January 16, 2014

Live Runway Sketches at the 2013 Redress Ecochic Design Awards

Kitty N. Wong / Ecochic Runway sketch

Kitty N. Wong / Ecochic Runway Sketch

Kitty N. Wong / Ecochic Runway Sketch
Writing this post right now feels so appropriate since it was this very competition, the 2012 Ecochic Design Awards for which I was a semi-finalist and gave my career and my self esteem the much needed boost to start freelancing.

And this year I've promised myself to take deliberate steps toward improving my illustration career, setting goals, pitching more editors, making cold calls - basically being more proactive instead of reactive. The awards last year was also one of the first posts on this blog, I feel like I've come full circle.

This was my first time live-sketching a fashion show and there is nothing more FUN! I can't believe I haven't tried this earlier, it's like life drawing class but with better music and more adrenaline. It's also an unbelievably good way to burn through paper, I bought this huge cheap watercolour pad while on vacation in Beijing, the texture is a combination of toilet paper and recycled cardboard box so this was a great way to finish up some of that. Runway sketching is also really difficult, those models move fast! While drawing I kept thinking about other illustrators who do this so well, like fashion illustrator Danielle Meder, Kenneth Paul Block and Richard Haines. Hong Kong doesn't have too too many fashion shows, but the next chance I get I'm on it.

1. An outfit from this year's winner Germany's Karen Jessen. 2. Mainland China's finalist Xinyan Dai's denim dress. 3. UK finalist ClĂ©mentine Sander's coral inspired textural design. 

Click through to see some streetstyle sketches of guests and judges from the show.

January 13, 2014

This Month I've Been / Hand Holding Things December, Goodbye 2013.

brioche and yellow flats
This Month I've Been:
Holding and eating delicious golden brioches, my mom made a batch for my dad's birthday. Crispy, buttery and too delicious. Hong Kong's been cold this past month and I've been taking advantage by baking more and eating everything in sight.

Kitty N. Wong / WIP Cat Marnell gouache painting
 Working on my new "Women I've Wanted to Be" series. WIP shot of the Cat Marnell portrait.

Tetsuya Ishida in Hong Kong
Seeing art at the holy trinity of international galleries in Hong Kong: Perrotin, Gagosian and White Cube. Just finished at the Gagosian was late Japanese artist Tetsuya Ishida amazing paintings.

Hommes string quartet sketch at Landmark HK
Getting out more, I accidentally came across the Hommes Australian string quartet's performance at the Landmark as part of the mall's Christmas series. Handsome boys on violins, so dreamy.

Kitty N. Wong / quick christmas portrait
Making quick Christmas portraits for clients. Want one? Email me for more info! kitty.n.wong (at) gmail.com. Valentine's Day is coming up, makes a lovely unique gift for your sweetie.

Kitty N. Wong / ootd sketchbook
Trying to sketch more, on the spot instead of from photos. This is one I did in the mirror of my #ootd. Ooooootd.

Distilling Sense Exhibition in HK, pink giant ballons
Seeing the Hong Kong Arts Centre's “Distilling Sense” exhibition, look at this gorgeous dream like installation by teamLab. 

Kitty N. Wong / Turkish Bath watercolour fashion illustration
Trying out new materials like painting acrylic patterns onto an acetate overlay.

Vvn Ho portrait in oil pastel
Getting my portrait done, artist Vvn Ho did a drawing of me in oil pastel at her live portraits booth at Daydream Nation's Bazaar. Isn't it so cool? I love the fauvist colours.

Yuen Long, Hong Kong Picnic with dim sum
And of course, eating everything in sight. My friends and I picnicked at Yuen Long park, Yuen Long is a veritable food heaven, amazing tofu flower, drunken chicken, har gow, soy marinated meats and the famous Hang Heung lo por pan (wife cake).

Capping off a very wonderful year, goodbye 2013!

January 10, 2014

Sketches / Joan Crawford by Eve Arnold in Ballpoint Pen

Kitty N. Wong / Joan Crawford Pen Drawing
A little pen drawing of Joan Crawford from my sketchbook, and by sketchbook I mean random sheets of scrap paper I stuff into my purse. From an Eve Arnold book I was flipping through at the library. I've been using the Stabilo Liner 808 F pens a lot lately, seriously best and cheapest ballpoint pen around, they're $2 at the stationery store here.

January 8, 2014

Painting / Women I've Wanted to Be: Marilyn Monroe

Kitty N. Wong / Marilyn Monroe Gouache Portrait Painting
Marilyn, 2014.
Kitty N. Wong
Gouache, pencil and ink on paper.

A new painting I just finished last night from my series "Women I've Wanted to Be".

When I was really little I thought Madonna was Marilyn Monroe but then in middle school when I grew up and discovered the joys of old movies, I wanted nothing more than to be Marilyn Monroe (not Madonna), I memorized all of her movies, took extensive notes of her outfits and tried in vain to cultivate a breathy trans-Atlantic accent.

I think Marilyn Monroe hasn't the hardest face to draw, it's like her features are all too porportional no one can make an accurate representation, or maybe we see too many images of her so we all of such a clear idea of what it should look like. Like hands, hands are so hard to draw because they are so familiar to us and our taste level for what hands should look like are set really high.

Kitty N. Wong / Marilyn Monroe gouache painting WIP

January 1, 2014

Painting / Women I've Wanted to Be: Cat Marnell

Kitty N. Wong / Cat Marnell Gouache Portrait Painting
Cat Marnell, 2013.
Kitty N. Wong
Gouache, pencil and ink on paper.


New year; new series.
I've been working on a series of portraits about women and pop-culture
that I'm cheekily calling "Women I've Wanted to Be". Whenever I try to name something it always ends up sounding a little clunky. But whatever, you know what they say, your weakness will become your signature. Maybe clunky sounding titles are my signature, I'm like a clunky dadist poet, you never know.

I love working on series, it's such an incredible chance to improve and experiment. I can literally see myself improving with each piece, the latest one always feels the most precious because it feels like the best thing I've ever done and usually I'm tempted to stop there, admire it, to "quit while I'm ahead". But since it's a series I'm forced to keep going and keep creating and this year I've realized that is my greatest ally in my quest to make better work. The series of fashion week sketches from earlier this year is a really good example of this, make work daily and you will be rewarded. 

From working on these, I've also realized how much I enjoy painting hair and things that are an abstract pattern, like the hairs on the fur coat.

Here's to another artful year where we will push ourselves to become the person we want to be.
Happy 2014!