As part of the Case Study report I am currently working on I am required to produce a Personal Design Profile. I intend to utilise this profile as a tool to aid in the revision of my website profile.
Below is the Artist Biography I have currently published on my website, which I have posted, both to demonstrate any changes I will be making, as well as for myself to use as a reference as I will be removing my profile when taking my website offline during my redesigning in the upcoming weeks. In terms of my designer profile, I will be using this to revise the design sectors of my profile, whilst I will be taking a similar approach in rewriting my artist biography as well.
My name is Michelle Zhang, 22 year old Sydney based Freelance Artist/Designer currently studying in my final year of Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles at UTS. I am mostly self-taught as an Artist and have been illustrating for as long as my memory holds. Some of my influences, creative and otherwise include; the Illusion based works of MC Escher, immaculate Maori tribal tattoos and wood carvings, the late Alexander McQueen, the ingenious Joss Whedon, Knife Designer Gil Hibben, A wide array of music, my violin, Robots – for some reason, and most importantly my loved ones.
As an Artist I specialise in Portraiture, Fantasy and Figure drawings, as well as Fashion Illustrations, however I am also constantly expanding my skills in Digital and Traditional Art. As a Designer I specialise in Fashion Design and Construction, as well as Costume/Wardrobe Styling and Design. I have created a diverse range of commissioned and charity based Artworks since the age of 15 and have been working on some Murals over 2012, also having worked on Two Low budget Short films in 2012, I have found new interest in the film industry. I adore body art and hence also take an interest in Tattoo design. I’ve worked as a part-time Photographer and Graphic Designer for a Fashion Wholesaler business. My artwork has had various features in magazines, for magazine covers, local newspapers since the age of 9 and recently I won the Cooper St Creation competition for a garment design which will be included in their future collection.
I enjoy being engrossed in my work, as well as working alongside people in collaborative efforts. I like to keep an open mind and am always up for challenges. Part of me wishes I could do everything at once, I believe however creativity is out of our control and it chooses when to hit you. In essence I hope my work can act to inspire people; maybe not profoundly, but in some way, shape or form.
Below are a few questions which I have been given to contemplate prior to writing my designer’s statement. I thought it would be relevant to post these answers up to help convey my design ideas.
What do you want to say as a designer?
As a designer I wish to convey that creativity is endless and how we explore this endless flowing of ideas is infinite. Illustrated in my own work is diversity created through exploration. Design should not be classified, because creative fields are all interlinked and feed off each other.
What kind of impact would you like to make?
The type of impact I would like to make as a designer is to be able to inspire, I want my design work to be the basis of someone else’s inspiration, as I mentioned in the biography above, irrespective of whether this influence is profound or minimal, I want it to be an inspiration.
What is your style?
Presuming this refers to my style as a designer, I find that I have a lot of streetwear/sports influences, as investigated within my style report. I enjoy juxtaposition within all areas of my design, and as a womenswear designer I always aim to convey power and strength. I have a strong focus on shape within my design work and often enjoy interpreting contrast into my dark or muted colour palettes.
What are your inspirations?
My inspirations as a designer include a variety of things. As an artist I find a lot of influences in art; artists such as Van Gogh, Dali and MC Escher, as well as the immense array of art floating around in cyber space on platforms such as Deviantart. Television and film is another area where I draw a lot of inspiration. I find action heroes and science fiction fascinating, hence the allure that the cyborg has on me which lead the the development of my graduate project. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all works of Joss Whedon would have to be the heaviest influence on my ideas in many aspects of my life. Knife Designer Gil Hibben, who creates a variety of fantasy knives for film and TV such as Btvs is another who’s work often inspire me. Music is another major inspiration to my design work, how this functions is abstract, however from observation I find the music I am listening to will often point me in a specific design path. I find this useful because of the diversity of music I surround myself with. Last but not least, I often find when I look back on my own work, I can always draw inspiration from ideas which I failed to explore earlier in my artistic process, which in turn can turn into an entire new chain of inspiration.
What areas of fashion and design are most interesting to you?
The areas of fashion and design I find most interesting are streetwear and costume, I enjoy creating an image or elaborate character through my design work. This is something I find often illuminated within my visual art as well.
Have fashion and design always been a part of your life?
In a sense I have always had an interest in fashion, however my love for fashion ends at where trends begin to dictate or limit ideas. As a child I often created clothing and accessories as a hobbie, whether as a gift or for myself. I alternated between wanting to be an artist and a fashion designer. At one point I created a large enough collection of various strange garments for my defaced barbie dolls that if in fact they were life size; the garments could have filled up a small boutique.
Are you compelled to design, or is it more of a career skill, or both?
I am compelled to design, but often feel this becomes more of an obligation once restrictions and analysis begin to impend on the freedom of my work. This is is sense is where my career skills have always needed development, hence I would place myself on the fence in this instance.
What would the world be like without designers?
Without designers the world would not be very different. In my opinion the word ‘designer’ is merely an application of professionalism to creativity. Without designers, the world would still have creative people, in fact everyone is creative and I feel without the label of ‘designers’ there would be much more creative freedom, others would feel less intimidation and need to suppressed with their creativity and maybe in turn be able to express it better.
Can you talk about/write about your approach to fashion? design? life?
My approach to fashion I feel has always been backwards. I visualise a design and put this to paper, and develop shapes, drapes colour and fabrication from this. My approach to design on a wider scale is very similar, the idea comes from something I have visualised, only from there will research be of any use for me, as I can easily lose track of my design work without a focus on end result. If I had to summarise my approach to life, if would be to take on days one at a time, in fact I have ink which constantly reminds me of the importance of this. I feel any planning must involves progression within all aspects of life and not just one. My day is fulfilled not by achieving a big goal, but rather by making some progress on a large number of goals.
What are you resistant to in terms of design?
I am resistant to limits and restrictions. If I am given limits or restrictions I tend to gravitate towards what I cannot do, and by doing so often to try to reinterpret these limits and test the boundaries of my restrictions. I am also resistant to trends, I like avoid trends or reinterpret them.
Is design an action or a reaction for you?
Design is a reaction for me, ideas will come to me, my searching for design ideas often result in voids, I find it difficult to force inspiration onto myself. Once the design ideas are down on paper, that is when I can take action in refining these ideas, but design itself is a reaction and not one within my control.