We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Kris Wong a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Kris, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. When did you first know you wanted to pursue a creative/artistic path professionally?
From when I was young, I always enjoyed expressing my creativity. I loved to draw, paint, and create things with my hands. Art always brought me joy. As I grew up, I enjoyed creating art and drawing after doing my regular school work. I chose business school when it came time to picking out a major for university because I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur one day. I honestly was still unsure about myself at 17 and business school sounded like a good major that could be applied to my personal and business life. I never thought I could pursue a career in the Arts. I graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Business Marketing in 2012. Almost all my elective credits were in the arts building of my university. After graduating university, I moved to Maui, Hawaii with a one-way ticket. I was looking to be inspired outside of California. I have always been obsessed with the beautiful islands of Hawaii. I love the tropics and the vintage prints of hibiscus flowers, plumerias and monstera leaves. I got my first job after college doing sales and marketing for a title company. From there moved over to become a real estate agent for the next 5 years. After work, I would come home and paint, sew, or draw. I would even throw craft parties at my house with my friends. We would paint, macramé, or create vision boards. It was not until I signed up for a Skillshare course in 2017 that I realized I could share my art and creative ideas with others. I wanted to start a blog and create a fun side hustle with my artwork on Society6 and Spoonflower. I had years of artwork sitting my room ready to become cool tropical prints. I started Kris Wong Design in 2020. Ever since I started Kris Wong Design, I feel more complete and that I am living a dream come true. I am creating artwork everyday and getting a chance to share my work with others all over the world.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi! My name is Kristie and I am the creator of Kris Wong Design. I am an artist and surface pattern designer. Surface design is the artwork, art print, or design that can be placed on any surface. Anything from fabric, to home décor, and apparel. There can be stand-alone, fixed size designs or seamless repeating patterns. My style of design leans towards the latter. I enjoy creating seamless repeating patterns. I would describe my work as fun, light, delightful, spirited and playful. I enjoy working in collections. A collection can consist of about 4-10 seamless repeating patterns that work together to tell a story and are cohesive to the eye. These designs are great by themselves or together. This dream started as a passion for doodling and my love for watercolor painting. I draw inspiration from nature and being outdoors. Living in Hawaii, I am surrounded by tropical beauty and I enjoy being outdoors hiking or surfing for inspiration. My artwork expresses a lot of the vibrant colors, joy and happiness I see in the world. Creating patterns for a variety of products is one of my greatest joys and passion. I love living a creative life, creating artwork, sewing, and blogging.
I enjoy teaming up with brands and companies to create special artwork through licensing. I have a portfolio of fabric collections available for companies to see my style and to collaborate with me. My biggest dream is to one day license my designs with a fabric company. Some projects I have worked on in the past are for children’s and newborn clothing, children and adult swimwear, aloha shirts, home décor and wallpaper. I also sell my artwork on Spoonflower, Society6, and Etsy. Follow my journey through Instagram, Pinterest, or through my Blog.
Any resources you can share with us that might be helpful to other creatives?
I wish I knew about Skillshare sooner and the amazing classes it offers. I love learning new things and Skillshare is such a great tool for people to learn new things. I have taken courses from fellow artists and creatives in painting, sewing, sketching, and learning computer programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Since I did not go to art school, I am able to take classes that I never thought I could take without enrolling in a college program. I am able to learn from home on my own time. I really appreciate this resource. If you would like to try Skillshare, feel free to contact me for a referral for 30 days free trial. I would love for chat with you about the courses I enjoyed taking.
How did you build your audience on social media?
I currently have Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for Kris Wong Design. I am diligent about making a post at least once a day. Of course, this is easier said than done. Finding content is not always easy and sometimes it takes planning and preparation time. My posts also have to be relevant to my business and must bring me joy. I love to share things that make me happy. Since I do not have a huge marketing budget at this time, I am trying to grow organically by posting daily, using hashtags, and sharing and liking posts, and engaging with my followers. Social Media has been a very helpful platform for companies to see my work and reach out to me. I have gotten referrals as well and I love how my posts act as another portfolio of my work. My advice is to be your authentic self. Share work that you love and fans will follow you and your journey.
- Website: https://kriswongdesign.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kriswongdesign/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kriswongdesign
- Other: https://www.pinterest.com/kriswongdesign
Image Credits: Kris Wong Design