Fine art photographer known for her fantastical and dream-like portraits.
She earned a master’s degree in classical piano from Royal College of Music after graduating from University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Academy of Music.
A classically trained pianist, she is a registered Royal Conservatory of Music teacher and has performed in music festivals around the world. She’s also a faculty member in the Vancouver-based conservatoires, including doing session work with metal bands.
Originally from Canada, she has also lived in Europe.
Q: Tell us about your art and what inspired you to produce imagery about futuristic, science fiction or fantasy themes.
A: Nostalgia for a life that never existed. That’s what inspires lots of my art, as most of it is focused on places that do not exist, histories that never happened or have not come to pass, and characters that aren’t real. I want my art to take the viewer to another place.
Q: Is there anyone who has strongly influenced your style or direction in art? Or is there any artist past or present who inspires your art in any way whom you wish to mention?
A: Waterhouse paintings have always been close to my heart, along with many illustrators both from the past and present. Vania Zouravliov, Thores Shibamoto, Ayami Kojima, to name a few. Regarding photographers, I have always looked up to Zemotion.
Q: Are you formally trained or self taught? Tell us about your path as an artist.
A: I am self-taught, and started doing macro and landscape photography at the onset. I switched to portraiture afterwards, and then manipulation, and then digital painting. Soon, I decided to merge all three.
Q: Tell us a little about your preferred medium and technique, do you have any favorite products or applications?
A: Photography with processing! I always run my images through Lightroom and then Photoshop, and I got my first tablet two years ago. I was editing and painting with mouse beforehand, including on my photographs.
Q: In a few words, what would be the perfect future, if you could imagine it into reality what are your hopes, dreams, or expectations for the world?
A: I hope that the planet continues to have green beauty and wilderness untouched by man. I also hope that humans would be able to see past nationalities, while working together to further the reality of space travel and colonization as a collective, due to the finite nature of our resources and planet at this point. I hope that people have made permanent changes to their regular lifestyle that would result in cleaner energy, with less waste overall- or have more solutions to handle waste as a form of energy.
Q: In practical terms, as things are going, do you see the future of human kind as a Utopia or Dystopia? Do you have hope for the survival of the planet? Please give us a brief explanation.
A: I see humanity reaching a state of dystopia. We are creatures of habit, and don’t like to see the need for change over the comforts of convenience and greed. We need too much, too fast, and we fail to see what is beyond our immediate scope. Nevertheless, humanity has always been resourceful- and I know that with some changes in attitude, we can come together to create the most incredible possibilities. I do think the planet will survive and endure no matter what- but at what cost?
Q: Do you see yourself as a forward thinker, and if so what solutions would you propose for saving the world? Or do you feel it needs saving?
A: I feel like to save the world, we need to find food sources that are more sustainable. We also need reliable clean energy- especially in our transportation.
Q: If you could change any trend that has had an impact on our planet, what would it be and why would you change it, what do you feel it would change and how would it help?
A: I would change the trend of fast fashion. The clothes are not meant to last, the process of creating them is damaging to the environment, and the manufacturing is often exploitative of other people. These large companies have also stolen ideas from independent designers. These independent artists would love to create clothes made with love and care for you, tailored just right for your body.
Q: As an artist do you feel you have a voice which could influence or change your audiences view of world events? Do you feel it is a responsibility of an artist to bring awareness to certain issues?
A: I do feel like an artist definitely has a voice capable of changing viewpoints. Whether it is a responsibility depends on the nature of said art- but perhaps a moral obligation would be the more obvious route for some.
Q: Do you see humankind making space travel an option in our future, if you were asked to go to another world, would you choose to go?
A: I do think space travel will become an option. How quickly and how far remains the question. I do not think humanity will ever go interstellar or leave our solar system despite what science fiction is telling us. However, Mars? Some other moon? Definitely. And I would absolutely go.
Q: What advice do you have for artists just starting out?
Don’t worry too much about the rules. There’s no right or wrong way to approach what you love.
Q: If you had full funding for any project, what would it be?
A: I would commission a designer to create original costumes for me, and have elaborate sets designer and tailored to each theme.
Q: Are there any projects in the making you would like to share with us?
A: Hoping to add more women of colour into my work! More on that soon.
Q: If you were to attribute any emotional, spiritual, or physical context to your art, what would it be? Is there a story behind the image, a feeling, a dream or belief? Or perhaps the art you create is a manifestation of very real physical experiences?
A: Emotional- I think sadness is a part of what I do. Sadness, to me, isn’t inherently an evil. I see it as a process that leads somewhere brighter. Most of my work is coloured by sadness or melancholy.
Glenn Barr’s website: lillianliu.squarespace.com