Often described as affable and charming, Lumao (aka Oamul) is a Xiamen-based illustrator and animator. As an artist living in this seaside city, the tropical climate and the changing of the seasons all play a part in influencing the aesthetics of his artwork. Oamul’s illustration books I found a star and Feribo have been well-received in the region, and has led to his name becoming fairly well known in China’s illustration community. Besides these two books, he has also worked on other collaborative projects: Hana’s Chizaocan, Chedigaibianlew and Maoli’s Bright Side of the Road were both illustrated by Lumao.
Oamul tells us his interest with illustration can be traced back to his childhood days when his older sister turned him onto drawing. Since then, the passion he held for the art form has been unwavering. His moniker, Oamul says, “My name’s origins are rather simple. I was often called a mao (cat) when I was a kid, and my last name is Lu. So all I did was combine the two.”
Many of Oamul’s illustrations involve gorgeous natural landscapes. He seems to be gifted with the ability to grasp and articulate the delicate relation between man and nature through his images, and his work invokes a sense of emotion and moodiness that’s uniquely his. Admittedly, his preference for drawing nature can be attributed to his frequent excursions into the great outdoors. He often spends his free time traveling into forests and mountains, and fully immersing himself in the wonders of nature. “When I’m surrounded by the greenery of the beautiful outdoors, it’s easy to feel at ease and be at peace with everything.”
Oamul believes that all of his favorite artists have influenced his work to some extent. “When you look at the artworks of many great artists, those artworks become deeply rooted in your heart without you realizing it. Then one day, when you’re drawing away, you’ll notice every brushstroke have been influenced by their work in one form or another.”
Oamul considers traveling and reading to be crucial tools for fostering knowledge and creativity. These two things constantly inspire him and drive him to create new works of art. In his view, traveling to new places is exciting, and leaving your comfort zone will forcibly bring about new ideas. On the other hand, reading can bring about a sense of calm, and sometimes certain words and phrases in books have the power to trigger vivid mental imagery to provide ideas for new works.
In Oamul’s illustration book Feribo, the main character is a small fox who’s trying to improve himself for a rabbit that he adores. This series was a huge fan favorite. “The idea for this actually came about accidentally. I noticed that carrots in the marketplace resembled foxes: their color, shape, and so on. As I refined this idea more and more, I began to feel like this fox was telling me a story. So I started drawing it.” Oamul revealed to us that the story of this fox doesn’t just end with this book. Besides hinting at a future Feribo sequel, Oamul is also busy preparing a small art exhibition that will be open to the public soon!