Shawna X. Huang’s claim to the title “Visual Stimulator” stems from her desire to engage people with thought-provoking work. She believes art is meant to be shared – and that it truly serves its purpose when it makes an impact on another individual. By exploring human tendencies and by analyzing relationships and interactions, Shawna X. is constantly gaining inspiration for new ideas.
Shawna X. graduated with a B.F.A in digital arts and journalism with a focus in advertising. She is currently working as a designer for an international dance and exercise company in Portland, Oregon. She believes living out of the comfort zone will enhance her craft on another level. With that said, she recently purchased a one-way ticket to China to further her art and design capabilities, broaden her experience, and gain a different perspective to bring back home. You can find her art work at http://shawna-x.com.
What are you working on right now?
Currently, the theme that is dominating my work is women – more specifically the female body and feminine innocence. I believe my interest in images of the female form comes from my fascination with beauty. Since my early childhood, it’s a topic I’ve been interested in because it speaks to so many people. The vanity of it all is really captured in my current work. You can find progress of my artwork, along with inspirations at my blog at http://shawna-x.blogspot.com.
3 Trends that excite you?
Creative social networking sites such as Behance (behance.net) and Coroflot (coroflot.com). These sites bring artists, designers and creative individuals together for all types of inspiration, creatively and professionally. Many of these sites also have sister magazines and articles that give tips on freelance, design, and interviews from successful creatives in the industry.
User Generated Content – Yayeveryday.com, Notcot.com, FFFFOUND.com, lookbook.nu to name the few. These sites give the best of the best submitted by people from across the globe – from ideas to installation to fashion. There are also art magazines such as Koi Koi Koi (koikoikoi.com), Fecal Face (fecalface.com), and Juxtapoz (juxtapoz.com) where you can find interviews on certain up and coming artists. What I like best about these type of sites is the feast of imagery, without the extra fat – making it quite easy to find my next favorite artist and designer or simply trigger my creative gene.
Collaboration made possible by the Internet. Art House Co-Op’s Sketchbook Project sends out sketchbooks to people across the country to fill out, and then the books are sent back for a showing at their gallery. How cool is that??? It’s pretty much a real-life version of a website generated by awesome user-submitted content.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Many of my ideas come from people-watching. My favorite place to do this is on the bus to and from work. I’m the type to stop and observe, and everything I see goes into a memory sketchbook. Sometimes I even secretly use my phone camera to document things that interest me. I do a lot of sketches. After that, I recreate drawings that appeal to me on the computer, mostly using Illustrator and Photoshop. It usually takes weeks for me to get one piece done – since my biggest flaw is the blend between perfectionism and indecision. These qualities are horrible to have when trying to get things done on a deadline…and worse when there isn’t a deadline, since I can pretty much work on the same thing forever!
What designers/artists do you look up to, and why?
I look up to so many different artists and designers, I can’t even keep track of the names. Currently I am heavily inspired by Asian-American female artists with similar feminine themes in their work, such as Stella Im Hultberg (www.stellaimhultberg.com), Audrey Kawasaki (audrey-kawasaki.com), Sylvia Ji (sylviaji.com). Motion artists such as Takashi Okada (okadada.com) and a collective group called Pleix (pleix.com) based in Paris have amazing work. Beyond all of this, there are tons and tons of extremely talented creative agencies out there – Ordinary Kids (ordinarykids.com), FWIS (fwis.com), Material Group(thematerialgroup.com), FashionBuddha (fashionbuddha.com) just to name a few. Because of the internet, the plethora of artwork and design is unbelievable – I hope to take a little from each inspiring work to build the ultimate Visual Stimulator.
What would you be doing if you didn’t go into Design/Art?
For my college senior thesis, I built a website to accompany my paper on Aunt Jemima and her evolution in advertising analyzing how she affected or was influenced by society. With that said, I am very intrigued by the representation of race and gender in society and media. This goes along with my fascination with people, social interactions and relationships. So if I didn’t go into the creative field, I’d probably be doing something related with media studies or psychology.