Caroline Hwang

1. Where are you from and how long have you been illustrating?

Originally from Los Angeles and 6 years in the making of being a New Yorker. I've been illustrating for about 7 years now

2. How did you come to choosing embroidering, and stitching your artwork?

As a kid, I always loved crafts. I used to spend my allowance at the fabric store by my house and half-ass projects. When I got to art school, I was still trying to find my style and realized I would never be one of those painterly, super amazing figure drawing artists. I started experimenting with sewing and collaging which ended up being my approach to art.

3. I know that for some artist their personal work/gallery work is often similar or the same as their illustration work. Do you see any difference between what you would do for a gallery versus what you would do for an illustration job?

Yea, I try to keep it separate. Stylistically it is similar but conceptually its pretty different. Illustrations need to be eye-catching and my personal work doesn't need to be that. I have subtleties in my personal work that is best seen in person.

4. What’s the coolest thing to happen to you while living in New York?

There's so many cool things that happen every day in New York, things that are unique. I would say the coolest thing while living here is learning about underground supper clubs AND starting one!

5. Do you miss California at all?

I do. My family and a lot of my really close friends live there so I miss them. I miss the weather when I'm in the 5th month of the brutal winter.

6. What’s your process when coming up with idea’s for a piece for a client?

If its for an editorial illustration, I'll read the story and try to grasp the overall concept. I really try not to go for the obvious and will play around with several sketches. I used to turn in sketches that I didn't like, but I made a strict rule not to do that anymore. It would end up that the client would choose the one I hated and I would end up with a illo that I wasn't proud of.

I like to play around with the mood of the piece as well which will usually lead to my color scheme, then I'll start collaging.

7. Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what kind of jams are you listening to these days?

Sometimes I listen to music and sometimes I listen to podcasts. I like having the background noise of people talking in the room so I'll listen to NPR. Recently I've been listening to the new Kanye West, The Tallest Man on Earth, Jenny and Johnny, Bonnie Prince Billy and the Cairo Gang, and I've recently started listening to the Lemonheads again.

8. How was it at Surtex this year?

It was a fun and new experience. My rep (Frank Sturges Reps) gathered a bunch of us from the group to show at the booth. It is definitely a new world to explore, especially for illustrators. There's so much stuff out there and so much ho-hum art on it. It would be nice to have a fresh take.

9. What do you do in your spare time, when your not making artwork?

I cook and bake a lot. Its my other passion, other than eating. And I cuddle with my dog.

10. Do you have a favorite place to get cakes/desserts in Brooklyn?

I recently discovered this new place in my neighborhood called Beny's. They have THE best chocolate eclairs. There's chocolate filling on the inside that oozes perfection.

11. Would you ever consider "yarnbombing"?

Not really, its not something that I'm interested in. I like the guerilla aspect of making an ordinary object crafty and I like it when I see it. But I think if I ever did something like that, it would be a little different.

12. What’s your dream illustration job?

Anything that's experimental, whether its an animated project or a huge 3-d installation project that can be shown as illustration.

13. What are you loving about illustration right now?

I love that it's starting to embrace mixed media far beyond collages with paper. When I first graduated, most art directors had a hard time envisioning my stitched pieces in print. So it's nice that stitched, 3-d, etc are being printed more.

14. Advice to young illustrators trying to get their start?

Don't send in a sketch you wouldn't be happy to taking To a final and seeing in print, you never know if it'll get chosen.

15. Advice to the established folk?

I thinking have far more to learn from them than to offer any advice

16. Final Word?

Thanks and bye!

Thank You Caroline!
All images are under ©opyright by Caroline Hwang

Her illustration work can be found - carolinehwangillustration.com
Her Gallery work/Zines can be found - Carolinehwang.net

-Daniel Fishel

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