Colorful Illustrations Set in Lush Landscapes Depict the Artist’s Healing Process

Nature Illustrations by Julie Lai

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Many people seek out the beauty and comfort of nature during difficult times. For Hong Kong-based artist Julie Lai, the act of creating lush landscapes helped her heal from life-changing events and deepen her self-awareness. In this project, called Crysalis, solitary figures are surrounded by lavish backgrounds full of color, organic shapes, and expressive brushstrokes that sweep the viewer into the soothing energy of the scene.

“My illustration practice is an ongoing journey that has allowed me to explore my inner landscape deeply,” Lai tells My Modern Met. “It allows me to express my emotions, memories, and experiences in a more honest way. I think ultimately my desire is to authentically express myself through my own perspective, in the hopes that I can connect with others through my illustrations.” The vivid pieces combine imagery from the artist's meditations and merges them with a feeling of the fantastical.

Although the results of this series are breathtaking, for Lai, the act of making it was vital to her healing process. Creating pieces set in sumptuous natural settings was particularly important. “I have always found comfort in drawing nature and being in it,” Lai adds. “I think growing up in such a busy and fast-paced city like Hong Kong, the pockets of nature around the city gave me the opportunity to ground and relax from all the rushing thoughts and worries. The organic forms found in nature influence the shapes that I use in my illustrations.”

You can purchase prints and other merch via Lai's Etsy shop, and keep up to date with her latest projects by following the artist on Instagram.

Hong Kong-based artist Julie Lai creates fantastic illustrations inspired by nature.

Nature Illustrations by Julie LaiNature Illustrations by Julie LaiNature Illustrations by Julie Lai

These dreamy depictions are filled with expressive brushstrokes and organic shapes.

Nature Illustrations by Julie LaiNature Illustrations by Julie Lai

Lai uses illustration to explore her inner landscape and help her heal from life-changing events.

Nature Illustrations by Julie LaiNature Illustrations by Julie LaiNature Illustrations by Julie LaiNature Illustrations by Julie LaiJulie Lai: Etsy | Website | Instagram | Twitter

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Julie Lai.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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