Meet this month’s featured artist Isabelle Lam !
A quick introduction
I was born and raised in Hong Kong, spent 11 years in the UK, and have moved back home two years ago.
I completed my undergraduate degree at University of Bath, and later graduated with a masters from the Bartlett School of Architecture. I am currently a full-time Architect who enjoys drawing outside of work.
Being an architect/illustrator
I enjoy exploring different things with different projects so I would like to think that my art does not have a fixed style. Though I would describe a lot of my work rich in colours – I am particularly interested in experimenting on my use of colours as well as drawing composition.
It was during the work-from-home period of the pandemic when I picked up the hobby of drawing again. Now that we are back in the office I find that the biggest challenge I have in developing my skills is having to juggle my full-time job and my illustration projects – it takes much time and energy to draw, experiment and improve.
Despite the high level of stress and rigor placed upon the students, studying at the Bartlett was one of the most eye-opening experiences I have in life. The course fosters critical thinking and encourages creativity. I was given the chance to learn from some very knowledgeable tutors, and work alongside some of the most talented students in the world whose works are incredibly inspiring.
An inspiring project
The project is inspired by the film ‘Moonrise Kingdom‘ directed by Wes Anderson, in which twelve-year-old Sam and Suzy fall in love, pack up and run away. They reach a secluded cove and create a little world that seem to be their idea of Utopia.
This story formed my initial thoughts of utopia, led to my studies on the topic and shaped my project – a network of recycling centers and prefabricated temporary floating homes that implements policies of anti-consumerism, pro-democracy and philanthropy.
The project aims to cultivate community spirit; tackle the increasingly acute waste problem and housing crisis in Hong Kong, and challenge the traditional cultural values and dominant building typologies in the city.
Tips for beating the designer’s block
“ It keeps me motivated to think that my art connects me with people, including people who I would not otherwise reach in any way. ”
As for time management, I am still working on it! I think not trying to deliver a “perfect” piece each time, instead, enjoy drawing as a way to relax helps me stay productive.
Photoshop / Illustrator ? Both!
Sketching / Making Model ? Sketching
Morning Person / Night Owl ? Night owl
Being in Class / Online Lessons ? Probably online lessons as it means I save commuting time for more time to draw!