Bizzie Bee's Artist Interview: Tony Law

Hello Bizzie Bees, how have you been avoiding all the July rain?

This month, we have Tony sharing his art story with us. I met him at Maker Faire back in April and we ended up exchanging art postcards and I got to learn more about him through his drawings. Have a read below!

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Tony Law and I was born in Hong Kong. I lived in Canada for many years, about 16 in total. I studied engineering, science and design... art is mainly something I do as a hobby. I'm happy and honoured to be considered an artist and granted this interview!

How did you start making art/start your creative journey?

I recall childhood memories of doodling on my own when I was bored and art seems like an innate thing I was born with. However, I was never too serious with art until after graduating from my engineering degree. I started taking evening cartooning classes while working as a software developer during the day.

WhY do you make art?

For me, art is a way of expressing ideas. I enjoy making people laugh with my cartoons. I also instinctively resort to doing art when I’m down. Hours of solitude and concentration can be rather therapeutic.

What is your workspace like?

Rather messy I must say, but I know where to find the stuff I need. = )

What is your favourite art form and why?

Comic strips like Snoopy and Calvin & Hobbes. They’re simple, fun, and sometimes make you think.

What inspires you and how do you keep your creative spark?

Being more observant to the surroundings including people, nature, design and art as inspiration often comes from the smallest details. Also, putting down your phone and staying away from the screen often helps.

Who did you admire when you were younger that inspired you to be an artist yourself?

Bill Watterson, the artist behind Calvin and Hobbes.

What role does the artist have in society?

This is a question I’ve been asking myself recently as well. I like the quote “Earth without Art is just Eh”.

What are you working on right now?

I’ve been learning Chinese calligraphy for more than a year and recently I’ve been exploring drawing brush and ink portraits of endangered animals.

What's your favourite place to see art?

I can’t pinpoint any particular venue but I prefer public art over classy museum art as the former grants access to all people regardless of their social status.

What's the last show that you saw?

A Chinese calligraphy exhibition at Open University in early July.

What's your favourite art work and why?

There are many works of art I admire and I particularly like the giant oil/acrylic paintings done by Canadian artist Robert Bateman.

What are you reading right now?

給人生引引路 by 蔡頌輝

What do you collect?

I have a drawer full of small interesting items I bought while strolling through shops. I have the idea of opening the drawer at times when I’m stuck and need inspiration but luckily so far I’ve yet to find the necessity to open that drawer.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

I’ve worked as a full-time software developer, researcher, and freelance graphic designer, but never really considered myself an artist. =)

Name something you love, and tell us why.

Cartooning. Calvin & Hobbes is one of the best comic strips I’ve read by far.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?

Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” – Steve Jobs. Curiosity and humbleness are some of the greatest gifts for any person.

What advice do you have?

Seriously, I can use some good advice myself. I guess being observant, curious, and humble wouldn’t hurt. And carrying a sketchbook and drawing/sketching fervently would probably help any artist advance their career.

What is your dream project if there were no restrictions on time or money? What would you create?

Without restrictions on time and money, I would probably paint all day, every day just like the Canadian artist Robert Bateman. What a dream!

You can see more of Tony's art on his website.

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