It's all about Maggie, silly

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 12:00am

You've seen her in comic books, on MSN, in flash games - and now Maggie, the cartoon persona of Maggie Lau Hoi-yan, is taking to the stage as a life-size, playful figurine in local shopping malls.

Cartoon Maggie was born when Lau started to blog about her daily life five years ago. Although not a designer or illustrator by training, Lau loves to draw and before long the drawings that enlivened her blogs were winning her fans - including an editor at a publishing house.

The result was her first book, My silly Life, which proved hugely popular, selling more than 30,000 copies.

The success of that first book has led to a further five books, two of which, My Silly Travels and My Silly Pregnancy, are currently featured at the Hong Kong Book Fair.

As the titles suggest, Lau makes light of life, simply setting down anything she finds funny, from things that happen to her to amusing conversations with family and friends.

She has written and illustrated the funny things that happened during her wedding and her pregnancy, and now she is working on a book about her two-month old daughter.

She says her daughter occupies most of her time and has become the main inspiration of her work at the moment.

Lau sums up her illustrations as 'silly' as they emphasise her offbeat interpretations of life.

She describes her life as 'silly', saying nothing that has happened to her was planned and that even her now well known cartoon characters came about through chance - or luck.

Bored with her office job, in 2004, she began uploading her illustrations for something to do. Eventually, when her job became unbearable, she quit and took a multimedia course.

'I wanted to find other ways to present my illustrations. So I took a multimedia course to learn more about computer graphics and flash,' she says.

To her surprise, the next thing to happen was being invited to publish a book.

'I had never thought of being a full-time illustrator,' Lau says. 'When the chance came, it was my luck to catch it.'

As her hobby became a career, Lau's multimedia training equipped her to rise to the occasion. But, she says she is also careful not to lose her love of what started out as a hobby due to the pressure of it having become a job.

'I only draw what I really want to,' she says. 'I don't want to push myself too hard and lose my interest in drawing.

'Ideally, I'd like to keep drawing illustrations for the rest of my life. If that's impossible, I hope to be able to stick to something related to drawing as my career.'

Lau's first venture outside the world of pure animation has come about through joining hands with shopping malls to design installations for the upcoming December East Asian Games in Hong Kong.

'It's interesting to see my illustrations come to life,' she says. 'I embraced the 3D Maggie when I first saw her in the shopping mall.'

Lau's life-size Maggie figurines in sporting poses are on display at Park Central in Tseung Kwan O till August 16, and will be showcased at the Tsuen Kam Centre in Tsuen Wan for the rest of next month.

Lau is sharing her joy about the 'silliness' of life with Young Post readers with an illustration for a lucky reader. Write us an e-mail ( and tell us why you love Lau's work to win.