Meet Candy Ng, an illustrator, a ceramic artist, a mural maker, graphic designer and lover of food. We first connected with her through instagram after she drew an incredible sketch of us from the ADGA First Five Out. Candy brings an element of fun, creativity and joy into all her work, and shows us what it is to live a truly creative life. Having worked with some of our favourites, Creative Mornings and Kinfolk cafe, we speak to her about her various passions, taking a year off to pursue creative projects and her unique creative journey.
1) So Candy! You are super creative, artistic and an all round amazing person. Can you tell us a bit about your background in design?
I was born in Hong Kong and lived there for 17 years. Back then I have always loved drawing and I am one of those kids who stay inside to draw on textbooks because I was too shy to make friends. My parents were pretty convinced I am no doctor / accountant / lawyer material and they saw the talent in me as being an artistic person, therefore they sent me aboard. I moved to Melbourne by myself; I had to start everything from scratch, eventually things ended up working but it wasn’t easy. Thankfully I graduated with a honour degree of Communication Design at Swinburne, got into a year of industry placement program and received a scholarship to a design tour in Germany. Since then I freelanced a bit before working in a design studio called Canyon Brand full time for almost 4 years. Other than work, I stayed active in the creative community, such as Australia Graphic Design Association, Melbourne Lettering Club and Creative Mornings. It has been a long journey and now I am taking the rest of the year off to work outside the computer screen; illustration and pottery.
2.) You’ve been telling us that you decided to take a year off full time work this year. Why did you decide to make this decision?
I discovered illustration as a possible career path after I graduated from University. I started to practise my illustrations on the side as a hobby and day dream about working as a full time illustrator. One day I found out a friend passed away from cancer, it was out of the blue so it really struck me; I guess it was the time I removed all my fears because I felt like there is no time to “waste”. I told myself everything happen for a reason, and I happen to be in Melbourne – a place where I call it as a second home, a place where there is room for emerging creatives to explore their choice of creative path, then why not take this leap of faith? This year is a year I work for love than money (Of course I have make sure I have saved enough to do so).
3) When you made the decision, was it difficult to actually go through with it?
It wasn’t difficult because I thought about it for awhile and is ready to quit my full time job at that time. The thing is I always have side projects on the side while working full time. Now it is like a swap of priority. You get more creative freedom to do what you want to do but you need to sacrifice a stable income. If we take risks in life all the time and everyday is a challenge, then why not living the life you love to live?
4) So, we are now in August and we’ve seen you’ve already gotten very busy! Besides creating the beautiful The Little Something Store, becoming a graffiti artist and doing many collabs what other projects have you done?
I officially started to do my own things in May and I would say I am pretty happy with where I am now after three months. Other than launching my Little Something Store, I have finished an editorial illustration for Affix Magazine, a mural and an artwork for Geelong Powerhouse, a group show at Melbourne Arts Club, an illustration piece for AGDA Student Council, a fashion collab. with PAOM, a collab. with Creative Mornings and illustrated signage for Kinfolk cafe.
Humbly speaking, I think am far from calling myself a graffiti / street artist. I have a respect for street art and a growing interest in larger scale and hands on jobs such as a mural though. Would love to paint more murals.
5. Can you tell us a little bit about the concept behind The Little Something Store. Many people learn pottery, but not many have the skills to create their own online store! Why did you create this project?
I really love working with my hands! Pottery is quote physically demanding though it is fun and almost therapeutic. I started to do pottery because I want to make something for myself and my friends; I started giving my friends succulent pots as gifts and then one day I am like, why not take the next step? I get inspired by the food culture in Melbourne! This project is a combination of two of my passions.
6. We know you have this amazing passion for food and this love is evident through themes in your work. Beside being tasty, what is it about food you love?
Food is like an ice-breaker; it can mysteriously bond people together.
7. Starting out from Uni or Highschool, the future always looks so daunting and unknown. What advice do you have for young designers, illustrators and artists in pursuing what they want to do?
1) Never wait for your dream project to knock on your door. Chances are, it hardly ever come to your door.
2) Leave your ego at the door. No one enjoy working with arrogant people. Stay humble and do your best.
3) Maintain your passion; to work as a creative you need to have a lot of passion in what you do. You have to be really committed and passionate in what you want to pursue – you will be tested through time.
4) Stay curious, get over your fear of uncertainties and do something; so you can show your skills to others and yourself.
5) Look after yourself; without health, what can you do?
6) Saving is important; ugly truth, you need some sort of financial support to help you to achieve your dream.
8. Finally, are you creatively satisfied?
There are so many things to look forward to! I will continues to push myself and see how far I can go 🙂
Candy has also given us some free downloadable wallpaper for your phone! Click below to download: