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Apart from the odd drawing class when she was younger, Linda Tso is entirely self-taught. As a child she remembers going to art, calligraphy, piano and dance lessons, most of these were as she says, ‘just for fun’. Her younger experiences also took her to the odd art exhibition. “I remember standing in front of Ingrés' "Roger Delivering Angelica" and was so amazed by how perfect, and huge, the painting was. My parents didn’t influence me much in terms of art, although they did give me a well-rounded cultural education, so to speak.” She moved from Taiwan to New Zealand in her early years.
The next time Linda Tso had that same feeling of awe was when she discovered the beautiful digital paintings on an online art gallery in 2003. “I wanted to be able to create those kinds of images as well,” she says. “I still consider myself in the early stages of my art career, if you could call it that. I've done some book covers, illustrations for cards, private commissions and some tutorials.”
Linda began to post her work online and won her first freelance job soon after, from a Taiwanese clients wanting some book covers produced. That was three years ago now, and since there has been a fair bit of travel in her life lately, Linda has no ‘studio’ to speak of. “Currently, it's just a table, a chair, and my computer,” she explains. “I used to have pictures and paintings all over the wall for inspiration, and I also kept a selection of art books, magazines, reference books etc nearby; most of those are still packed in boxes somewhere now.”
She greatly admires those artists who can, “work in more stylized ways - for example lines and cell shading in comics, master illustrators such as Rackham and Mucha. That is definitely something I aspire to. Some of the hardest and most difficult jobs would turn out to be the ones where I learned the most, because I had to venture out of my comfort zone and challenge myself.”