Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Min Lu ("ML") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.
ML : I am a New York based artist who has been creating a variety of art forms throughout my life including graphic design, painting and drawing. I have a MA from Columbia University and has spent time in both United States and China to study art. Being able to have the exposures of both eastern and western culture has profoundly affected the artworks that I make, driving me to create artworks that I hope touches people everywhere.
ML : I believe that one of the major responsibilities of artists is to help people not only get to know and understand something with their minds but also to feel it emotionally and physically. By doing this, art can mitigate the numbing effect created by the glut of information we are faced with today, and motivate people to turn thinking into doing.
ML : What leads me to the world of Art? When I was little my parents taught me to do the paper-cutting. Paper-cutting was not only a kind of handcraft, but also a piece of distinctive visual artwork. It had abundant means of artistic expression and shows exquisite elegance and luxuriant cultural implication of China. It is a traditional thing which Chinese people do to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The red paper-cutting is a symbol of joy, luck and happiness – I truly believe it – as it leads me to another whole new world - the world of art.
ML : many of my artworks still inspired by Chinese culture which I abstracted into a subjective viewing experience by emphasizing line, color, and form. I also draw inspiration from my childhood among Southern China’s winding freeways and mountainous scenery. Many of my artworks have the color sense and formal principles of western paintings, but a spirit and tonal variations of ink that are typically Chinese. By blending the Eastern and Western techniques and aesthetics together, new connections can be made, and an enhanced appreciation or awareness can be achieved.
ML : Learning and having exposure to all kinds of arts. Working as an artist has brought me into contact with a wealth of outlooks on the world and introduced me to a vast range of truly differing perceptions, felt ideas, and knowledge.
ML : How the designer interpret his or her responsibility and mission as a designer
ML : I think a good design can contribute to social change: Art influences society by changing opinions, instilling values and translating experiences across space and time. Society is facing a lot of different problems all over the world today, but art could be the perfect way to come up with solutions to these problems. After all, art is a way to inspire others while also becoming inspired yourself.
ML : Contemporary artists work in a globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advancing world. I think a good design means inspiration, sharing, motivation and the power to stimulate social change in contemporary culture. Sharing: Art represents one of the few areas in our society where people can come together to share an experience even if they see the world in radically different ways. In art, disagreement is accepted and embraced as an essential ingredient. Art can make us more tolerant of difference and of one another, expand our notions of we, and show us that individual engagement in the world has actual consequences.
ML : Wu Guanzhong – contemporary painters of Chinese origin. He has painted various aspects of China including much of its architecture, plants, animals, people, as well as many of its landscapes and waterscapes in a style reminiscent of the impressionist painters of the early 1900s. Hayao Miyazaki - a masterful animation creator and storyteller – he illuminated the film and animation industry with his fantastical stunning imagery and emotional narratives. With Miyazaki you get nature and you get moments of peace, a kind of rhythm that is not in the animation tradition so much.
ML : I devoted my time in exploring connection between the traditional Asian art and western modern art. By blending the Eastern and Western techniques and aesthetics together, new connections can be made and an enhanced appreciation or awareness can be achieved.
ML : Family and friends
ML : The most challenging part of being an artist is being creative and the most difficult part of the creative process is in letting it happen. It’s not by mistake that some of the best ideas come when you’re in the shower, or driving the car, or occupied in something else rather than trying to come up with an idea. Once you distract the mind by doing something else, you essentially let go of the control, the mind will run with what you gave it, and you may see extraordinary results. But letting go of the controls can be a challenge for many artists. It’s part of the process, everyone learns it sooner or later, and it’s a blessing when the awareness finally comes.
ML : Visualization, the ability to tell a story in a clear, creative and visually appealing way
ML : I am working on the series “24 Solar Terms” The series embodies the concepts of respect for nature, and harmony between man and nature. The illustrations present the solar terms through traditional Chinese graphics and elements (e.g., pomes) which in turn educate people about such intangible cultural heritage. Hoping to create art that touches people and help people not only get to know and understand something with their minds but also to feel it emotionally and physically.
ML : Being able to use my art work to inspire, motivate or has the power to stimulate social change.
ML : Art influences society by changing opinions, instilling values and translating experiences across space and time. Society is facing a lot of different problems all over the world today, but art could be the perfect way to come up with solutions to these problems. After all, art is a way to inspire others while also becoming inspired yourself.
ML : One of the works-in-progress project is the “Type Specimen Book” - The illustration will demonstrate the typeface’s humanistic, natural, ancient and humble characteristics. Spreads including: brief history of the typeface; showcase all the letters in uppercase, lowercase; identifying and illustrating parts of the typeface; highlighting specific characteristic; visual illustration.
ML : It really depends on the projects
ML : Creative brief
ML : Photoshop, illustrator, InDesign.
ML : Inspirational
ML : Friends
ML : Color: White Season: Autumn
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