Pinky Fang is one-sixth of a girl gang a lot of people want to belong to, draws adorable kitties (and for me, a pig) and knows things about baby carrots that will change the way you eat them.
Let’s start with the basics… name/occupation/what you do when you’re not working
Hi! I’m Pinky, I’m a full time artist and I make the bulk of my weekly wage by drawing people’s beautiful animals for them. When I’m not drawing cute kitties I am consistently scribbling, sewing, designing and sculpting away trying to come up with the next ‘big thing’. So far, I have come up with many relatively small to medium ‘things’ but the next big thing is coming any day now! I am also one-sixth of the super cool all-girl Wellington-based creative collective Holla Graphix. We create collaborative photoshoots together and have some really exciting new projects in the works at the moment. Another thing I do to fund my fancy marker collection is DJ every now and then at Mighty Mighty bar. I have always been a dedicated music lover, way back to when I was spending my paper run money on Spice Girls merchandise. I worked in the now defunct Real Groovy Records at the top of Cuba St for five years – which is where I collected a decent amount of records, music knowledge and an amazing group of rad friends.
What do I do when I’m not working?
I’m not sure where I draw the line between work and fun for me, it all seems to overlap in some way or another. Man, I suddenly feel very lucky!
What was the last thing you worked on?
I am pretty much always working on at least seven things at once, but most recently I have been working on some really fun stuff for my upcoming exhibition with my pal Grimoire. I’m sculpting some little figurines of some of my favourite characters I’ve drawn to be shown, along with some new illustrations. The figurines have been hard because it’s not a medium I’m used to, but I’m sure nobody expects me to be a master sculpter. I think they’re coming out looking pretty cool anyway!
What’s an upcoming project that you’re excited about?
Ooh I have a few! The exhibition of course, which is on Easter Friday at Black Coffee in Newtown (not so subtle plug there)! Also I have a secret exciting collaboration type deal coming up soon which I can’t talk about yet… The finer details are still being sussed but if it goes ahead it will be very awesome. I can reveal that it involves apparel!
What would you say is the biggest challenge you face as an independent artist?
It’s a struggle at times, I would be lying if I said it wasn’t. But all work is hard, even if you enjoy it most of the time! Trying to balance up my paid work with personal work is hard. Sometimes I realise I haven’t drawn anything that isn’t for a client in weeks and I get worried. I think it’s important to have time to draw things solely for yourself, for no reason whatsoever. That’s always where I come up with my best ideas. Also of course if you’re going to talk about the struggles of being an independent artist, you are always going to talk about money. By all means I don’t aspire to be a rich person, but sometimes I get frustrated that I can’t realise all of the ideas running around in my head without some capital behind me. Also of course, sometimes there is that whole ‘Oh shit I have no money, better buy some 2 minute noodles so I can eat’ thing you get quite familiar with, aka ‘The Starving Artist.’ The first years of being an artist full time are always going to be an uphill struggle, but if you work consistently hard enough it will always be worthwhile.
What do you wish people understood about creating art?
I guess this kind of relates back to my last answer. Even though creatives enjoy their work, it is not easy – it is time consuming and very mentally taxing. Artists spend years, if not their entire lifetimes, honing their skills, and to have people expect them to work for less than they are worth is very disheartening. If you dig someone’s work, you gotta be prepared to pay what they want for it.
Are there any women who you particularly admire, past or present?
My Mum. Definitely. First person to come to mind. She is super strong and independent and involves herself in so many things. She’s in her 60s now and she dances, does yoga, goes on long bike rides, and maintains a beautiful house (and cat). She has been very supportive of my journey to become an artist. There are too many other women to name who I admire. So many in Wellington are doing rad things, creating, advocating, speaking out, helping out and being incredibly inspiring. Definite special shout out goes to all my Holla Graphix girls!
What’s something you want everyone to know about?
Have I mentioned my exhibition at all yet..? Haha. Just joshin’. But actually, I really want everyone to know about the deception that is so-called ‘baby carrots’. Did you know that those things are just big carrots cut in half and shaved into small nubbins? Outrageous! I will probably still buy ’em though… because yum.
What’s your favourite spot in Wellington?
Gotta be Mighty Mighty. I’m pretty biased obviously, but god I love that place. I have seen some awesome bands, made some rad new friends and seen some really naked people there over the years. Sally and Chelsea who run the place are just so switched on, I never see any trouble there. If there is any it gets shut down immediately. You’re encouraged to have the best time possible without being an asshole. If you’re an asshole, Mighty Mighty is not for you. I am going to be so lost when they close in May 😦