Q&A with Lily Kao

Q) What made you decide to design a line of stationery?
I was working as a freelance designer after I graduated from University and had some free time on my hands. I’ve always loved painting and thought I could get away from the digital work and get back to more traditional drawing. I started painting Alphabet illustration charts based on different theme (Birds, Dogs, Marine life etc) and selling them as art prints, and thought I could explore other paper products, such as greeting cards to expand my product line.

Q) Where do you draw inspiration from when creating your designs? Who are some of your artistic influences?
Instagram is a big source of inspiration for me. There are so many talented and amazing illustrators, artists, and makers sharing their process and work on the platform. Every time when I’m doubting my work or feeling uninspired, I would go on the app and leaving it feeling ready to get back to creating again. Some illustrators/makers I love @kelzuki @quillandfox @ourheiday

Q) In addition to creating stationery, you do product design and branding – and work on a mobile app – how do these various projects influence each other?
I actually try to separate my graphic design work from my paper goods creations. The style between these projects and my stationery creation are quite different, because one is mainly created digitally and the other is hand-drawn. However, my background in graphic design has really helped me in creating my company’s (LKD) branding, and layouts for the cards and art prints.

Q) What is the most memorable piece of snail mail you have received?
Holiday cards from high school friend back in Taiwan!

Q) Any dream projects that you’d like to work on?
Other than stationery and art prints, I’ve worked on some wood products with laser cutter. It’s been really fun creating 3D objects (I’ve made my own card display shelf from laser cutting woods), and I’m hoping to get into that more. Hopefully, I can eventually purchase a laser cutter and explore creating 3D products more!

Lily Kao Design is owned by Lily Kao, a multi-disciplinary designer specializing in graphic design and illustration. LKD is a line of handmade paper goods brand designed and made in Lily’s little home studio.