This month, we are going to learn more about our Vienna- based fashion artist, Viola Li.
Can you tell us about your background and journey as a fashion artist? What led you to pursue a career in this field?
Viola: I've been drawing since I was a kid and took painting classes at a young age. That's when I discovered my true passion and found solace in it. My background is in Fashion Design and clothing but my journey as an illustration artist took off during the pandemic. As a hobby, I started sharing my artwork online and to my surprise, there was a demand for it. I first began selling art prints and somehow, fashion illustrations became a natural part of my artistic journey. I found myself incredibly passionate about it and one day, I took the leap and reached out to potential clients, asking if they wanted to collaborate with me. Next to my illustration work, I am also drawing live at events and weddings!
Viola Li, the talented fashion artist, has captivated audiences with her stunning artwork, including one of her most beloved creations, <Gabrielle, 2022>. (Photo Credit: Claudia Blake Photography)
How would you describe your artistic style? What influences and inspirations contribute to your unique creative vision?
Viola: My style can be described as free, feminine and playful. I love art, travelling and take inspiration from the places I visit abroad. These can be interesting buildings, streets, people, colours, patterns or cultural aspects.
Some metropolises I have lived in, such as London or Berlin, have also allowed me to immerse myself in a new realm of creativity.
How do you stay current with emerging fashion trends and styles while also maintaining your own signature aesthetic?
Viola: Experiment and adapt while maintaining my signature aesthetic.
Viola's unique art style - Free, Feminine and Playful!
How do you approach a new project or assignment? How do you translate ideas and concepts into visual representations?
Viola: For Client work: Typically, the client and I hop on a call where they usually provide a briefing beforehand. From there, we discuss the concept and finalize the details. During the call, I often find myself brainstorming and visualizing ideas, which is a clear indication for me that I'll enjoy working on that project. It's all about that gut feeling!
For Personal work: It really varies for me. Sometimes, I become incredibly creative at night and can start and finish an illustration in one go. However, there are also days when I experience a creative block. When that happens, I've learned that endlessly searching for inspiration won't do the trick. It's better to take a step back, rest, and focus on other tasks. I never want my work to feel forced. Being intuitive, I believe that every idea should flow naturally.
Can you share some examples of your previous work or projects? What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?
Viola: Throughout the years, my illustration style has undergone significant changes! Discovering my own unique signature style has been both frustrating and exhilarating. I've gone through various phases, comparing myself to other artists, but I believe that's just a natural part of the journey when you're starting out.
Are there any specific techniques, mediums, or software that you specialize in or prefer to work with? How do these tools enhance your artistic process?
Viola: I use the Procreate app on my iPad for digital work. There are various options for pens, pencils, brushes, and mediums, and it took me some time to find the perfect one for me. When it comes to drawing on paper, I find that aquarelles work best for me. They allow me to create loose and free brush strokes, which is different from my digital drawings. I feel more flexible and less constrained when using watercolours.
How do you balance creativity with commercial viability in your work?
Viola: It's quite a fine line between maintaining your personal style and following a client’s idea at the same time. But as a growing artist, I’ve allowed myself to be selective with brands that reach out to me.
An artist delivers best results without strict directions from anyone but just rely on their artistic instincts. Fortunately, I have worked with some clients who trusted me completely and gave me the freedom to create with little direction from them.
What do you hope to achieve in your career as a fashion artist, and how do you plan to continue growing and evolving creatively in the years to come?
Viola: My ultimate goal is to establish partnerships with prestigious fashion brands and be featured in renowned magazines. It's a dream of mine that I'm determined to make a reality in the coming years.
Expanding my presence in different countries and continents is part of my strategy. The Fashion Art Lovers Club presents an incredible opportunity for me to enhance my skills and knowledge as an artist. I'm truly grateful for this chance to grow and thrive.
Viola Li is a talented fashion, lifestyle, and event illustrator based in Vienna, Austria. Her work is characterized by her ability to capture the unique essence of her subjects and convey emotion through her sophisticated lines. Her sources of inspiration are drawn from her surroundings and her personal experiences, which have helped shape her artistic journey.
Viola's passion for art and fashion led her to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Management at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, which she completed in 2020. During her studies, she also pursued a fashion design diploma, which allowed her to explore the interrelated nature of art and fashion. Her background in both fashion and art has given her a unique perspective on the illustration of fashion and lifestyle from a feminine and enchanted point of view.
Today, Viola's illustrations are highly sought after by clients around the world, and she has worked with prestigious brands. Her talent and dedication have earned her recognition from clients and art enthusiasts worldwide.