Today we’d like to introduce you to Vivienne Dang.
Vivienne, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I got into creating art because I love it; I live for it. Because nothing else has ever made me happier. I started out at Memphis College of Art and majored in Graphic Design. I loved everything about art school and even had a scholarship while attending but still struggled financially to keep a float on my own. This combined with other life changes became overwhelming for me and because of this, I took some time off from college.
With my husband’s support, I eventually re-applied for new opportunities and went back to school for Graphic Design. I attended a local college at first and then I made the biggest leap of faith and applied to the Art Institute of Houston. I knew very few people in the area at the time and moved my little family from Biloxi, MS to Houston, TX.
I invested a lot of my time with design internships while going to school, and after I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, I was approached by several companies at our portfolio show. I felt so lucky as with many new graduates, you don’t know where life will take you after school is complete. I decided to stay in Houston and took a job with UL and have been designing for them ever since! I can’t believe it’s been 11 years.
Designing is always going to be a big part of my life, but I felt like I had moved into the comfort of producing digital work most of the time – and none of it was just for me. So after work hours, I decided to start sketching again. At first, I just wanted to practice my craft. Then the more I got into it, the more alive I felt. I eventually got back into drawing and painting almost every day after putting it aside for many years. I never stopped drawing, but with two kids I felt like there were more important things to spend my time on; you know?
Now, I make sure to take time for it no matter how busy I become and still keep my priorities in check. My love for illustration is what drives me. Once I started creating art that spoke to me, people started responding, and that turned into where my personal business is at today. It’s still quite small and part-time, but I love it! I have so much joy in creating murals and illustrating things for craft shows. I love the Houston community!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’ve learned to accept that struggles are a part of learning new experiences and we all need them to grow. Being an artist means being vulnerable and exposed. My motto is to go for it and “Do it scared.”
I spoke about my struggles in my story (above) on going through art school. A lot of young artists ask me if I think that getting a degree is even necessary and I really think that it gives you a structured guide.
Some people need it, and others do not; it’s a personal decision you must make for yourself. Although tough, I enjoyed the process, and the great thing about it is that there more chances to meet other creative people like you IRL.
We live in frugal times, and for most people, an art purchase is an excess, not a necessity. For artists, finding an audience to invest in their work is astonishingly tough. It’s hard when you’re putting on your bravest face and producing your best work, and it’s still not enough to convert fans into buyers.
Formal training or not, I truly believe that ALL artists must put in the hours that it takes to produce great work. I am still growing my skills every day.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I specialize in illustration, design and large-scale projects such as murals. My reputation is painting female emotions merged with surrealism and symbolism.
I am also known for my handcrafted vinyl stickers and art prints, which you can find online (https://www.etsy.com/shop/viviennedang), at Space Montrose, and directly from me at local craft shows.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am looking forward to creating more murals, apply for artist calls, and local art markets in my future.
- I’m open for mural commissions. They range from $10-$20 per square foot depending on intricacy. Please contact me for a custom quote!
- My stickers are currently $4 each. They are approximately 2×3 inches and look great on laptops, notebooks, and sketchbooks.
- My 8”x10”art prints are currently $18 each or 2 for $30.
- My pins range from $2-10.
- Website: http://www.viviennedang.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vivienned/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/viviennedang/