February 25, 2014

January TMI / This Month I: Had a Perfect Start to 2014

Hong Kong picnic polaroid
January has been a beautiful month. Picnics, paintings and partaking in Chinese New Year festivities.
It was my friend Phoebe Yeung's birthday, she's a talented young photographer with an enviable collection of modified vintage camera and we all celebrated with a picnic feast at Disney's Inspiration Lake and I baked a chocolate and walnut banana bread which was happily devoured. Polaroid photo by Phoebe Yeung.

Kitty N. Wong / Lindsay Lohan painting
This Month I:
Worked on a new Lindsay Lohan piece for Women I've Wanted to Be. Gold leaf everywhere! That stuff has like special electrostatic powers or something, the bits that are stuck on my mug and my desk just will not come off.

Cream fruit cake at Cafe Lavende
Met up with the gorgeous Li Meng de Bakker to chat about life and collaboration over delicious desserts at Cafe Lavende, a quiet rustic French cafe on Prince's Terrace in Midlevels. Check out our finished food x fashion project here.

Kitty N. Wong / Twenty Bliss exhibition
Set up for the TwentyBliss group exhibition at Boom Gallery here in Hong Kong. It was such an amazing turn out, thank you so much for everyone who came out to support.

Kitty N. Wong / Madame Bao gouache painting in vintage frame
One of my pieces exhibited at the TwentyBliss show, Madame Bao in a vintage red wood frame. The illustration was originally created for Tatler Hong Kong and appeared in their January issue.

Happy in Hong Kong girl dancing video still
Got to help out with the Happy in Hong Kong video shoot by Hélène Franchineau and Edwin Lee, how fun is filming! Now I have the itch to do more, maybe I'll have to start making my own vlogs instead of passively and obsessively watching them on Youtube. Watch the finished Happy video here, can you spot me?

Kitty N. Wong / babies on the subway pen sketch
Drew a baby on the MTR. I've been good lately about taking my sketchbook out everywhere and drawing and taking notes of whatever catches my imagination.

Kitty N. Wong / Live drawing at a fashion show with sketchbook
Did some live sketching at the Ecochic Design Award grand finale runway show. So energizing to sketch live and so quickly! If they are any PRs reading this, please invite me to your fashion shows I'd love to do more of this. Check out the finished sketches in my blog post about the show.

gold foil flake nails diy
I accidentally bought way too much gold leaf from TaoBao for a painting in the Women I've Wanted to Be series, there's a whole stack of these on my desk now and I've been gold leafing everything. Red and gold flake nails are perfect for Chinese New Years which just past last month.

fake vinyl panel of Hong Kong skyline, under construction
Sunny days on the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade with a picture perfect plastic view of the harbour.

For more TMI, follow me on Instagram for daily updates: @kittynwong.

February 23, 2014

Change is Hard: 2014 New Years Resolutions + 2013 in review

Kitty N. Wong / collage of fashion illustrations in 2013
MMXIII in review. My favourite drawings from each month. Little red lips 'errday, everyday.

1. Creamsicle Girls. 2,3. March. Drawing Fashion Week. 4 5. 6. 7. Shoes I Never Wear. 8. Intro to Fashion History comics. 9. More Shoes. 10. Dazed Digital. 11. 12. Women I've Wanted To Be.

There comes a time in every 20 something's life when she decides to stop being reactive and start being proactive about her goals. She wakes up realizing there's only a few more years before she turns the big 3-0 and being young will no longer serve as a valid excuse for not getting shit done. 2014 is that time for me, I'm going to take this year to get serious about pushing harder to build this thing that I love -- art, illustration, whatever you what to call it, into a real thriving career for myself. And that means keeping track of my finances, putting as much energy into sharing my work as I do making it, being deliberate about every piece I make and pitching my ideas to people I want to work with. Money, Fame & Power - get it, grrrrrl.

2013 resolutions list in scanned sketchbook page
And to get there I've made a couple of resolutions for 2014 to help me reach those goals:
1. Intern/assist at a good art gallery where I could see/envision/wish my work to be in in the future (art gallery owners: do you have a vacancy for a back scrubbbbber?).
2. Do as many group shows as possible (5+).
3. Sell some originals (if you see anything you like feel free to email me, or check my Etsy shop).
4. See more art in person.
5. Have a solo show.
6. Make/print a zine and get it distributed.

This week I went through a break up, just a little one but enough to give my world a little shake and to get me thinking about my priorities. So even though it's now February I'm adding 2 more resolutions to the list.

7. Dress more interestingly.
8. Approach people more: those cool people you want to hang out with, ask them to grab a bite to eat. That cool artist you want to assist, just ask him. Just do it, stop being embarrassed.

Writing these goals down and posting them onto the World Wide Wide turns my stomach a little bit, it's terrifying. What if I don't end up doing them? Or the goals I set are laughable and too high? But I guess as with prices you quote for your art, if the goals you set don't flip your stomach a bit then they aren't high enough.

Setting goals is important, but I'm also a huge believer in looking back. It gives me a bit of courage to look back and say "Hey! I've done this before and I can do it again.". And this time last year, I wrote down three things I wanted to achieve:

- Get an illustration published in print.
- Open a retirement account.
- Get some Instagram followers.

And at the beginning of the year both the first and the last goal seemed pretty impossible, I had only one very small personal commission under my belt and I didn't seem able to find a niche for my work or get anyone to pay attention. But I'm very happy to report on the last day of 2013, I had not one but three printed features! Some money invested in a mutual fund and almost 1400 very lovely new Instagram friends!

2014 is the year of art!

Now it's your turn: Did you make any resolutions this year? Tell me in the comments. If you did, how are they going now that we are two, almost three months in? Can you believe it's going to be March next week?

February 18, 2014

Fashion Illustrations for Tangram x Suki Cohen Lingerie Goes to Australia

Kitty N. Wong / Strawberry Milk lingerie fashion illustration
Strawberry Milk, 2014.
Kitty N. Wong
Watercolour, gouache, pencil and ink on paper.
Kitty N. Wong / Turkish Bath ingerie fashion illustration
Turkish Bath, 2014.
Kitty N. Wong
Watercolour, pencil, ink on paper and acrylic on acetate overlay.

As Dorothy Parker once wrote, “I hate writing, I love having written.”
That's sometimes how I feel about making art, I love the process of painting, but what feels so good is having painted, something good hopefully.

Last year I made a series of illustrations for Hong Kong clothing brand Tangram's lingerie collaboration with Colombian designer Suki Cohen. The digital copies had been sent to the designers months ago and the original ink drawings sat mostly forgotten in my avalanche-like paper cupboard. I've been cleaning up and organizing in preparation for my the upcoming group exhibition, Fixation at Town Hall Gallery in Australia and I found these old ink drawings from the collaboration and decided to fix them up with some new coloured backgrounds and the dotted star pattern I've been really into painting lately.

Fixation at Town Hall Gallery invitation
When I was in design school, I used to have this feeling whenever I made a piece I really liked, I  was always afraid that was the best thing I would ever make, that I wouldn't be able to make anything so good ever again. I know now that's not the case, that the more I make the better I will get. But looking at these two paintings I made almost a year ago I can't help but wonder how I made these little light brushstrokes.

Kitty N. Wong / Fashion Illustration WIP
And so now Strawberry Milk and Turkish Bath are off to Australia for the Fixation exhibition, along with 16 other pieces. My Cat Marnell painting was even selected to be included in the event invitation! The show will be a part Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, I'm so excited and honored to be a part of it. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be included by the very wonderful curator Mardi Nowak.

February 6, 2014

Recent Work / Three Beautiful Foodies for Bakker's Bites

Kitty N. Wong / fashion foodie illustration. Audrey Hepburn, Dita Von Teese, Chopstick Girl

Food and fashion makes the perfect pair, except maybe really high fashion types who would never be caught dead doing something so base as eating but that's not the case here in Hong Kong, a city that loves food. Last week I got to collaborate with model, writer and food blogger Li Meng on an illustration for her blog Bakker's Bites' 3rd birthday.
Kitty N. Wong / Bakker's Bites Fashion Illustration Chopstick

Kitty N. Wong / Bakker's Bites Fashion Illustration Dita Von Teese Martini Glass
The three illustrated girl is modelled after Li Meng herself, and each represents a different area she covers on her food blog: Western dining, Chinese cuisine and of course the best tipples in town. Click through for a sneak peek of the drafts after the jump.

February 2, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year!

Kitty N. Wong / Chocolate Chinese New Year Comic
Happy Chinese New Year!
I have absolutely no self control when it comes to chocolate and now I feel very sick.