Unravelled stories. Meet: Lisa Hu
We are delighted to introduce to you the lovely Lisa from Lisa Hu. Lisa is a multi-disciplinary creative from sunny seaside Gold Coast. She is a designer, ceramicist and illustrator; who is passionate about sustainable and conscious designs that reflects on the beauty of nature. You can find Lisa's work in the form of ceramics, art prints and accessories at our shop.
TSS: How did your love affair with pottery start?
Lisa: I started pottery shortly after high school. My mum was an influence as she used to take pottery classes and I found myself following in her footsteps. I was mesmerized by what she was doing, so she showed me some basics. I quickly fell in love with the artform, and I especially loved the challenge of the wheel.
I would completely zone out for hours, totally obsessed with the feeling of clay in my hands and a pot slowly taking form. It was like meditation for me, and taught me a lot about patience, control, and letting things go! You can’t be too precious about pottery, so I had to let go of a lot of perfectionism. It was, and remains a deeply therapeutic practice for me. Then when I brought in my painting skills, I felt like I could put even more of myself into the pieces.
TSS: What gets you hyped about the beauty of nature?
Lisa: I’m very lucky to have grown up by the seaside - my parents are also from the seaside in China, so we always had a great appreciation of the ocean and nature. When my dad was young, he was told by a fortune teller that he should always live by the water, and I’ve taken that advice onboard too. I think it really says something that whenever I look out over the ocean, or up into a sky full of stars, I feel like I’ve been holding my breath and suddenly I’m breathing again. That feeling gets me really hyped and inspired.
TSS: What is your favourite material to work with and why?
Lisa: My first love was watercolours, and I always end up returning to it. As a self acclaimed control freak, watercolour has taught me a lot about relinquishing control. If you’ve ever used watercolours you will know that it’s really hard to erase mistakes, or cover them up. Instead, you have to embrace them and incorporate them as a piece of your work. It’s taught me a lot about finding beauty in imperfection. Some of my favourite pieces I’ve done are the ones with the most “mistakes”.
TSS: What do you wish for customers to take away from your brand and products?
Lisa: I want my customers to feel that my products have come from my hands to their hands. In a world that is getting more fast paced and efficient, and a “handmade” looking cup can be bought from Kmart for $2, I hope that people will continue to appreciate the small, wonky, one-off things artists have been creating using techniques from centuries ago. The thought of losing these traditions, and undercutting the value of them makes me incredibly sad. I don’t expect it to be me, but I hope that consumers will continue to seek out creators and artisans they connect with, and support them.
TSS: Your thoughts and feelings on supporting culturally diverse designers /makers and communities?
Lisa: As someone who has felt so out of place growing up, it’s really touching to see more support for culturally diverse makers and communities. When I was in primary school, everyone thought my lunch was weird. Now I have people commissioning me because they love my unique style. I used to be somewhat embarrassed about my background, and now I can see that what I have to offer is unique and interesting because of that background. The world opens up so much when you incorporate voices from all cultures, and that’s a really important thing.
TSS: Paint us a picture of your childhood?
Lisa: I was a very typically quiet and reserved Asian kid. My childhood was somewhat lonely, with siblings that are much older than me. I did have trouble fitting in at school. I was extremely sensitive, and I still am. For a kid that spent a lot of time alone, I wasn’t bored. I strongly believed magic was real (my wings were gonna come in any day) and I spent most of my time with my head in the clouds. I traveled a lot with my mum and dad, which I’m now very grateful for. It opened up the world for me, and I couldn’t wait to grow up to live in it. And now that I am grown up, in a lot of ways I still feel like a child. The daydreaming ditz of a girl has stayed with me into adulthood, which I’m grateful for!
TSS: You have a multidisciplinary creative practice.. what does your studio look like?
Lisa: Messy. I’m what they call: creatively organised. I’ve been a water colourist, oil painter, ceramicist, textile designer, collage artist, graphic designer, and writer. And I think I will be much more! I have a wall of prints from makers that inspire me, a rusty pre-loved kiln, a big desk piled high with scraps of ideas and paintings, and a little bed for my greyhound who keeps me company. Sometimes I wish I was more neat and organised, but I believe the best ideas are plucked out of a bit of chaos!