Meet Our Invest Illustrator: Bao Ho
Every month, CreativeMornings works with an artist in our community to create an illustration for our global monthly themes. Our monthly themes help spark new conversations and ideas at our events. Speakers around the world are invited to share a story around the theme and what it means to them.
Our global theme for February is Invest. This month our featured illustrator is self-taught artist Bao Ho.
Given that these illustrations are at events all around the world, it’s only right that we get to know the illustrator.
Meet Bao Ho
Bao Ho is a self-taught artist born and based in Hong Kong who specializes in freestyle murals and illustrations. She started her career in 2015 and has collaborated with various international brands. Bao has traveled and worked on projects in all corners of the globe including Australia, Switzerland, UK, France, Taiwan, Mainland China, Japan, Indonesia, Italy and Czech Republic.
Bao, years ago, you took the leap to quit your job and take a bet on yourself. You then traveled to Australia, Taiwan, Japan, and Europe. What were your biggest realizations and takeaways from this adventure
It changed my life. Before, I was working a 9-6 daily job within the creative industry. At the time, drawing was just my hobby and I had never thought about making a living with my art.
Looking back, I’m glad that I made that decision to quit my job and to embark on this adventure. I’ve learned a lot and met a lot of nice people. It’s opened my mind.
You’ve been dubbed the “Queen of Hong Kong Street Art” after winning Hong Kong’s Secret Walls contest! How much has your life changed since then?
Personally I don’t think I’m the “queen,” but I really appreciate that as after that article I got more offer from different clients! More people definitely know about my work. For myself I’m actually just the same. Keep doing what I like to do — drawing.
What’s your favorite thing about making art for such a large canvas? How much inspiration do you draw from the actual physical surroundings?
I love doing street art as it’s something for the public. To enjoy it, you don’t have to be someone who “knows” about art. Personally, I didn’t study art in a professional way so I don’t get caught up in thinking about what “is” art or how to define art. Instead, I try to use it as a simple way to tell my story and just allow people to create their own stories when they see my art.
When I paint on the street, I like talk to people passing by and the neighbors nearby too. I sometimes take a walk to find some special elements to put into my paintings. I want to have the balance in between doing what I like, but also want to be able to make people happy.
Hong Kong is known to be a dynamic, ambitious world of its own. What’s the creative scene like in your city today and how has it influenced you?
I think the scene is much better than few years ago. Brands and companies are paying more interest to the local artists and they’re willing to pay for the artists to make their art.
In my case, most of my clients just give me the full trust to create my own work. In Hong Kong, you can easily see or get into different styles of art. That always kind of motivates me to try different mediums.
Our theme this month is ‘Invest.’ What sorts of “investments” did you have to make to get to where you are today? And how did you go about interpreting the theme visually?
To me, investments aren’t only about financial ones. I believe that investing in ourselves and the environment are also very important.
My investment was treating myself better. I focus on what makes me happy, connecting with people, and working hard — it’s like saving coins to my piggy coin bank. One day, it will grow and it will give something back.
What’s something you’d like to do more of in 2020? What’s something you’d like to do less of?
Generally, I’m planning to try more new things. I want to try different mediums for my art — like toys, animation or games. And I hope I’ll be less lazy and play more sports (I’ve never been good at sports).
Do you have any upcoming projects that you’re excited about?
I’m already planning a small solo exhibition in March! I made a completed series to show to people, so I’m quite excited.