Meet Lanny Liu, Local Artist and Creative
Originally hailing from New England, Lanny stayed in California after studying at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. She dabbled in comics and graphic design before settling into illustrating full time. Currently, she resides in Long Beach with her two cats.
Read her story below
What inspired you to start your creative enterprise?
Sailor Moon was very influential in making me pursue comic books and illustration. The first time I ever attended San Diego Comic-Con, I was surprised to see so many artists selling things that they’d worked on. I knew I could easily be one of those artists too, and that’s when I became serious about being an entrepreneur.
What steps did you initially take to set yourself apart?
I feel like finding your voice and accepting it takes time and a lot of self discovery. I think what sets me apart is that I love drawing the female face and figure. It took me a long time to realize that it was okay to just draw these things, and I think that finally helped set me apart.
Favorite local eateries and drinkeries?
"Elinor of course, followed by Ficklewood Ciderworks for drinks. Beyond that, Ammatoli and Ellie’s are always on point for food. My current favorite is Honduras Kitchen."
Starting a creative enterprise is hard, what advice would you give to those with similar aspirations?
Don’t be afraid to show your work, get out there and make connections. Getting to know others in the industry can be really helpful in guiding you through the process. There’s no need to do it alone.
Has rejection ever affected your creative process?
Absolutely! It’s never easy to be rejected, especially when it’s a piece of yourself that you’re presenting. While rejection would initially send me into a short phase of depression, I would usually come out of it very motivated. I feel like I’m a bit weird that way — negative criticism usually fires me up to want to prove that person wrong. It makes me want to work harder and do better.
Which do you most attribute to your success?
"Passion I think is what has helped me be where I am today. Not doing what you think others want, but just doing what you’re passionate about, what interests you the most."
Do you believe formal training in your field is necessary to success?
I don’t truly think formal training is necessary, as long as you have the drive to pursue it. Especially now, there are so many online classes available for your specific interests. I think everyone is different though, so neither answer is correct. For myself, formal training really gave me the know-how and various skills in being a successful artist. I knew I was lacking in knowledge, and school helped me get there more quickly. Sometimes having hands on, in-person guidance can really help.
If you could move to any other place in this or any universe where would you go?
I’d love to be in Shonda Rhimes’ version of Bridgerton as a lady. Her version of the 19th century is so inclusive and beautiful to look at. Not only that, I’d love to dress up in gowns and go dancing every night.
"I’m possibly most well known for making the “Thirst is Real” Kylo Ren enamel pins... I know the 8th Star Wars movie is highly debated in quality, but for me, that’s the first time I really fell in love with the franchise. I came up with the idea and had an enamel pin connection through a friend."
How does your work march us to a better future?
I’m not sure I would say my work is so important as that, but I do like to bring beauty into people’s lives.