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Chatchanok Wongvachara

Chatchanok Wongvachara

Meet visual artist and illustrator from Bangkok, Chatchanok Wongvachara.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Chatchanok Wongvachara, and my nickname is “Pink”. I graduated from the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts in Chulalongkorn University majoring in Creative Arts: Graphic Design. I work as a freelancer for 7-8 years (still working) but right now I’m part of global agency called: Orchid Creation with my current position as an art director and focusing to be a creative director based in Hong Kong soon.

 

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

Bangkok is a nice place for food and shopping, Thai people are also one of the best with having a sense of humor. That being said, our society can be quite a hypocrite. We can believe in God and technology at the same time. So it’s quite crazy and fun to live here. You will be surprised by the people’s thoughts and their perspectives which is always conflicting with its own concept. The cost of living here doesn’t make sense compared to the minimum pay rate. People are struggling from low quality of life, being poor, having pollution problems, the bad economy, and bad transportation system that made BKK one of the worst traffic jams in the world. The biggest issue is the problem of centralization. The government always tries to keep Bangkok as the most prosperous capital which makes attention and support for other departments and cities not balanced.

 

Bangkok is a nice place for food and shopping, Thai people are also one of the best with having a sense of humor.

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?

The best thing is food and friends.

The worst thing is the traffic jam and the injustice in the system.

 

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.

Sarcastic, Sophisticated, Sense of humor

(Living in a city that is full of bullshit & hypocrisy, the only way to survive is to bear with it or just get used to it, which sucks because of our unjust system and we can’t change anything – ok, if I go beyond this it’s gonna be too risky for my life :P)

How did you start your career in art?

Since my 2nd year of university, my work has been featured on the Behance main page. Some foreign clients started to contact me after that and I made my way by facing countless and different kinds of clients. I feel thankful for all kinds of experience I had. 

 

Since my 2nd year of university, my work has been featured on the Behance main page. Some foreign clients started to contact me after that and I made my way by facing countless and different kinds of clients.

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

At first, my mother asked me if I could study in the medical field or be a doctor (Asian parent) but I told her how miserable it would be for me to do something I despise. I don’t hate doctors but I don’t think I will have a happy work life if I become one. I would like to do something related to my interests which is in art/design and still be able to earn money to support her. She’s so proud of my decision now. My mom is a single mom since my dad passed away when I was 13, she has to raise 3 children (my big brother, me, and a younger brother) by herself so she’s the strongest and most inspiring person in my life.

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?

I consider myself as a designer more than an artist. I would like to challenge my skills by working in the design field rather than in art (fine art or illustration). For me, the client’s brief could be one of the most challenging things I have to do. A lot of my work gets challenged by having to adapt according to the design brief. I got to try and challenge my skills and team up with different people. So I have a lot of fun with it and I don’t get bored with my work. Despite this, I still try to find time to work on my personal projects and try to push my boundaries in other media, not only in illustration but also in 3D and motion graphics.

Right now I’m working as an art director and soon I will be a creative director. My plan is to open my own company in Bangkok, or maybe our company could expand in other branches and be located in Bangkok as well.

 

I still try to find time to work on my personal projects and try to push my boundaries in other media, not only in illustration but also in 3D and motion graphics.

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?

Utada Hikaru is my idol even though she’s a music artist. I listened and got inspired by her music since I was young and she’s always been my most favorite artist. I look up to her as a person who commits herself into work and tries to explore new things all the time. It would be my dream to work with her- in any kind of way. Thinking about a collaboration with a musician sounds both challenging and fun.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Women around me are independent and inspiring. They are women in leadership which is the thing I would like to become someday.

My friends and I also inspire each other, not only with the women but with my male friends as well. My activities and interests make me get along well with both guys and girls since I’m really a geek and a nerdy type of person.

 

Women around me are independent and inspiring. They are women in leadership which is the thing I would like to become someday.

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

I don’t really have any when I was growing up but I was inspired by women that I have worked with or knew.

The first person is “Lek” Damisa Ongsiriwathana. She is my teacher and boss and the owner of the creative digital agency “SOUR” in Bangkok. SOUR is a creative agency who believes in the women’s voice; WOMEN NOW DRIVE THE ECONOMY. THEY ARE A CREATIVE AGENCY TO CONNECT WOMEN AND BRANDS IN A TASTEFUL WAY.
She’s a creative that I have worked with many years ago and since then I totally admire and get inspired by her strong talent and creative mind. After this experience, I joined her team as an art director in Ogilvy Bangkok and it’s one of the most challenging positions I have ever done in my life. To work with one of the greatest Thai women, creative directors of Thailand, she’ll always be my best teacher at work. She taught me many things and I am so grateful that I have been part of her team.

 

Another one is “Ise” Ratta Ananphada, one of my closest and best friend in the design industry (if she considering me as a best friend too lol). The hardest worker & one of the most inspiring human beings I know. She’s like a big sister to me who I can talk to about anything in life and work. I don’t think I have to mention much about her work because many people know that her work is one of the best and the most detailed that you could find today.

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?

For me, I see that the challenge in the advertising field is that there are only a few female leaders in the industry.  Women’s voice needs to be heard more. I believe that we can represent the insights and ideas that come from women’s thoughts in art or any kind of media especially for projects that are targeted towards women. In third world countries, especially in South East Asia, the concept of male dominance still plays a big part in society. I hope this gets better every day and I believe that it will be for our generation and the next to come. I support equality.

 

Passion is the most important thing.

Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?

Passion is the most important thing. The experience you will learn from the industry will come in time after years pass by. The thing that will keep you fresh and will get you to always be inspired is by having passion and an open mind.

Art and design is not just a hipster trend that looks cool. If you want to work in this field you must have passion and a lot of commitment as well. 

The best thing about being young is you can try and fall many times while you’re finding your way, style, or passion. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or try to do what you love. I believe that practice makes perfect. 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Chatchanok Wongvachara.

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