017 Scarlett Fu

Scarlett’s Self Portait


Location: LONDON


On The Forest Floor – Photoshop

There aren’t going to be a lot of people featured on The Spiralling that I have known as long as Scarlett. We met at school when we were 11 and became really good friends, we even had special nicknames for each other; I was Mushroom and she was Sweetcorn! We haven’t seen each other for a very long time but have kept in touch over Facebook and have now known each other for 16 years!

Originally from Hong Kong, Scarlett is now living and working in London as a Graphic Designer. I always remember her being really good at drawing and how much she enjoyed it but she “abandoned it for almost a decade to focus on what I thought were more grown-up things: studying and getting a ‘proper’ job.” She finally took the plunge and did a 4-day course on Character Design a year and a half ago, followed by an online course in the evenings after work, which re-ignited her enthusiasm for drawing.

Since rediscovering painting and drawing and she has been busy creating a self-initiated project called ‘Project Samurai’, which encompasses sketches, illustrations and digital paintings. It acts as a method of learning & showcasing “that it is possible to build from the ground up if you have the energy to do something you truly love.”

Yokai Mountains – Photoshop

Scarlett’s inspiration comes from many outlets; reading, watching movies, travelling and browsing Facebook pages such as ArtStation or Daily Spitpaint. “Literature-wise I would have to say Jorge Luis Borges & Lynne Reid Banks for their natural talent in describing dream worlds. Then Yoshito Usui, Gosho Aoyama, and Hokusai for keeping my childhood curiosity alive with years of manga. I also really admire Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takayama, Satoshi Kon, John Lasseter, Akira Kurosawa, Yasujiro Ozu & and Tarsem Singh for their incredible skills in storytelling.”

Busy City VI – pen on paper

Creating art is a process that comes with many hurdles  and one of the challenges which Scarlett has faced was “trying to understand what it was exactly I had wanted to achieve out of life. Trying out different things, then the eagerness goes away, then a vicious cycle of blaming myself for wasting time. Being able to create in my spare time, almost as a calming mechanism to the stresses of daily life, really helps me to focus more on the present; the so-called wasted time only becomes experience.”

With a deep profundity when I asked Scarlett what her proudest moment had been she said, “acknowledging that to achieve goals in life, it takes time and understanding. No point worrying about how long it’s going to take, or how you are going to get there, because there’s a lot of people in the world that are doing the same thing – trying to understand life.” 

On The Train – pen on paper

Given her progress over the past year since she started learning how to paint properly, Scarlett is set to improve further this year. “It’s a long road, but my intention would be to move into painting Concept Art full time, but we’ll just have to see what happens.” She has found that carrying a sketchbook around with her at all times helps as she can jot down ideas that come from her surroundings, “I make quick sketches of people around me. Maybe their emotions, body language or posture. I sketch them from memory later usually after observing for about 2 minutes or so on the bus for example. It’s been great fun so far, especially when it feels like you are learning almost from scratch.” Currently Scarlett writes a blog which is about finding inspiration in the worlds of fantasy, visual storytelling and “discovering artists and creatives alike who create these worlds in concept art or animation.”

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The Portal – Photoshop


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