Christina Li is a woman of impulse, at least when it comes to her drawing. An idea will randomly pop into her head, inspired by something she had seen or read or experienced, and then she filters it through her love of anime and manga. She is, in her own words, an avid fan of the style which allows her to step back into the sneakers of being a kid.
Christina began drawing to pass the time while waiting to be picked up from school. One day, during a particularly long wait in first grade, she spent the entire afternoon drawing a horse. Suddenly it occurred to her that she had created something with her own hands and that was of great value. Christina never stopped sketching, and her interests since then have grown to include painting, stamping, and knitting.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Traveling with my friends and family with a drawing pad in hand.
What is your greatest fear?
Insects and spiders (Though butterflies and ladybugs are tolerated)
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
This is a tough one... a friend did compare me to Napoleon because I was short.
Which living person do you most admire?
Too many to name... I admire Hayao Miyazaki a manga artist who also directs and produces wonderful animations such as "My Neighbor Totoro" and "Howl's Moving Castle." He's doing what he loves, every one of his works is so magical, and his eye for detail is incredible.
Do you have a theme song, and what is it?
No theme song, though if I were to have one, it would have to be dramatic. I'm told I tend to be "over dramatic" sometimes.
What is the trait you most like in yourself?
What is the trait you most like in others?
Confidence. That is one thing that's very hard to maintain and exude without seeming cocky.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Investing in a high quality printer and computer solely dedicated to my art.
When and where were you happiest?
Sitting on the kitchen table as a child, drawing on yellow drawing paper while my grandma knitted on the sofa during a late afternoons.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Definitely stop being so paranoid and worried over every little thing!
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Opening my Etsy store. I'm generally so wary and self conscious about my own work, the idea of selling my art was just a dream until Etsy gave me the perfect environment to go at my own pace.
If you were to be reincarnated as a person, animal, or thing, what do you think you would be?
A neurotic cat... or a cabbage, but not sure why.
What is your most treasured possession?
The protection necklace my grandma gave me.
Which talent or skill would you most like to have?
Able to do math properly.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My mom is the hero in my life. She endured a lot in her life from immigrating to an entirely different country, raising two kids as a single mother, and never faltering when faced with many obstacles. She is the most forgiving and kindest person in my life.
What is it the one thing you dislike the most?
When people are disrespectful. Doesn't matter if you're earning minimum wage or are a millionaire, we're all people and should be treated as such.
What is your motto?
Always keep smiling.
Who are your favorite artists?
Tomie dePaola is my favorite children's book illustrator because his drawings are so playful and immerse me into the stories. Leonardo da Vinci because not only was he an artist, he excelled in so many fields it gave me the belief that I could pursue my love of science while making my art.
Artist at work, by Tomie dePaola. All rights reserved.
Is there any invention you wish you had thought of?
Just recently I brought clear scotch tape and it's so useful especially when shipping prints and posting up inspirational pictures and posters on my wall. I wish I'd thought of it.
What's the first thing you remember making?
That drawing of a horse in first grade.
You'll find Christina this winter at the Brooklyn Flea at One Hanson Plaza. Check out her website to catch up with her Flea schedule, and to learn more about the person behind the quirky cute designs of LiPeony.
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