What can you say to young people who are afraid to share their work?
I don’t understand the feeling of being scared to present your work. I know that it’s a struggle for some people, but I cannot personally relate because I’m just really enthusiastic about sharing. During the time when I was blogging, I wasn’t really thinking of an audience or the idea of an audience. It was more putting stuff out there for me to remember how my day went or how I was feeling at the time. So it was more of preservation for memory’s sake, and not because, “Hey the audience will see this, and they’ll probably like it!”
Even the posters that I used to make—my Photoshop practice when I was in high school, really bad Photoshop jobs—they were for just keeping a gallery of myself and my art. Now, the sharing culture has changed so much because of Facebook and Instagram, and by virtue of being able to reblog or repost or share or comment, somehow people are more conscious of what they share. They think twice because of what other people might say. It’s a judging culture because once you share, you’re obliged to react. To click the like button, et cetera. Like on Instagram, it’s so easy to double tap and like something, and you don’t even think about it. Sometimes people overthink the number of likes and comments and equate that to the value of their work. That’s what I see is at the root of their hesitation to share. I guess I consider myself lucky that I did not really experience that in my younger years.
What would you tell people who are scared to do three things at once, or not just focus on one thing? Think of the saying “jack of all trades, master of none."
You’ll never know until you try. I’ve seen it done, and there are living testaments to that. If that isn’t enough to inspire you to try to come close, I don’t know what’s more inspiring than a living person living the life of being everything that they want. Realistically, you can’t be everything. Like, if you wanna be a baker and an astronaut. Obviously, you also have to ground yourself and have a sense of realism. I’m sure the normal person would have very realistic goals. For example, what stuff do you want to be if you have all the time in the world or no school?
Asian kitsch, pop culture, outer space, and childhood are some elements that you mention when it comes to questions regarding your influences. How do you usually translate these elements to your work?
With any creative work, research is the most important part. I love researching. I love delving into the specifics of things. You can see that in all my work, but [it’s not always] obvious. For the space suit [I designed] that was featured in Vogue Italia—it had patches on it that looked normal from afar, but it had the names of the eight most common parts of the space suit: dacron, Teflon, nylon.
I always like researching and knowing. With my album, I have an Evernote notebook filled with research. I researched marketing, specifically about how Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber marketed their own music. I take pride in the research that I undergo in every creative project that I have. With The Gathering Season, I also researched a lot about collectors.
Interview via Gaby Gloria from rookiemag.com