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Rose Wong

Rose Wong

Meet illustrator from Brooklyn, Rose Wong.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Rose and I am an illustrator who also makes zines and ceramics. I was born in Michigan to Chinese parents who immigrated from Guangzhou. They owned a small Chinese-American restaurant where I spent a lot of time helping out until I moved away to study Communication Design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and have been living there since 2010. Now, I have accumulated over 50 plants and I love them!

 

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

I live in New York City but I spend a lot of my time working from my cozy home/studio in Brooklyn. When I’m not illustrating, I’m at the ceramic studio or going to bookstores or eating.

 

I live in New York City but I spend a lot of my time working from my cozy home/studio in Brooklyn. When I’m not illustrating, I’m at the ceramic studio or going to bookstores or eating.

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

The best thing about NYC for me is the food, my friends, art shows and grocery shopping in Chinatown. The worst thing is the rampant gentrification (that artists are unfortunately adding to) and the increasingly high cost of living in the city.

 

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

Exciting, hard work, resilience

 

How did you start your career in art?

I had done little commissions here and there throughout college but didn’t do any editorial work until after graduating. I had compiled a small list of publications I wanted to work for and asked for portfolio reviews. I got a couple of favorable reviews but was not hired until later that summer when I was away on vacation. The New York Times Op-Ed section contacted me to do a small black and white piece and my first editorial was done while stressed out at the beach. It was an experience that I feel marked the beginning of my career.

 

The New York Times Op-Ed section contacted me to do a small black and white piece and my first editorial was done while stressed out at the beach. It was an experience that I feel marked the beginning of my career.

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

Senior year, when mulling over my future and where and what I wanted to study, I was super worried because art school was very expensive. My dad told me straight up that I was not a doctor, engineer, or lawyer. He said that I should do what comes easiest to me, and that was art. My family, though understandably also worried about a career in art, are very encouraging (in their own loving way).

 

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

I want to make a long-form comic, and also further my ceramic practice.

 

I want to make a long-form comic, and also further my ceramic practice.

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

I don’t think I have an amazing answer to this. I am always collaborating with my boyfriend on zines and ceramics and it has been fun so far!

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Strong, beautiful, compassionate, silly, hard-working, stubborn, soft babies.

 

Strong, beautiful, compassionate, silly, hard-working, stubborn, soft babies.

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

My mom was my inspiration while growing up. She also drew pretty well even though she would say she was bad at it. After working a long day at our family restaurant, she would always be reading, knitting, sewing, planting flowers or making our home beautiful. She is patient and kind and I really respect her.

 

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

I am a freelance illustrator who works from home and because of that, I feel like I haven’t directly faced challenges professionally or at least I am not aware of them.

 

Surround yourself with people that will encourage and challenge you.

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

Do not be discouraged by rejection, failures, or lack of inspiration. Do give yourself time to experiment with art (all forms of art! Especially working in a sketchbook). Do not isolate yourself, art is not created in vacuums. Surround yourself with people that will encourage and challenge you. Also doesn’t hurt to get really good at finances and saving because loans are the worst.

 

Photos courtesy of Rose Wong.

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