Bringing Art To Life With Fashion

Vikki Zhang is one whose mind is a space where art and fashion collide, and East meets West

photos vikki zhang
words rajah
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The works of 25-year old Vikki Zhang are much like her own story – beginning with Chinese inspirations and heritage, they take on a life of their own as they bring in Western influences, cultures and mindsets. This young illustrator, who once found that the characters in the books she read as a child wore terrible clothes – not matching the historical background or the character’s identity and indicating a carelessness on the part of the illustrator. So she decided to take matters into her own hands, and thus entered the world of fashion, and children’s’ fashion.

Currently living in New York, Zhang tells us that she began learning traditional Chinese painting when she was five, following a local mentor. Only when she entered high school, was she opened up to the world of western art. Originally from Huai’an in Jiangsu, Zhang moved to New York three years ago to follow the ‘Illustration as Visual Essay’ masters program at the School of Visual Arts. After graduating, she became a full-time artist. “Being an artist has been my dream since I was three, from when I started reading picture books. My early art education was in traditional Chinese painting – I did after-school classes for seven years” she adds.

When she designs textiles for kids, she says that her art and fashion sense influence each other. Many times, she adds, she spends a lot of time researching and designing, only to use her finds for a tiny piece of pattern shown on her illustration. “Your work is a mirror of your passion and interest. When designing textiles for kids, I try to tell a story like when illustrating children’s books.

Enter Vikki Zhang’s world of illustration and textile world in Nov-Jan issue of little.