Despite suffering from hearing loss, the Chinese artist Fang Liu (Hiro) is persistent in creating her works by hand and is known for creating images full of the grace of the East. She introduces a variety of drawing techniques into cartoon and anime styles, which has given her works a distinct flavor that is instantly recognizable to readers.
Shan Hai Legend, created by Hiro in 2016, is a Chinese comic inspired by the Chinese classic The Classic of Mountains and Seas. It follows ancient demons living in the modern era and involves a series of crimes.
The Classic of Mountains and Seas is an ancient encyclopedia that is full of the extraordinary, ranging from exotic flowers and rare herbs to mythical birds and strange animals. Hiro uses her vivid imagination to first illustrate the human shapes of these animals, visually personifying their forms.
For example, Luan is a red bird that can bring peace to the human world. The first image of Luan in Hiro's head was of a bird singing in the clouds. She used this image to inform the movements of Luan's human form, as well as attributes like hair style and clothes.
Hiro says that "the visualized human shape is the hardest part of the whole process. There are so many animals and different actions that must fit with their personality as much as possible."
"However," she adds, "as an artist a difficult challenge stimulates my desire to create."