Jimmy Liao

Jimmy Liao is one of my favourite author-illustrators.

I really enjoy reading his books. The first book I read by him was 向左走,向右走, when I was young and was instantly hooked. His colourful drawings really appealed to me. However I can’t quite seem to be able to find his books around Singapore. Maybe I’m not looking hard enough.

I love how he uses pictures and short sentences to create a story. And the stories are usually quite thought-provoking too.  Last year when I went to Shanghai, I bought this whole stack of his books. 🙂 I love the way he uses water colours. I like to study how he paints and draws, and try to learn from there to improve my water-colour skills. His style is rather unique, especially when he juxtaposes all sorts of seemingly non-related objects together. It makes the story rather dreamlike/surreal, and you have to think hard about what he is trying to say, and link the image to the story. To me, this makes the reading really enjoyable because I like to be able to “understand” something. That kind of feeling when you feel… enlightened? Also, I like to note that instead of cross hatching, sometimes he shades by drawing short, choppy thin lines on that object. Then paints to add in more tonal values.

He takes on the theme of loneliness fairly often, so perhaps subconsciously I had been thinking about loneliness too, which led me to the theme of my coursework.

Influences, influences. I guess everything  just falls into place sometimes, doesn’t it?

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