We had the good fortune of connecting with Kaining Wang and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kaining, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I am always interested in drawing ever since I was a kid. It is not until before college that I realized I want to pursue it as a career. To me, the most important factors are persistence, passion, discipline and determination. They set you apart from people who are just interested in something and make you become a professional. I never stopped practice my skills and embracing different sorts of inspiration. And I always keep reminding myself what is my initial goal to pursue what I am doing right now, and live up to it. I also have the fortune to have many amazing inspirational friends around me. They help me realize what does it mean to become an artist/designer and keep pushing me to the next level.
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.
It is definitely not an easy thing for a foreigner whose first language is not english to become a professional designer here in LA, where there are just so many amazing artists and designer. You almost have to work three times harder than other people, with a bit of luck to get to the right place. Through this process, I’ve learnt that you can’t just only focus on doing art. You should always get out there to meet people and introduce yourself. And you have to always believe in what you do and that confidence would show in your works, and thats what attracts people’s eyes. I also consider myself lucky, with a lot of friends and mentors who love to help me and support me. I love what I do right now as a concept designer. It is one’s dream to have your interest as your career. To me, the most exciting part is the brainstorming and ideation stage. Just imagine what you can possibly create under different frames and limitations. To me its almost like solving a puzzle or going through a maze. Designers are the one to solve problem. But designers are also the ones to break the boundary and embrace challenges. I also love to create different background stories for the characters and build a world around it. To me this is the most fun part in my daily job. An expression can tell so much about what kind of character he/she is. A little teapot or a car can tell what is the time period of that world, whats the technology, whats the climate and geography location of it. It is almost like I am creating a whole universe and timeline. And the most important thing is to engage your story with the audiences. It should always be based on something they know but combine with something that is not the thing itself. That is how we create a unique but also engaging design.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would first give them a small car ride around town. Bring them to some famous locations such as hollywood, Griffith Observatory, Malibu beaches etc. But besides those the food are the most important things they should get to know. One of my favorite restaurants in Pasadena are Bone Kettle and Osawa. There are also few Chinese restaurants in Alhambra and temple city. I would also bring them to those food trucks. There you can have the best taco in LA. After those they should also check out LACMA, Getty museums and Huntington garden, They have the most beautiful art collections and sceneries. If they come at the right time, I can also bring them to some of the annual exhibitions/events such as CTN, lightbox, Designer Cons or SD comic-cons.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would definitely love to dedicate my shoutout to my parents and my friends. I would not achieve this much without the support and understanding from my parents. Arina Wang, Ji Park, Chien Kang Chen, James Guo. etc the list goes on. These are my friends that would always be with me through hardship and always support me. I give all my hearts and shout out to them. Also my mentors, David James and Jason Scheier. They taught me how to become a professional artists as well as how to be a better person.
The photo of me is taken by Juan Gutierrez.