Tumblr is an extremely useful tool for artists networking online. Users can easily find illustrators and artists of all type on their Tumblr dashboards, and artists can achieve exposure to thousands upon thousands of users who use the platform on an hourly basis. Rose Wong has much success on her Tumblr, living out in Brooklyn and executing excellent, simple ink, graphite, and digital drawings. We had a chance to chop it up with the artist on her views as an illustrator and using Tumblr as software.
Mass Appeal: Who are you?
Rose Wong: Hello! My name is Rose Wong and I am a Senior Illustration major at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
MA: Why illustration as a career choice?
RW: When I started to look at colleges in high school, I didn’t really have a plan. Art came naturally to me, so I decided to pursue a career in it. Illustration was the best choice, because I loved to draw and design, and that career encompasses them both!
MA: How did you first start drawing?
RW: As a young child, I started when I realized that I could create things that could never exist in real life. I would draw crazy intricate worlds or maps and create stories out of those drawings.
MA: Why illustration as opposed to any other art medium?
RW: I have always thought that one could do anything in illustration. There are essentially no limitations. It can be commercial — editorial, fashion, books, etc. — gallery, or you can do your own projects. Sometimes I create for the sake of art, but there are times when I thrive on solving comps or puzzles for clients. I feel like I can be anything I want and I don’t have to be tied down.
MA: What are constant subjects and themes with your drawings?
RW: Definitely girls. Hair, plants, food, wood patterns. I am trying to constantly break from what’s comfortable, but those are my guilty pleasures and I try to incorporate them into anything I do.
MA: How would you describe your style?
RW: Style is always changing, so I would describe it as experimental and definitely design-centered and intricate.
MA: There are a lot of women in your drawings. Do you relate them to anyone specific, such as a friend or yourself?
RW: They are all pieces of me. Emotion drives a lot of my work and I feel like I can’t create good pieces unless I put, even a little of, myself in it.
MA: I see your presence is huge on Tumblr. How has Tumblr aided in your online presence and finding work?
RW: Tumblr has been a great resource for me. I have been exposed to so many great art and artists through Tumblr, and it has definitely been the driving force for my online presence. As for finding work, it comes and goes. Tumblr hasn’t brought me a lot of work, but it is definitely good at getting my art and my name out there.
I think Tumblr is great for artists to blog anything informal, such as sketches and their works in progress. It’s not a professional blogging platform but that’s why I like to use it!
MA: What do you plan on doing with your college degree in illustration? Do you recommend college for students dealing with art?
RW: For me, college opened my eyes to the art world and I have met many great friends and teachers. I think going to school offers a great community that you can’t get anywhere else. However, it is not for everyone, but it was perfect for me.
Degrees don’t really matter for art, but the connections you make going to school is important and can help with your career. It’s all about building a portfolio and some people can do that in or out of school.
MA: What are your goals with your illustrations? What kind of feeling are you trying to pull out of your viewer?
RW: I want to do everything! I want to do textile/fashion, books, animation, editorials, gallery, toys, etc. The market is gigantic and I want a piece of that! I want to create things that I want to see/exist in the world! When people look at my art, I want them to feel happy and sometimes I want them to reflect and wonder. But mostly, I just want my viewers to feel connected to the art and that they can be comfortable with it.