Cornelia Li

  1. conceptual
  2. bio
  3. work process

Cornelia is a Chinese born Illustrator currently based in Toronto, Canada. After graduating from OCAD University with a BFA in Illustration, she worked in editorial, publishing, and advertising and mural art; she has also worked as a storyboard and concept artist for Children’s TV shows. Her work is characterized by rich narratives created by capturing the relationship between people and their surroundings through light, colour, and surreal visual elements.  Her work has been recognized by Society of Illustrators NYC and LA, Communication Arts, American Illustration, 3X3, the AOI, and National Magazine Award.

Client List

New York Times
The New Yorker
The Atlantic
California Institute of Technology
Corporate Knight
Washington Post
Boston Globe
Chicago Readers
Hollywood Reporter
PBS Newshour
Spectrum News
Harvard Divinity Bulletin
Christianity Today
Stanford Business
Teaching Tolerance
Milwaukee Magazine
Society of Illustrators NYC
Quebec Science
OCAD University
Viterbi Magazine
Commercial Observer
Institutional Investors
Michigan Medical
Nature Conservancy of Canada
Scientific American
Precedent Magazine
Reader’s Digest
The Walrus
Penguin Random House
Simons and Schuster
Scholastic Canada
Yosemite National Park
Quarto Publishing
Nosy Crow
Page Street Publishing
Owlkids Publishing
Annick Press
Orca Publishing

The purpose of my illustrations is to best communicate the words or concept prompted by the clients, via appropriate visual languages that can translate the intended message in a captivating way. The process for different clients varies slightly depending on the nature of the assignment, but generally follows a 3 step process:

1. After receiving an assignment, I go through the article, manuscript, or design brief and begin to analyze key words and concepts, brainstorm different visual solution approaches, do additional research, and gather references. I usually present 3 distinct concept sketches for client review.

2. I work closely with art directors on any potential revisions needed. Once approved, I begin to work on the finals. Depending on the project, It may be completed entirely in Photoshop, or incorporate painted textures to enhance the visual.

3. After the delivery of the final illustration for review, I would go back and make any revisions as needed.

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