Marcus Kan, the blogger of 'à la mode', is back with his weekly interviews with emerging talents in fashion illustration and digital photography. This time he met Helen Huang and got even two exclusive works from the talented artist for SWIDE.com.
Helen Huang is one of the hidden gems I found on the cyber space. I was deeply attracted to her drawing style when I first saw her works online. Today, I am proudly presenting Helen Huang to the Swide readers!
M: Hello Helen, I know we have done a few collaboration works in the past 2 years, but this may be the first time for the Swide readers to know you. So, what made you want to become a digital illustrator? Do you find it easier to draw on computer than on paper?
H: Art and design have always been my passion. Growing up before the digital era, I started in traditional art. When I was introduced to the digital art medium, I was fascinated. Digital art has so many advantages, you can let your imagination run wild and keep changing your mind on your composition or colors. It gives you a lot of freedom and cuts the cost of traditional art supplies. The rise of digital communities allows me to share my work online internationally in a way I couldn’t dream of even a decade ago.Drawing on computer and paper are very different in experience and technique. I don’t find it easier to draw on computer than on paper. I enjoy both and use each uniquely in my creation.
M: Even though I use computer to draw things a lot, I still love to pick up a pencil and draw on paper, the feeling is just very different. Now I am curious, what words will you use to describe your drawing style? Why?
H: I see my art as being feminine and elegant. It’s light hearted and playful mix of high end fashion and surreal illustration conceptual work. It’s often filled with soft pastel palettes and flowing curves as well as references vintage and couture fashion. The major themes I follow are that which take inspiration from high end fashion and fashion icons including Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Audrey Hepburn, Lady Gaga and more.
M: That’s interesting because those people are my inspirations as well! Out of all the works you have done so far, which piece can best represent you as an illustrator? Why?
H: This is a tough question. I am constantly trying to evolve and improve as an illustrator, so the piece that best represents me also changes as I evolve. Love Me Love Me Not is my current personal favorite, which takes inspiration from the Dolce & Gabbana S/S 2011collection. I think this is a good example of interpreting fashion to art. Fashion becomes part of the art to tell a story and create a mood. This is what I desire to achieve and I think this piece best represents me as an illustrator.
M: The Dolce & Gabbana piece has totally blown my mind but still, I think your other best work is the Christmas postcard we have done back in 2010, agree? If you could do an illustration look book for one of Dolce & Gabbana's past collections, which collection would you choose? Why?
H: I admire the Dolce & Gabbana S/S 2008 collection for its contemporary art, transparency, fairy-like silhouettes and bright colors. I love the contradiction between dramatic visual art and classic feminine clothes. This collection inspires me with a visual of romantic and sensual, chic and classic, bold and feminine.
M: I think you should start this as a project soon since I have a feeling this will turn out great! Finally, what are your thoughts on both the Dolce & Gabbana and D&G S/S 2011 collection? Are there any pieces you want to put on your characters?
H: I adore Dolce & Gabbana S/S 2011. The almost all white collection embellished with white lace along with sparkling, beaded embroideries is fresh and romantic. To me, it symbolizes an age of purity, a new beginning in life. D&G S/S 2011 is fun! It’s all about flowers and bright colors. It makes me want to put on my sundress and wedges and just go outside to enjoy the spring and have some fun.Both collections are very inspirational. There are many pieces that I would love to put on my characters. A white short baby doll gown from Dolce & Gabbana caught my eyes and inspired me to create a piece called Love Me Love Me Not. I hope the Swide readers will love it.