BELINDA LOVE LEE
Hey All! My name’s Belinda Love Lee and I have my own petite design and illustration studio, based in Cardiff, UK. It’s a one women show over here and I work with clients mainly via the internet to help design and build their branding. That means anything from hand lettering their logo, to designing the stationary, to the website. The whole idea is to design their overall look and feel to be cohesive and recognizable. Other than my work, I prefer summers over winters, cities over the country side, and travelling is a must in life.
Tell us about your experience in Hong Kong.
So here’s my life story in short: I was born in Ontario, grew up in Hong Kong, then returned to do Uni in Toronto, and now am situated in the UK because of my lovely husband! My parents are from Hong Kong, so naturally when they were done with Uni in Canada, they headed back Home. I lived in Hong Kong from 3-18, so it’s a huge part of who I am but I would definitely say I best associate myself as Third Cultured Kid. Whenever people ask me where I’m from, I make sure to mention that it’s both HK, Canada, and now the UK, because all of them have become huge parts of me. Home isn’t necessary of one city for me, but more a concept of a growing list of places to conquer and say that I once lived. Growing up in a busy city like HK, you learn fast and get accustomed to way too HUGE crowds (Causeway Bay, hello!), a ton of different cultures, and the best quality of it yet is being able to stomach almost any food! I feel like I have a love/ hate relationship with HK. I love visiting! It’s for sure, hands down, one of the must see cities in the world, but personally I probably wouldn’t choose to live there again long term. One of the reasons being that the work culture mentality is just insane, 9am to 9pm if that!
What inspires you on a daily basis?
I always find this question hard to answer because inspiration comes from everywhere! My brain never stops looking to be inspired, you can find it even in the most mundane places, like your daily dog walk/ nature/ travelling/ and of course the internet. I think with any creative though, the key is to always be on the look out!
Any advice for other emerging creatives? Why do you think we’re so afraid to put ourselves out there? What made made you say, “fuck it!”?
My one advice would be to not compare yourself to the people around you, and more importantly to the strangers on the internet. With social media being such a huge part of our lives now, all we see are the best moments, most organized, stylized parts of people lives. And it’s easy to go into a spiral of self doubt, and not feeling like ‘you’re good enough.’ Though the person online might look like they have it all together, and that everything is going for them, don’t forget that behind their Insta-self, there’s the real person, with struggles and fears, and dirty dishes! In the end, try to be the best version of yourself, not someone else. The more that I’ve learned to value myself, and my own unique qualities, the less I lived in fear and self doubt.
I think fundamentally the reason why we’re all scared to step out is because it is scary. To pursue something you actually love and are passionate about is sadly not the main stream today and so to take that risk is already scary in itself. But it’s also scary because as creatives we’re literally putting ourselves out there. See for me, I see my work in a really personal way, as an extension of myself. So every time I produce a piece of work, or blog or even Instagram, it’s a part of me that I’m choosing to share with the world, and so it is really vulnerable to put yourself out there for the world to judge.
You probably wouldn’t believe me but when I first started social media-ing 2 years ago, I was actually scared shitless. Prior to posting, I always had this impending fear of putting my work out there because I was scared of not having people’s approval, or for not being or doing, good enough. I remember clearly the first time I put a blog post online, I was so petrified, though no one was probably reading my blog at the time. But in the end despite other’s opinions, the scariest thing was not being good enough for myself. In my head I was just this newb, trying to find my style, not having enough studio experience. Denis Waitley says it well, “It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.”
What made me say 'fuck it’ was that I personally couldn’t have lived with myself and my thoughts for any longer, of constantly wanting and longing to be MORE. I posted that first blog post, and soon that overwhelming sense of fear became smaller and smaller with every post.
We live in a time where the internet provides us with so many ways to put our creativity out there for free. How important of a role does the Internet play in your career and how has it benefitted you?
I would say 99% of my work comes from the internet. So if the internet were to crash I would literally be out of job, I’m not even joking. It’s essentially one of the key factor for my business, beside myself and my talented hands (please read that sarcastically!). I have completely benefited from it because not once have I had to spend a dime on advertising.