Two women with long dark hair are surrounded by fish

All images © Lea Woo, shared with permission

Lea Woo coaxes subtle polarities from her illustrated interactions. Centering on women in moments of quiet affection and admiration, the renderings contrast a vintage style with modern subjects and a largely soft color palette with spots of bolder hues. “Red, a frequently used tone in my works, represents bravery and boldness and green a close relationship with mother nature,” she shares. Grainy, paper-like textures add to the retro feel of the scenes, which convey a warm tenderness between people and the birds, fish, and cats around them.

Based between Shanghai and Hangzhou, Woo draws stark distinctions between her personal works and commissions—recent collaborators include Burberry and The New Yorker. For the latter, she tends to start with a sketch that captures the directive, while other projects are more instinctive. “I open my heart for all possibilities and unexpected ‘accidents,’” the artist tells Colossal.  “I collect and save my daily doodles and pictures I took for future use. With less set-ups, more random arrangements, I find it so much fun to freely combine different elements and they turned out to be harmoniously together at the end.” 

Woo has prints, postcards, and other goods available in her shop, and you can follow her latest projects on Instagram.


A woman lies on the grass with cats nearby

Two portraits of women, on the left is a larger bird in front of the figure, on the right are smaller white birds flying around

A woman crouches underneath a large green mushroom in the rain

Two women embrace on a white horse with geese in the backdrop

Two women in suits stand in a field of dogs

A woman stands on a boat with flying fish in the foreground

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