So I figure we are half way through the week right? For creative freelancers like myself I can really use more buttery inspiration midweek, to take me to the end! It's like an extra pop of expresso in your coffee. Or a big gigantic hug from your child. I met Flora Chang during Lilla Rogers MATS class and I'm just so inspired by her art. The bold and gentle line qualities and the tons of characters she creates ALL THE TIME. She truly is the doodle queen. You can tell she is always buzzing her fingers away it doesn't stop and I relate to those lines like chinese character writing for instance. I think of japanese animation too! Ofcourse her twist on folk art!! It's simple but so rich and fun! Her interpretations are awesome! We both have very similar inspirational sources, coming from the same birth country with different experiences. I can relate and get a lot of energy when I see her work. It is happy, it is weird. It is fun. Always new! I wish we lived closer! Enjoy this Q & A as it was so meant to be today!
1) I’m constantly amazed at your doodles and high turn over time on social networks to gain visibility and share your work. How has that been for you? Is it effective you think for your sales in your etsy shop? Is that your only marketing area for your art?
I can't speak for other people, but for me, my social network traffic rarely translates into actual Etsy shop sales, but that's not why I share anyway. Facebook is my main outlet for sharing nowadays (I also have a Pinterest account). I love it when new people like my Facebook page, and I love to share my drawings there. I draw because it's a creative outlet for me. When my schedule permits, I like to share a little something everyday, or at least every other day, even though it might just be a quick silly doodle. I love reading people's responses and know that my drawings make them smile.
2) You are from lovely Taipei Taiwan also my birth country yay! (I miss the food there so much!! haha ) I realize there is so much amazing folk art in Taipei & Asia did you start from there to get inspired with folk art and later into western/spanish folk art into your doodles. Or was it the other way around? What other artists and cultures inspire you?
Actually, I think my love for folk art really starts here in the States. After I moved to Kansas City, I started to go to antique stores and flea markets whenever I had a chance, and I would see all kinds of old folk art objects which really speak to my heart. They just have such a naive and unpretentious quality, and I can see the hand of the artists on them, which is so attractive to me. I love folk art from all cultures, but I especially love Catholic devotional folk art, and whenever I see them in flea market I'll try to buy them if I can afford.
3) What did you do before Hallmark? If you can please share about working at Hallmark, how has it been for you? Do you think it helps with your art making process as a whole? Does it keep the momentum going you think ?
I was a graduate student in San Francisco before Hallmark. I started working for Hallmark as soon as I finished school in 2001, so I've been here for almost 13 years now. I can honestly say that I learn more by working at Hallmark than from school, especially when it comes to illustration, since I wasn't an illustration student; there are so many talented artists here and people are really generous to share their knowledge. Work load is heavy, just like any other jobs, plus I can't just draw whatever I want, but I consider myself very lucky to still have a job in this economy and I am doing what I love at work.
4) How is living in kansas city? Is it interesting? Is there a lot of culture and creativity there? Whats your favorite coffee shops or places you will recommend for creatives if they are visiting?
Kansas City is the smallest city I've ever lived. I live in a suburb neighborhood called Overland Park on the Kansas side, and I work in Kansas City on the Missouri side (I know, it's confusing). I really do love living here; the only complain I have is the winter and the snow, but other than that, it's a very pretty place with lots of trees and very friendly people, and it's very affordable. Lots of creative people live here (I think part of the reason is because of Hallmark), and every first Friday of each month, lots of galleries in downtown open their doors with all kinds of art shows going on. On top of that, there is an area called "West Bottom" where TONS of vintage/antique shops holds their once-a-month sales during the first Friday weekend, definitely worth checking out.
5 )Lastly, your after work life. What are some of the strategies or rituals to help you get back into that creative place in the evening?
I don't really have any strategies; I just draw whatever I want or whatever comes to my head. If I don't feel inspired at all, then I do nothing and take a break for a day or two. Also, I don't limit myself within certain styles because I like to explore and try different things. Sometimes I like to do really graphic or colorful works, and sometimes I use only limited colors with organic line works. Luckily, my Facebook readers have all been pretty forgiving so far. :)
--You can check Flora out here on her Lovely site! Happy Doodle Land