Manshen Lo’s illustrations depict everyday scenes – characters sat in waiting rooms or airport departure lounges – but there’s a subtle sense of tension in her work. She believes this kind of tension is woven into our daily lives – both in the way we interact with our surroundings and the “polite indifference” we often display towards other people.
“I’ve been drawing a lot of characters, mostly with a naturalistic and observational approach. They appear in a calm manner, with slight movements of the body, and interact with a minimal looking, muted space,” explains Lo. “The theme that I’m always drawn to is the peculiar emotional connection between humans, as well as between human and a constrained or curated environment.”
Lo graduated from the Royal College of Art’s MA animation course in 2015 and now works freelance. She created the intricate pencil drawings featured in Nicolas Menard’s animated short Wednesday with Goddard and has also worked on commissions for Poetry Review and the New York Times Magazine.
She is inspired by directors Yasujiro Ozu and Wong Kar-wai – who she describes as “masters” at imposing tension in daily scenes – as well as comic and manga art and graphic novels. Her artworks are created using a mix of digital and analogue techniques: “I make the line work on paper with a brush and colour them on the computer,” she says.
Alongside working on commissions, Lo is developing a personal project exploring different moods. She is keen to work with both brands and publications and has just completed a cover illustration for Poetry Review and an editorial illustration for the New Yorker.
New Talent is part of Inspire, a partnership between Creative Review, Facebook and Instagram showcasing outstanding creative work across both platforms. More advice and inspiration for creatives using Facebook and Instagram is available at facebook.com/ads/creativehub.You can follow Manshen Lo on Instagram (@manshenlo) or see more of her work at manshenlo.com