Art Series Hotel Group: How did you get into illustrating?
Doris Chang: Whilst there were many fields I was interested in growing up, having always been the 'arty' kid growing up, I always knew that I needed to pursue something in the creative field; it was just a process of narrowing down exactly what that would look like. I studied a Bachelor Degree in Visual Communication (specialising in Illustration) and shortly after started my own line of products, Little Sister Co.
ASHG: Where do you get your ideas for your cute designs?
DC: I always keep two journals in the studio - one for illustrative work and ideas, and one for writing and lettering. Any time an idea occurs to me I'll jot it down on whatever paper I have handy and then note it down when I'm back in the studio (this tends to happen at the most inconvenient times, and I've been caught at more than one red traffic light trying to jot down an idea before the lights turn green!) When I decide it’s time to create some new product, I’ll leaf through the journals for ideas to refine and make into something new!
ASHG: Do you come up with all the fun puns yourself?
DC: All of the text featured in my products is written by myself, but of course the ideas are usually sparked by something else: a slight twist on a common saying, or an overheard conversation. There's almost always a corner of my brain turning over things I've heard or read; I think the best puns happen when you're curious about language, and keep questioning the things we say to one another.
ASHG: What are your favourite things to illustrate?
DC: Native Australian flora and fauna, fruit and vegetables and any colourful animal characters to name just a few!
ASHG: Do you ever get “illustrators block”?
DC: I don't know that I would call it 'block', exactly, however there's always dry spells between what you would call traditionally 'creative' work. Often weeks or even months can go by between painting sessions simply because I've been mulling over an idea, or concentrating on writing more so than painting - as well as taking care of the endless list of administrative tasks that accompany any business. I try not to give myself too hard a time during the less-productive periods, and remember that for most people, creative work isn't an effortless, constant flow; even when I'm not actively working on a project in a tangible sense, I know there's always another idea on the way.
ASHG: What would we find you listening to whilst working?
DC: It varies a bit depending on how much concentration I need for the task at hand! Whilst I'm painting final work, usually some quiet background music that's not too distracting, but if I'm doing what I call 'minion work' such as tracing layouts or packing cards often I'll put a podcast on - at the moment I'm loving Creative Pep Talk by Andy J Miller and the Modern Love podcast.
ASHG: What’s in the pipeline for you now?
DC: Right now I'm working on a new project that I'll be launching in a few months, 'Illustrated Letters'. Without giving too much away, it will combine my love for illustration, writing, lettering, and receiving letters in the mail. You can keep tabs on this project by joining my mailing list on my website doris-chang.com, or keep an eye out for the hashtag #illustratedletters2018 on Instagram (@littlesisterco)