Tell us a bit about Lucie (or LaPtiteLu)
Actually LaPtiteLu and I are the same person ;) LaPtite means “the little” in French and Lu is just the beginning of Lucie, my name. Because she is a small version of me. ^
I am French, I am 31, I come from a small Island in the French Caribbean called Martinique. I came in Shanghai in 2010 to work and met my boyfriend here. After many years of working in e-commerce companies as an art director and web designer, I became a freelance Illustrator and graphic designer since this summer. So I can focus on what I like the most: drawing =)
Tell us a bit about the La PTite Lu blog, when and how it was born
I started my blog 7 years ago. But LaPtiteLu was born in my sketchbook during my art studies… that was really long time ago. We were supposed to draw sketches everyday but I found more fun to draw little comics of my daily life. It was a cool way to express myself and to find ideas. At the beginning she was quite different. No colour, only black and white, no details at all, always complaining and she was only in my sketchbook. I think I might still have this sketchbook somewhere…
<-- In 2009
Big Difference, isn’t it?
But to me, my blog is not just about LaptiteLu. I also like to talk about travel, food or anything that I like to share... I m still the boss there! and LaPtiteLu is just the main character of the blog ;)
Blogging can be challenging especially when there’s so much drawing involved – how long times does one post normally takes you?
Ahaha, that’s the question everyone asks. It really depends; sometimes I wake up with the whole idea in my mind. I know exactly how to start the story and end it with a funny twist, which is the most important part. If the story is not too long, I can finish it in 3 hours.
Sometimes, I want to do something but the idea is not clear. I had this issue for the Chinese Valentines day. I really wanted to do something and it took me 2 days to do research. At the end, I knew I wanted to explain the legend, but in a fun way…and it took me 3 days to draw and write the story. It was quite exhausting.
You’ve also created a book with all Laptite Lu’s adventure correct? That must have taken a lot of time? Can you share the book info with us and how to buy it?
Yes, there is a book of the adventure of LaPtiteLu! More than 30 stories about the life of a French girl in Shanghai.
Honestly, I never wanted to make a book. First of all, I never thought people could be interested and I didn’t want to add on a heavy task to my busy schedule. Secondly, I didn’t really want to be creatively restricted if I was to publish the book with a publishing house.
But one day, a “self publishing house” website proposed me to publish it. To get the book printed and distributed, I had to get at least 50 confirmed buyers in 2 month. That sounded really easy. 50 were not a lot and it was very tempting to see my stories in a book.
I worked very hard for 6 months. I picked some of my best old stories and I created new one that only exist in the book. I think the most difficult part was the cover. I had no idea what to put on!
After those 2 months, more people were still asking me where to buy it as the online sale has ended. So I decided to reprint the book by myself and sell it by myself. To buy it, contact me. I usually send by kuaidi and people pay me by wechat.
But if you are outside of China, there is also this link:
How do you come up with ideas for LaPtite lu’s experiences and have you always experienced them yourself first?
My inspirations come from my daily life. There is nothing in the adventure of LaPtiteLu that I didn’t experience myself. Everything is true or partially true. I just change it to make it funny. Because that is the whole point, make people smile. But honestly I never had to change the stories a lot… China is full with stories! Especially the funny ones.
If someone wants to start a new blog in Shanghai, what’s your suggestion for topic - What’s missing on Shanghai’s blogging scene?
There are already so many blog and topics; it is hard to think about a new topic. Maybe movies and cinema because I am a big fan of cinema and in Shanghai, there’s hardly any film or cinema culture.
But to me a blog is something too personal. It is not something you should do to please people but to please yourself first =)
What’s your best advice to someone who wants to start a blog in Shanghai?
To be honest, if someone would like to start a blog in China, I would tell him or her to create a wechat account as well. People are spending more time on their phone than their computers.
I have started my wechat account in November 2014 and it works so much better than my blog! The best is to have both, of course it is double work… but people in Europe are not familiar with wechat, and people in China doesn’t use blog that much unless it on Weibo. If your blog server is based outside of China, the connection can be slow and one might have to use VPN to get access to it. But it depends of your target audience. I feel even foreigners start to use wechat more and more.
You are in China… The biggest market in the world! It would be a shame to miss that just because of some VPN issues ^^ Being able to adapt is my advice.
Thank you so much for your insights & advice Lucie...
and for spreading fun & joy with our favorite