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The inspiration behind my illustration

By Gemma Zhang

More than just a pastime


Where my love of drawing began


Drawing has always been a special subject for me since I was a child. People around me called me "a little painter" and my young heart used to cry out, "One day, I will be a painter..." 


If I were to have a specific type of OCD, that would definitely be Obsessive Compulsive Drawing. The smell of paints and paper is something that brings a smile to my face a lot; it reminds me of the lovely ink drawing classes I took with my art teacher when I was six years old. I remember admiring the masterpieces that he hung on the wall. I still blend the techniques I learned then into my drawing today.


Like many others during our years growing up, there would be one or two talents that eventually got left behind. My childhood aspiration of becoming a painter was gradually washed away by reality. And it was then eventually substituted with my passion towards design.


But no matter what has happened in my life, my OCD has never stopped. Even though I love my job designing every day, illustration has remained the perfect "escape" and provided a sweet gateway to a different realm. In my spare time, I often pick up my paint brush or iPad to naturally create something, from doodles of characters to plants and landscapes.


Illustration is ultimately an addiction that makes me happy and now I am planning to share my work with the public more often.



The ideas behind some recent work:


Chrome Girl 



This illustration is loosely based on an abstract concept of exploration and creation, where the character emerges from the substance on the ground and looks afar with a pocket telescope.






This is one of a few lockdown illustrations during the early days of quarantine. I created this illustration as most of us are staying at home and only feeling the changing seasons from our window.



Coffee at Dusk



How about a cup of hot cappuccino to wrap up the day? I tried to give the rising steam a magical quality to show its warming power, echoed by the willow branches behind.



36 Days of Type 2020 - Number 9



A part of the Adobe 36 Days of Type challenge. The concept was to visualise a mystical fox from eastern folk tales in the form of the number nine.



36 Days of Type 2019 - V for Valley 



An animated landscape revealing a V-shape in between the gaps of the mountains. The scenery was created using mixed media, partially painted in watercolour and then digitalised.



Mermaid at Home



This is a spin-off piece I came up with during the Mermay challenge , hence the girl in the illustration is wrapped in a mermaid throw. I wanted to create something that relates to people at this current time, for example binge-watching in a cosy home environment. I’ve been sketching up a few others inspired by lockdown activities, for example exercising or jogging, so maybe watch this space…