We would like to thank the very talented Eliza Lo for taking the time to interview with MJJJP. Eliza is a wonderful artist from Hong Kong whose work of Michael Jackson and others are truly realistic and inspirational.
MJJJP: Eliza, where did you begin your training as an artist or are you self- taught?
Eliza: I am self-taught, I have never had any formal training in drawing.
MJJJP: You draw many beautiful portraits. Princess Diana, Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Grace of Monaco, Madonna, Frank Sinatra, but you focus mostly on Michael Jackson… Why?
Eliza: I focus mostly on Michael Jackson because I am not only impressed with his musical talent but also his huge heart, he also in my eyes is a very handsome man. I want my drawings to express his enormous charisma and to show the world that he is indeed a very beautiful man. In his stunning dark brown eyes you can find many emotions; sunshine in his happiness and heartbreak in his sadness.
MJJJP: Is painting something you have always loved and what did you start out painting, why is always portraits?
Eliza: I have loved painting since I was a little girl but never found the time to draw until August 2007. Portraits to me are ‘LIFE’ and I love drawing them. A photograph captures a person’s emotion at that moment that it was taken, whether it is happiness or sadness. I want to capture those expressions and emotions, especially the look in their eyes. I want my work to come alive.
MJJJP: What medium do you prefer to work with and why?
Eliza: In the past I preferred to use drawing pencils. I love the different shades of black, white and grey. I also love black and white photographs.
MJJJP: I’ve noticed in some of your portraits that you use just a hint of color, for example, the drawing you did of Elizabeth Taylor you used color on her lips and I believe her eyes. Is there a reason for this and are you now using more color in your artwork?
Eliza: I use just a hint of color to bring out the beauty of that person. In the drawing of Elizabeth Taylor, I added the hint of violet to enhance her famous violet eyes and orange-pink to her lips to make them look ‘tempting and kissable’ LOL In the two drawings of Paris Jackson, I put a hint of color on her beautiful eyes and lips. I wanted to enhance her big beautiful eyes. I find the essence of her father in her eyes. I am now trying to use other mediums like colored pencils and pastels. I wanted to make a change because I have been using pencils on more than 200 pieces I have done. As I have never had any formal training I am not sure if my technique is right or wrong, I just do what is comfortable for me. For instance, I use colored pencils on water color papers and pastels on cartridge papers which may make a true artist laugh.
MJJJP: You have a beautiful book entitled Art Inspired by A True Artist: A loving Tribute to the King of Pop Michael J. Jackson 1958 – Forever. What made you decide to publish a book of your drawings specifically about MJ, why not all of your celebrity portraits?
Eliza: After I had done around 100 drawings of Michael Jackson, the thought came to me that I would like to publish a book with my work and donate all of the proceeds to charity. I felt that this was the best way to continue Michael’s dream of helping underprivileged children and also a way for me to honor this beautiful man who has brought so much happiness to the world. His message of love is immense and has changed many to become better people, to care for each other and to help to save the planet!
MJJJP: I assume it is self published. How difficult was that and were you looking for a publisher before you decided to self-publish?
Eliza: Yes, I did self-publish the book. I went through many difficulties but I never gave up. I had knocked on the doors of many publishers, but they were not interested and others never replied to my mail.
MJJJP: What has Michael brought to your life on a personal and an artistic level?
Eliza: Michael was a true artist in many fields such as music, dancing and drawing but most importantly his humanitarian work touched my heart the most. I love his child’s heart, innocence and purity, and how he always stayed positive even in his darkest days. He cared for the planet and always helped those in need. As an artist, he taught us to reach for the impossible, to have faith in ourselves and always believe that our dreams will come true; never give up. He is a good example for us to follow. Even though he is gone he has left an enormous legacy for us.
MJJJP: Can you tell us a little about the charity that the proceeds from your work are donated to?
Eliza: The charity is called Feed My Starving Children which is a non-profit organization founded in 1987 by a businessman who felt called to help to feed the starving children in the world and developed a method of large scale relief. Each meal costs 22 cents to produce and has 20 different vitamins and minerals that are specifically tailored to meet a child’s nutritional needs for one day. 93 percent of total donations go directly to the food program. You can find more about FMSC at www.fmsc.org.
MJJJP: Thank you Eliza for dedicating your time and effort to Michael and to his legacy. Your work is lovely and I hope to see much more of it. Please take a look at Eliza’s lovely artwork here
You can purchase Eliza’s beautiful book here