Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Icon: Wendy Ding

December is a special to us as this month marks the 2nd anniversary of this site. Instead of hosting a party this year, we have decided to interview 6 of our collaborators, whom are part of our 12 Months of [Pop Up] Flavors project. At the end of these 6 interviews, we will debut a short documentary called "15 minutes of fame" on this site. Now, let's get to our 1st interview - Wendy Ding.

Do you consider 2011a successful year for your blog? Compare to 1 year ago, do you think your blog has evolved and captured a specific audience?
2011 was a great year! My blog has become more focused as I made efforts to carve out a more fashion-oriented illustration portfolio. The audience comprises of my original fans, stumble-uponers from across the world, and fashion/art folks I've met over the years at shows and events.

I gained more notice with the fashion crowd through the event portrait sketching gigs I've done (like LOULOU magazine's "Shop Til You Drop") so that's pretty exciting. As well, I was approached by a Montreal fashion retailer to review products but didn't know better at the time and turned them down! Banging my head on the wall for this, hope they come back...

Out of all the things you have done this year, what was your biggest achievement?
Sketching portraits at the official gifting lounge of TIFF 2011 (HUGE thanks to Chantel Bedward of Pink Mafia for making this happen). I drew actor Brian Cox, Buffalo Sabres' Ryan Miller and his actress wife Noureen Dewulf, Dragon's Den Canada's Arlene Dickinson, and socialite Ainsley Kerr amongst others. Hopefully there will be more high-profile events down the line for me to draw at!

Other than your own blog, which Canadian fashion/arts blog do you visit regularly? Why do you put it on your must read list?
The ever-resourceful, talented and eloquent Danielle Meder of Final Fashion. She's a Toronto fashion illustrator currently based in London, UK. Her blog posts are full of wisdom, practical yet fun anecdotes, and nuggets of business gold for anyone who's trying to make it on their own. You go, Danielle!

What kind of expectation do you have for your blog in 2012? Do you think you will be adding some new elements to it?
There are definitely new elements I want to add so stay tuned! You'll continue to see my works in progress, photos from events, and new projects I'm working on. Also toying with the idea of writing longer, more in-depth entries that shed light on the life of a freelance illustrator including the good, bad and the ugly.

Courtesy of Mark Sommerfeld

I know there are a lot of people looking for ways to break into the Canadian fashion and arts scene, what are some of your advices you can give to them?
Be yourself. This can be said for all aspects of life but here especially. The fashion and arts scene is constantly over-saturated (like the creative field tends to be in general) and people can easily sense if you're a hack, copycat, or a trend-whore. It's more important to have your own voice than blindly follow what's considered in style.

Keep at it. Keep updated on what's going on, keep reaching out and connecting with others whether in person or on the interwebs, keep updating your portfolio / blog, keep taking the initiative, keep engaging, keep doing.

If you had a chance to collaborate with fashion brands for your blog next year, which brands would you want to work with? What kind of projects would you want to do?
I would love to illustrate surfaces for cosmetics like Tokidoki, Urban Decay, and MAC; backdrops and visuals for the beautiful displays at Holt Renfrew, The Bay and Macy's, sketches to accompany the editorial pages of Vogue, Flare, and Nylon; and have my illustrations grace billboard ads in major cities like New York, Toronto, London, Shanghai or Paris.

Please click here to visit Wendy Ding's website.

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