May 27, 2013

Streetstyle Sketches from Art | Basel HK on TheWanderlister+

Really excited to announce my collaborative post with TheWanderlister+ on streetstyle at Art | Basel HK 2013! The post is up now so make sure you head over to to see my post and the latest art, style and design news in Asia.

Chanel at Art Basel HK / Kitty N. Wong
Much of the art fair is spent calling friends who you have lost along the way. Why not do it chicer than thou in gold sandals, white jeans and long bouclé jacket and a matching quilted Chanel.

Every year there is a one most magical night in Hong Kong for style watching and that night is called Art Basel Vernissage (formally known as ARTHK).

Every year I go camera in hand to get inspired by the art and also by the stylish people in attendance. That's how I met theWanderlister, JJ.Acuna, two years ago, he was wearing the Cambridge satchel that my friends and I had been coveting that month so I introduced myself for a snap. But pro photographer I am not, I get nervous, the most beautiful people always sneak away and the resulting photos never capturing what I was looking for.

So this year I decided to try something different and to try sketching instead. Here are some of my favourite looks from the preview night in watercolour and pencil, enjoy!

Leopard print at Art Basel HK / Kitty N. Wong
A sleek leopard column dress in front of a neon green abstract at Booth 1B03.

ElleIconLee in purple at Art Basel HK / Kitty N. Wong
Nervous about taking photos I usually try to sneak shots but Elle of ElleIconLee was kind enough to pose for me wearing an elegant purple jumpsuit. 

Kimono at Art Basel HK / Kitty N. Wong
A stylish expectant mother in front of the Swire Design Booth wearing a billowing Arts and Crafts kimono and converse sneakers. 

Red dress at Art Basel HK / Kitty N. Wong
There were red dresses a plenty this year, myself included. Here it's paired with fringed platform booties and an ombre blonde bob.

Kitty N. Wong / illustrated fashion face portrait in watercolour
A gallery assistant with big tortoise shell frames.

So, what do you think of our collaboration? Should we do more? I've got more posts to come from Hong Kong's very first Art | Basel on here very soon.
And finally a huge thank you to JJ, the editor of TheWanderlister+ for having me on his site!

May 25, 2013

#ZigWisdom / Seeing Farther

watercolour drawing of girl on mountain with binoculars
"Go as far as you can see, and when you get there you will always be able to see farther." --Zig Ziglar

This is #84 from Zig Ziglar’s list of 100 Things I Learned on My Way to the Top from my series with Brianne Garcia.

I've been thinking about this idea a lot lately since this year I want to take my illustration career farther, do bigger projects, make better work and really get myself out there. But sometimes our goals feel so loose and so large, so intimidating and you don't know where to start since you don't really know where you are going.

My mantra is this: Take whatever project is being offered to you, email people if there are no projects (try people you already know if it's easier), start there. Start anyway, start here and go as far as you can see.

picture of process drawing with moonrise kingdom movie still
On the left is my first draft. I kept the drawing which was inspired by this scene in Moonrise Kingdom, and added a background and changed the hand lettering. Hope you like it and godspeed on your journey.

May 21, 2013

Sketch / Oil Pastel Portraits

oil pastel beauty portrait
Playing with oil pastels for the first time in a long time.

I had been wanting to try oil pastels again ever since being inspired by these bright fashion week sketches from Damien Florebert Cuypers which I think think are so fun and full of life. I picked up a cheapie set while at my neighbourhood art supply store the other day, I was hesitant to try them again remembering them being so messy and maybe slightly unfashionable in this age of realistic airy pencil/watercolour illustrations.

But in the end I loved how they turned out, so vivid and expressive. Perfect for portraits.

portrait of mom in Woody Allen's film Interiors holding vase
This was the sketch I started with, made while watching Interiors the other night-- I love Woody Allen.

What do you think? Any favourite things that you thought you would hate but then ended up loving? I used to hate shitake mushrooms, now I love them/mushrooms in general.

May 18, 2013

#ZigWisdom / Someone to Inspire Us

Fran Lebowitz portrait
"Our Chief want in life is someone to inspire us to be what we want to be."

This is #45 from Zig Ziglar’s list of 100 Things I Learned on My Way to the Top.

A couple of weeks ago, writer/hustler/general cool girl Brianne Garcia sent out a tweet asking people to email her if they wanted a PDF of that Ziglar list. I had no idea who he was but I personally find inspirational quotes completely irresistible, and I also felt like emailing people that day.

I tweeted out an offer to send the list to anyone interested, and the response surprised me: dozens of people responded or emailed me directly, interested in this list of lessons. 
This was a really cool realization; all of the people who responded are conscious livers of life. Instead of passively passing through their own lives, they’re interested in motivation, wisdom and advice on how to better approach all the millions of moments ahead.

Kitty was one of those who emailed me, and of course, I stalked her a bit and realized her drawings run the gamut from glamorous and beautiful to photographic, in a sense, sometimes telling the literal story of the subject in one snapshot.

So I messaged Brianne asking her for a copy. And when she said she loved my illustrations and asked to work together on something I jumped at the chance and suggested doing a series of drawings from our favourite quotes from the list.

On the drawings: It look me much longer than I thought it would to translate the concept into a drawing. And I wanted to make them cool.

I made so many sketches but then for some reason kept thinking about Fran Lebowitz all the time for the word ‘inspiration’, mostly from her doc Public Speaking. So I drew her. She seems like someone who would be an amazing and terrifying mentor who’d toughen you up and be pretty inspiring.

Here's the other sketch I was thinking of using: 
Our chief want in life is for someone to inspire us to be what we want to be.
If you love inspirational quotes as much as I do, look out for more! I'll be drawing and we'll be posting weekly. Enjoy! Don't forget to share it if you dig it.

May 14, 2013

Artsy Guide to HK / Jumping on Stonehenge at M+ Inflation

girl at cement blocks at M+ Inflation in West Kowloon

Last week my parents and I headed over to the West Kowloon Cultural Distract to check out the M+ Inflation exhibition. It was amazing day and so much fun, full of larger than life inflatable sculptures.

It was pretty windy day so a few of the exhibitions weren't open, but none the less there was still 4 ginormous inflatable sculptures to be seen/bounced on. My favourite being the life-size (!) inflatable Stonehenge called Sacrilege by British artist Jeremy Deller. It was like the worldest biggest most artful bouncy castle set against a panoramic backdrop of the Hong Kong harbour.

Sacrilege inflatable Stonehenge sculpture art bouncy castle

Gif of woman falling on inflatable Stonehenge
Woo! Raise the roof, oops... Sometimes bad things happen to good people and the bouncy Stonehenge castle can get dangerous.

Pencil Drawing at M+ Inflation Stonhenge
Pencil sketch, coloured in Photoshop.

We had so much fun bouncing on Stonehenge sculpture, I always love art that's interactive and delightful and makes you feel like a kid again - that's the best kind of art I think. I loved it so much I even made a little sketch inspired by hopping around on it with my mom, if you glide a certain way on it you feel like a weightless astronaut.

Stonehenge in West Kowloon HK

Harbour view during M+ Inflation in West Kowloon HK
Yes, that is a giant pile of poop. Literally. By US artist Paul McCarthy. A couple of weeks ago, bad weather punctured the inflatable piece, titled Complex Pile and the HK tabloids had a field day with their 'shit explosion' headlines. Further back to its left you can also see the roast pig sculpture by Chinese artist Cao Fei.

panorama of West Kowloon HK during M+ Inflation

Falling into the Mundane World, cockroach and leg artwork giant sculpture.
An upside down cockroach and a pair of legs. Falling into the Mundane World by Tam Wai Ping.

cold udon at Inaniwa at Elements
Finished the evening with really delicious udon at Inaniwa Udo Nab at the nearby Elements mall.

event poster from M+ Inflation, 4 layers creative design
For more info, head over to the M+ website, it's so creatively designed and my little drawing of Sacrilege is featured in the SNAPS section as well. The exhibition runs until June 9, 2013.

May 4, 2013

This Month I've Been: April

banana macadamia nut pancakes on turquoise table
Making pancakes. This was a really delicious banana macadamia nut recipe with coconut cream. You should try it!

lookbook drawing of girl in smiley face bathing suit
Painting in the AMENPAPA lookbook. Earlier this month I finished up my lookbook package for the Hong Kong based clothing brand, they asked different artists and illustrators in the city to decorate their lookbook for them which they're going to put in an exhibit. Blogpost to come with pictures of my drawings.

drawings of luxury dresses and accessories celine, chloe, jimmy cho
Drawing fancy shoes and dresses for Backroom. I was commissioned to create an illustration for the luxury e-commerce website's launch party invitation. Thank you so much to my contact Vanessa.

logo scribbles surrounded by paint, brushes, calligraphy pen
Scribbling my signature for my new logo. My amazingly talented graphic designer friend Belinda and I are working together to create some fresh new branding for me and a portfolio website, I'm super excited for this and can't wait to show you what we've been up to. It's so cool that even though she's all the way in Wales we can still collaborate and bounce ideas off each other.

infused spa water with lemon and mint
 Making spa water with the mint from our rooftop garden that is just growing wildly and amazingly!

watercolour painting of macrobiotic veggies, radish, leeks, kohlrabi
Drawing veggies. A friend of mine is creating a macrobiotic website and commissioned me to create some illustrations for her site. It was fun drawing all the macro favourites like, radish, leeks and kohlrabi.

rice logo sketches in pencil in sketchbook
And sketching logo ideas. I also got to create a logo for the same Macrobiotic website based around the idea of simple brown rice grains.

japanese simple packaging for apple juice
Speaking of veggies, I've been drinking this delicious cloudy all natural apple juice. I'm not huge on juice (except smoothies), I usually just drink water and tea. I prefer to eat my sugar rather than drink it. I love the clean Japanese packaging on the bottle.

watercolour illustration of celine runway model
The last week of this month I was distracted and didn't draw as much as I should have and when I started to get back to it I struggled and made a lot of drawings I wasn't thrilled about and then I felt discouraged and shitty.

sketchbook drawing of a girl in rainbow crochet scarf
Finally I was rescued from my creative rut when my friend Helene came over for a drawing date on the most recent public holiday, we drew and chatted and I was reminded that drawing should be fun.

I hoped you had a great month too. And here's to a really nice summer month of May.

Follow me on Instagram for more updates! @kittynwong

May 1, 2013

Sketches | Rainbow Scarf Girl and DIY Gouache Palette

Yesterday was a public holiday here in Hong Kong and my friend Helene came over and we had a drawing date. We chatted, ate snacks and doodled stuff while looking at jealousy-inducing pretty people on Instagram.

It was really good I haven't been feeling very inspired to draw these last few weeks and whenever I do none of my drawings turn out the way I want. So it was so nice to have a friend over and doodle while we chatted, reminds me that making art doesn't have to be grueling and solitary for it to be good. Making art is play.

Know that it is good to work. Work with love and think of liking it when you do it. It is easy and interesting. It is a privilege. There is nothing hard about it but your anxious vanity and fear of failure.
– Brenda Ueland
I drew the scarf girl from a really old issue of H&M magazine from a House of Holland photo using this DIY paint palette I made. I couldn't find any reasonably priced gouache palettes at the art supply store so I decided to make my own out of a mini toolbox I found at the dollar store.