At six years old, Zhang Baolan started learning the art of cotton wool drawing from her grandmother and mother, who were both enthusiastic about paper cuttings and fabric art.
"The cotton wool drawings made by my grandma and mother were quite simple and I started to make it more elegant and elaborate from 1986 when my daughters went to universities and I had more time to work on the art," Zhang said.
Now the 69-year-old's cotton wool drawings are quite popular overseas and she has been invited to hold exhibitions in several countries and regions. Many of her artworks are collected by art institutions or private collectors in the United States, Germany, France, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Even the former US president Bill Clinton collected one of her cotton wool drawings during a state visit to China in 1998.