Lili Todd


Altadena, CA

Lili Todd, a California-based illustrator and ceramic artist, infuses her creations with vibrant positivity, featuring recurring motifs of birds, flowers and people adorned in patterned dresses. Through her art, which often incorporates uplifting messages, she seeks to foster a sense of encouragement, mental well-being and kindness, striving to connect individuals with the innate joy of creation and play.

“I would make paper dolls and play with them in the car.”

What was your favorite thing to draw as a child? Why did that lodge in your head?

I was always drawing cat people with big eyes. I would make paper dolls and play with them in the car, making them sing to Adele. The biggest painting I’ve ever done I made in the second grade of a big pink cat face with fangs and sparkles. I love that painting because it reminds me to play and be confident when I make art like little Lili knew to do.

Any activities, exercises or strategies to pull yourself out of the occasional artistic rut?

I never really stop making art, even in a rut. I just struggle through it. When I’m feeling uninspired I don’t really like anything I’m making, but the important thing is that I’m still making. And that’s what I tell myself! When I crawl out of that rut, sometimes I look back at what I made and it actually isn’t that bad at all!

What’s your biggest art inspiration? This may not be visual. Like, anything!

In college, I did a lot of research on the history of quilts and different quilt styles over the years. Quilts continue to amaze and inspire me! I became a bit of an expert on crazy quilts from the 1890s after integrating the topic into many of my academic class assignments. People don’t realize how much quilts can teach us about history.

Did you have a magic moment when you knew you wanted art to be your life?

I’ve always wanted to be an artist since I was a kid, and I’ve always been very stubborn about that goal. But one magical moment for me was at Comic-Con. When I was little (8-10 years old), my parents would sell their zines and graphic novels at Comic-Con and I would get to set up a tiny table next to them and sell my zines for $1. That’s when I realized the power of art for making connections with people, and building a community, and that I could sell it! That’s when I really felt part of

How does creativity run in your family, even if it’s not design-related?

Both my parents are artists, so that’s the kind of people I grew up around. Being an artist was the normal thing to do in my eyes. As I’ve grown up, I’ve discovered that there actually were a lot of creative people in my family. Most were not artists by profession, but it seems that my ancestors always had the drive to use their hands and make stuff. Carpenters, painters, musicians and future visionaries.