liu, and I’m from Toronto, Canada, and after a good deal of traveling and living briefly in Vancouver, BC (that’s like a second home since my parents live there), I now reside in Cambridge, MA with my partner Barun.

BH: What is your background?
AnLiLiu: I majored in Cinema Studies and Religion at the University of Toronto, and after completing a program in New Media Design, worked in the field for a handful of years. I have always been involved with art and making things – my mother and brother are both fantastic artists. When I was young, my mom taught me how to mix colors, and when I eventually met artsy friends, we’d make paintings together as an evening activity. I only recently began to focus on my artwork as a business, which is evolving into t-shirt designs and other graphic work. When I’m not busy in my art studio, you’ll find me in a yoga studio around town both teaching and taking classes. I’ve been a practitioner for nearly a decade and began teaching over a year ago.

BH: Can you describe your work?
AnLiLiu: I’ve always loved cutting and pasting, and made collages like crazy many years back. I’d use images from magazines, and found objects as well. I stopped making art for a long period of time and focused on digital work. I realized how much I missed working in the physical/tactile domain, and returned to it with gusto. Now I utilize digital illustration as part of my collage-making process by translating these illustrations onto hand-painted paper, and then using them in compositions. I love my x-acto knife.

My t-shirts designs are made with a combination of hand-cut stencils and silkscreening. It makes for a clean, simple process. I use only water-based, solvent-free inks, and no chemical cleaners whatsoever.

BH: What's your favorite color?
AnLiLiu: I’m a big fan of all sorts of colors. I’ve spent a lot of time in South Asia, and wild color combinations are everywhere there – from clothing, temples, and trucks, to the plethora of hand-painted signs. It’s wacky, mesmorizing, and amazing. But at the same time, I’m also partial to simple, clean design, so it’s a bit of a paradox, but I think it can make for an interesting aesthetic.

BH: What inspires you, and where do your ideas come from?
I’m inspired by all the surroundings I encounter. I really do enjoy nature; as trite as it may sound, it is an endless source of stimuli for the imagination. Needless to say, I’m a fan of the Planet Earth series, and other David Attenborough nature documentaries. I also love the the beautiful films of Peter Greenaway and technicolor wonderland of Pedro Almodavar, as well as mind-bending writers like Jorge Borges and Haruki Murakami.

BH: Any tips on selling handmade stuff?
AnLiLiu: Please impart any tips you may have! I’m a novice to selling online. I only began late this spring. I’m trying to balance varying tasks: designing, making, marketing, and selling one’s own work. I’m not a very natural self-promoter, so that’s the hardest part for me. So far, I’ve gotten some really positive support on Etsy (I also sell on Supermarket), and that’s been really helpful when you’re just starting out!There are so many great things about selling online, but I’m happy and eager to find a local community to share my arty/crafty life.

BH: Where can we check out more of your work?
AnLiLiu: I’ll make a list!

Website: www.anliliu.com
Online shops: Etsy, Supermarkethq
Brick and mortar: Sarida -- a sweet, newly opened artist-run shop Roslindale.

Do check out my blog and of course Facebook


  1. Thanks for sharing this great self-interview. Looking forward to meeting - welcome to Boston Handmade!

  2. Welcome to the group! Looking forward to meeting you in person soon.

  3. Thanks! Looking forward to meeting you all:)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...