Li Shuxing was born in 1983 in Cangzhou, Hebei Province, China. He graduated from East China Normal University. He works as a videogame concept artist and illustrator. He currently lives and works in Shanghai, China. Visit blog.sina.com.cn/u/1771750633 to view more of his works.
The most striking thing about your work is the massive scale. It is almost dizzying to look at some of your works full-screen. However, despite the epic scale, it is still possible to see individual details in them, such as tiny flowers. Do the small details help create the sense of epic scale by anchoring the viewer somehow?
Although many individual details can be seen in my artwork when you zoom in, they are meant to be just parts of the artwork supporting the larger theme. I like to balance individual detail and larger atmosphere. I also put backstory into my artwork. Showing details of key points in the artwork helps me to suggest the backstories.
Your works are transporting because they focus so much on creating a sense of place. They are like photographs from the best amusement park never created. Is a sense of place a personal theme for you? Where does this fascination come from?
As a concept artist, it is hard to create everything strictly from imagination, so accumulating information is very important for me. I spend my spare time on books, music, movies, photographs, games, artwork, and comics. If I see something that moves me, I will record and collect it. I put it into my “warehouse of inspiration” for when I need it.
Your work seems to glide effortlessly along the twin axes of Western/Eastern and fantasy/science fiction. Do you consciously decide where a work is going to fit, along these two axes, before beginning to draw?
I like to try different styles and themes. Challenge is the best way to improve myself. I like to create a whole “world view” before starting on a painting. The “world view” determines my theme and style, and helps me to maintain a consistent feeling during the process of creating that painting.
Talk to us a little bit about technique. Is what we are looking at entirely digital? It can be hard to tell, especially because there is a lot of warmth in the images that conveys a hand-drawn, analog feel.
It was painted by computer. However, I like to learn things from other kinds of artwork, such as the thickness of oil painting, the lens perspectives of comics, the light and shadow of movies. I mix them all into my artwork.
What are some of your influences as an artist? Fine art, illustrators, books, mythology, films, amusement parks, toys, games?
They all affect me. I like to collect different kinds of artwork to make myself “level up” in mind and conscious. I also like to see original artwork in museums. There’s such a different viewing experience between seeing something in a book and seeing the original work.
What is your dream project?
I hope to just keeping making my art and learning more to increase my abilities. I would be interested in focusing more on oil painting and stage design.
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