We had the good fortune of connecting with Claire Wong and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Claire, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I believe that risk taking is one of the most essential aspects needed for success in my career. Without risk, there is no failure. And without failure, there is no growth. Taking risks has allowed me to become better in my craft and artistry. I have been able to explore new medias that I may have never discovered if I did not take risks.
I came into my program at USC with a background in design. I did not have an understanding for any other types of digital media or industries at the time. But by continuing to challenge myself and work with digital mediums I did not have a strong knowledge for, I became a stronger artist. I took risks and made pieces with digital mediums that were very unfamiliar to me. It was intimating to work with digital mediums that were so new to me in an environment with experienced artists, but it pushed myself to be better. I put my own work out there for them to critique and learned how and why my work could be better. I observed their artistic work/practice and asked questions to gain more knowledge. I even faced failure, but I used that as a growing point to learn from the next time I created something.
This newfound knowledge has now made me a more holistic and interactive designer because I now know how to use different digital mediums and can now integrate them into my work. I would not have become this new artist without risk taking. Risk taking is something I do not fear now, but embrace. I use it to make myself better and push myself to be the best artist I can be.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
At a very young age, I experienced a lot of change that many other kids my age did not; I had a mother-like responsibility for my sister 12 years younger than me, my younger brother passed away from cancer, and I was diagnosed with a debilitating autoimmune illness. Not many other kids could relate or emphasize when I endured these life changing events and I had to grapple with my experiences on my own. I learned to embrace this as my story and in this process, I also quickly grew a heart for the stories of others in my close circles and my community. I had a heart of stories and storytelling at a very young age and this love has seeped into my career today.
I am currently a designer in the film and entertainment industry. I gained an interest in design through high school classes and today combine design with my love for storytelling. I believe film and media has such an impact on our lives now. Through documentaries, podcasts, social media, media is now how we access information so instantaneously now. Film and media are powerful influencers and I want to use it to bring light to untold stories in our society today. Additionally with everything happening in the world today, I see a desperate call for empathy. Empathy allows us to hear and see the brother in the other; it brings a new understanding and togetherness in a world of brokenness. I believe empathy is most powerful tool in our society today. I want to use my art to inspire empathy into these untold stories and perspectives.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would start our day in Malibu, watching the sunrise on the beach. On the way back South, we would have to stop at Lily’s Malibu for my favorite breakfast burrito. We then would stop and visit the Santa Monica Pier. We could grab a drink at the Independence, have an ice cream on the pier, and window shop at the Promenade. We would slowly work East and grab a coffee at Alfred’s, a hot dog a Pink’s, a stroll through the Grove Farmer’s Market and maybe even a photo at the Pink Wall. As a consumer products geek, we would have to take a quick stop at the new Funko Hollywood store — one of the best designed stores I have ever seen. We would end our day at the Griffith Observatory. I would pick up sushi for us at my favorite local sushi shop on the way and we would picnic on the grass in front of the observatory watching the sunset over the Hollywood Hills. And of course, we could not forget dessert and would pick up mochi donuts for the drive back home.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am currently in the Media Arts and Practice (MAP) program at USC and want to dedicate my shoutout to my MAP community. Without the support and love from the faculty and students in the MAP community, I would not be the artist I am today. They have given me a safe space to be creative and pushed me to be the best possible artist. I have never had friends that understand my creative process like they do and am forever grateful for the community they have gifted to me.