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Eyes Wide Open: Wanderlust Artist Creates Panoramic Illustrations

Have you ever wanted to drop everything, pack up, and travel the world? That’s exactly what artist Luis Simoes did more than two years ago. On March 2012, Simoes sold everything he had, quit his job, said goodbye to his family, and started his dream project, the World Sketching Tour. He set off to travel the world in five years, one year exploring each continent to draw the experiences, places, people, culture, and communities along the way.

Since he began his adventure, Simoes travelled to 29 countries and created over 1,000 sketches. Currently, he’s in Hong Kong, and has created a series of sketches called “Hong Kong Wide Feelings”. We caught up with Simoes to discuss the inspiration behind his project.

Created in collaboration with design company Eight Partnership, Simoes created “Hong Kong Wide Feelings” for an exhibition. “The exhibition was about my collection of big panoramic drawings of Hong Kong that I had done over eight months,” Simoes tells Localiiz. Judging that he is not a local, he captures the essence of Hong Kong in a unique style.

When Simoes draws a new culture, he immerses himself in his environment to ensure accuracy and capture his personal relationship with the place. “When I travel, I try to capture what is new for me and the substance of the places, blend into cultures, and meet the locals. This is where I get my inspiration. From little stories that can happen along the way, the light and contrast, the impressive architecture and the people. All of these things together makes a place unique and from there I tell my stories in sketches.”

His Hong Kong sketches feature familiar landmarks such as Central, Causeway Bay, Lamma Island, The Peak, Sham Shui Po, and Pok Fu Lam. When asked about what in our city stands out the most to him, Simoes speaks of Hong Kong’s versatility. “I’m always surprised by the variety of things that Hong Kong can offer for people. As an illustrator, I would say the busy lifestyle contrasted by the conservative Chinese culture is what inspired me to draw the city.”

Localiiz would love to see his work become a full-fledged animated cartoon about Hong Kong. Don’t you think it’d be pretty fantastic?

View the full ‘Hong Kong Wide Feelings’ series.

 

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