Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 1 year ago

Sophia Chang | Average To Savage EP101

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the one hundred and first episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring artist Sophia Chang. Paul Guarino talked with Sophia Chang discussing her journey as an artist, what her breakthrough project was, and working on Topps Project 2020. Follow Sophia Chang https://www.instagram.com/esymai/ Podcast interview with Sophia Chang was originally recorded July 13, 2020

This is the average this averagepodcast with Paul Barina everyone and anyone athletes, soets andmuch more suf. Everybody welcome back to anotherepisode, the average savage podcast, our special guest today, Sophia ChangHow's it going. I am good thanks for having me on appreciato coming up, solet's just go back in time. How did you? How did you get started originally justdoing artwork? I was an only child and I was reallybored all the time and we didn't even have cable. I had very pretty strictAsian par, so chool to school all the time, but yeah Wi, just honestly boredom- andI'm sure I had add when I was growing up lot of energy and drying with justwhat I had available to keep myself into cane. So I've been driing for aslong as I can remember, just honestly ease my mind bcause my you know,Doedi't have much going on, and so you know I actually started toPersu Wel. I always had this dream. When I was throughout elementary school,I wanted to become a fashion designer. I would have one of those black andwhite men notebook all the time. I was that kid always have these drowns and Iguess you calleg es Sketch Buck an o when I actually had to apply forcolleges. My My parents, my dad, comes from afamily of engineer, so there's a lot of pressure there and typically for AsianAmericans or Asian period. It's always like the adoctor lawyer, and so I actually didn't tink that get into alot of schools except art, schools. Ironically, and so you know s through my undergradyears at Parson, Scool Divin, where I actually learned about the professionalside of o creative fiel, some what's available like you, can actually buildanhircrer from drying. You know like if I like, dudle cool dope, but like you,can actually put it on to bads. You can do it for advertising CECAUS. I'm tillcover like- and you just start to see this whole world the world around youand a completely different spope, especially gowing up in New York City,where there's just like images and ads everywhere, you're like Dan like Icould actually make that I could whend. I grew up loving speakers and treet wer.So there's a lot of kind of cross critcraft between Uitreear Ar Grocidi growing up taking the train all the time, and it was just acolorful lively place and I felt like there wasd a space for me and that yea know. I know you went to college todo you think, like you think, college is a rife fitfor ertst. Well, Aso. Let me tell you that parseswas a private school. It was geally expensive and there was a ton of veryrich kids who are in the school. Whe were really just looking for Han easyway out because mom and dad have money. They don't have to worry about it.anyways and everyone has his dream of bang a fashion etiter granted. I don'tthink everyone is cut out for school. I know that if I, you know probably followed what myparents wanted me to do, lik become a doctor. There I'd be really bad at itand completely fal in that arena. I thinkso, like I just a'm, not wired, that way, soit's not who I am, and you knowI have a lot of ters that fell into the pressure, what their parents wantedthem to do and theire, quite frankly, a lot of times, I'm happy when they getinto their late Tiseayes, because it's not where their heart is and they'rejust o thrown robot going into work every day. But you know if there is anyone who's.Listening, that's interested in pursuing the creative art I mean at theend of the day. It's a business yeah you can be doctor lawyer, you can be in count, youcan be a small buss, you're, more so small buss honor than anything. But youneed to get your hustle on your business right. You need to understand.You can be a great artist Bot your...

...product, tot your service, but at theend of thit you know how to talk to clients. You know about plientacquisition. Do you know about your? You know your customers and your Adeas,or do you have your branding straight digitally on full show if you have apodcast, you know like, like all that kind of stuff you have to have that inplace. You have to have your Dett a role and you have to come for it. Youknow, and if you dop, there's the reason why you'll be falling behindbehind some of your compoterers, so it's notjust o being an artist getting an education, that's like just like thefirst quarter of it, so much more AU, that's foiing, IA,basball thing, but yeah there'sthere's a lot more to it, and a lot of it isalso just like not failure but taking your shoreof mistakes and making sureyou're, smart and main from Ias. Well, yeah for sure yeah. Like I had a kid doing, somegraph is igns for me that I was like eighteen nd. I was just, and he wastalking about college and I was just like like I don't think you need to goto college. If you could already do stuff like this, and you know you canturn out AF place and work. Your way up, you can do school of you to you can dopeny intrest, I mean I have to say. I learned a lot from my internship. Ilearned Otin O intoships that I didn't learn in school ofh, my professor, butI also had amazing accent because of college yeah. I was in the library allday. Every day I was in the library reading these books, these artlibraries, these artbooks II, typically probably wouldn't have access to. If Ijust went to my local library or you know, bonds and album whatever, but itwas that and what else is there tha equipment?The schools have really good like technical equipment, but I may not havebeen able to afford on my own, and so that allowed me to explore and justlike massmanly diffeent, a lot more FAC TA sure. I know every single everysingle day, every single hour that I had within four years of Undergrad. Imade sure I was not idle. I wasn't like laking around a college parties, an anyof that I was like now. You guys can do that. I'm out here trying to win,because when I graduate I'm competing Fort Tan trick with everyone else- andI was lucky enough for my parents- are able to support me. So I'm like I haveto make something out of myself. Failure is not an option, so yall go,do what you want to do, I'm a say: Focu, yeah, where's, yeah whereis, that, likemotivation come from, I think, there's. I think that you know definitely beingaround your peers seing. What they're doing I think a lot of it to is just justpart and passion in creativity. You know, like I said I sau place formyself when I stoe to see the world around me a little bit different whenit came to the creative arts as a professional field, and u really open to learning. So theinternship allowed me to learn a lot as far as what I wanted to do, what Ididn't want to do, O I in terms of Mi artist, I interin that complicxmagazine complex media, defining. I learned how to design Naw because ofthe itur trip, and it's literally interships are so key, because it'slike a classic teacher man how to fish and they'll eat for the rest of theirlives. Like througr, my interships, I learned how to Desin was Lik. I learnedhow to decine Magati. I have a seven year, long publication that I'm stillworking on because of those skills that I acquired and I think a lot of it was just i NewYork, Hustle and probably sprinkle some atd in there too. It's like why staystill when you can keep moving. You know I have this mentality and I'vealways geten this way of, like I want to go to sleep every day, knowing thatI nade what the most out of everyday, whether it's even if I'm hayng on onthe couch relasting. I know that me winding down restutting for what I'mgoing to be accomplishing for the week. You know- and I think just bing in New York aswell like everyone's just trying to goon ut each other, and I find it to be healthy and I like tobe around people who are constantly...

...raising bars when I'm always looking toraise my own bar. I think thet' that I enjoy about challenge, and you know Iwant to be able to just like how other people have inspired me to raise my ownbar. I want to be able to cfir other a. It was just like thish, really cool ECOTis, sound in cyclical situation, war butit's not even like raising eachother's bar, we're also just cheering each other on as well like my health in lawis publication calledandoordinary. You know got me kind of helps me carve out the healthand willness voice within the creative industry, and you know if you've everbeen to a marathon or cheered on a friend that Wan te Marhon you're justTurne sthangers on for competing and doing these amazing things, and I think that's that's. What I enjoy themost out of it, a hustle of it eue going back to whatyou're discussing for like business like how did you know or like? How didyou figure out to you know start your own business like getlcs like do yourtaxes, get everything like that? I mean that was pretty organic, so youknow I intern all throughout college. I also work and then, when you graduateyou're just out here trying to win with everyone else, tit was competitive, butat the same time it's like you know, you're, exploring LFCs you're,exploring a corps to see what sits for you. Everyone has an LFC Solhey, justassuming Ol if be, and you know a lot of it is just educating yourselftalking other people, I mean you might have friend hat friends that studied ermajor in accounting. So can you tell me how I should be setting up my businessright like and then they'll ask your a little bitabout Your Business and help you figure out what what work EST and sometimespeople be, do in the wrong direction and you're just going to have to pik Oon that and figure it out from there. But it's all it's all o entire lamanyte andI think a lot of people act like sheep and ID use, gravisate sports, a L Bbecause they think thot's what you need to see. But you know there's there's a lot ofoptions: aout there for different purposes, depending on the size of yourbusiness as well. If you start growing and you start having to pal otherpeople- is yet payral. Is it w Nin, like you got to know all this stuff?That's why I was like being able to draw and did cute stuff like that, it'sjust the beginning. You Have Tho learn to renevites yeah. I think that might be the problemto sometimes just because I think people just don't know how to do itlike they know what to do. The design for Noo know how to do it. No, no O N,your Heado Dont Know Iyou're lucky. If you grew up with parents that are inthat it want maybe small business owners themselves, so you may havewatched struggle and figure out how they did stuff. But no one knows youhave to figure all of this out. I have to apply for a TAL GACON or tax.Whatever I was like a faild taxing in different states, and I was like Idon't know you needed to do that. Like YEP government lonts people a littlebit foverything you make you got Su registered so yeah you learned on yougo. Definitely it's I that's. Why, like I watch some of your other interviewsand I could just like relate to some stuff and especially when you weretalking about your when people ask you like what youdo, you were like it's hard to tell them or stuff likethat, because then you don't know they don't understand it and that's how Ifeel like all the time so like I don't. Even sometimes I don't even tell peopleanymore. I don'ten feel like explaining it Yeah Oi talk about t like verystressful and then before you know, you're thinking about all of get inyour head and you haven't done anything for like thirty seconds and you're likenow. This is you o Aki, so yeah yeah, so you did a Ted talk to. How did howdid that come about honestly? I just got hit up with that.Opportunitys really cool, very etidating, because obviously Ted...

...and I was really exciting. I honestlystarted doing public speaking very early on in my career when I you knowshortly after I graduated, but the we ere saying is. I hated doing that and Iwas always very, very sulbconscious and very uncomfortable with it growing upfrom you know, within Pi Wikan, an APADEMICFAE. I think I just got over itwhen I realized. I have to stop trying to talk like a public speaker likeother people. I just have to be myself what I mean by that is, like you know,when you're growing up and you're doing public speaking an te Gein Finon, theclassroom you're, like you, hear people think on, and you hear them saying like like liveand then need to hear them. I don't know looking down at the paper and thenand then you think of like h. You say you have this litof all the things youdon't want to do, which is that and then you have the list of things you dowant to do as a keep looking at the audience stand up trait. Imagine if they were Nateit or something like that. You know, there's all this stuff and it whenyou're on saage you're, almost too busy thinking about all those things,instead of actually delivering your message. So I think one day I think alot of it is alsoy. Just like I have an attitude where I'm just like fuck it.Let's ten, do it like ther on me in the sharp tank I'll figure it out. I thinkthat's how I got into public speaking, which is just like no matter what I think I'll figure itout like. I know I'm an intelligent enough person, Youre justerme in therean figure it out, and so I got into got more comfortable with it and, of coursehe ten opportunity came along fo years after and it was great and it was such a coolexperience, because a lot of the people who spoke at the specific hed Talk Tut,I was at they came from a lot of different backgrounds, so there wereengineers they were ther were like no science people. There was GIM NC WHO's,a very wellknown Asian American rapper, who was fing to Bo riders shortly teperiod in that was really cool. It had people who ere professional online gaming wo pastors in a way, and it was very, very diverse and when Ifound the most intriguing from that experience was that the common threadbetween everyone was that we were all very passionate Youre, no matter whatwe were passionate about our work and our respective field. It's not like. Ohthe engineers any better than the artist or any better than the rapper,but we were just such passionate people in our craft in our industry that thatwas one of the biggest reasons why we became you knowwnot ecasted in orrespect e field, and then going back to designing like what is. I know it'skind of big but like what's your process when designing something for the I mean for the cars, Idefinitely do a lot of research ofhead an time because sometimes you know on the. I don't come from thebaseball community to a lot of times. I don't actually really know what eachplayer might be about, and so you know I got to Ma sure. Do myresearch, something about player Wen about the team Wen about tha period oftime that they played and what they're most notable for for each card, and soI kind of just dot down a lot of notes and then they just start drawing. Istart seeing if there's different phrases quote ipons that can help feedinto you know whatever it is that theyrethey're most well known for and I draweverything out- i Gan it and then I kind of start composing everythingalltogether yewhat about what was your like. Whatwas your like breakthrough project, I think the biggest one just being aregular brek Om Queens, not really knowing anyone or anything. I think, like my project with AnthonyBoard, Dane really helps put me on the map. So when the reservations still around, Iwas actually hired by travel channel to watch all the EPOS episodes beforehandand actually create a specific poster Illutrationton for each episode, whichthen they would are really on facebook...

...and the community groups and peoplecould actually enter a chance to win a poster and some of them were actuallysigned by Anthony Boarding himself O. This happened like two osand eleven yeah eah then going to the Toptwothousand and twenty project. How did you get selected for that? Honestly? I have no idea. They just Tokme up and IAS like yeah sure I'm down. Sometimes you don't know. Sometimes youjust, but you know what one of thing I have learned is his truth are alwayswatching. You have to be mindsel of how you move, how you present yourself,like you, never know who's going to call the reason why they called you,because they've said you do they reviewed your work. You know what Imean: it's not like it's kind of like a chicken befor, theEG situation, so it's like continue to just do great work. Safe Focus, e localO know make sure your presence is known and inresinates with the type of workthat you want to get and Hitdon't come. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you getrehment to which which, which card? Are youworking on now o a touhle MEX players coming up, okay,cool which I'm really excited about because I'm from Queens New York? So Igrew up writing the Sun Crain, like by Shayskating all the time, so I still call it Shaw Stadium. I refusedto call up city field, but yeah, so I'm really excited to work onthat, because it's going to be my ninth card anddefinitely everyone from my hometown had been like what are you putting outof Meth Car Liso, everyone nie? What Bout? I know it's kind ofHardiblte, which one has been your favorite so far that you designed so far- and I I like all of them. They all have astory. That's the coolest part they've all had their own stories, their ownchallenges their own. You know I have to be in the headspace of thestory and telling the STORI sose they're all a little bit different. Ithink Marianna Rivera was my first one and that one was also the mostdifficult one creatively, because you know the original card that I had tothe rookie car that I had to work with. It had nothing about Bas on it. SheWASNA WEREN TAT. He was dealing. He was dealing under Ted, an feel the baseballstadium or something he's wearing these very lose life that te Physni body, andI'm just this- is my first par the first file, I'm like Hey, I'm going towork on top o thousand and twenty great. I opene this file, and I'm like, Oh myGod. What am I supposed to do with this Andso? You know weve pitched th, Ipitched Tebun just to make sure they were okay with it tops you see if I canput him in the Yankees Jersey. Is that what he's most well known for, andobviously the community love that which is that was really cool, so that waslike, I think the pidious win. I personally aesthetically love BobGibson. I think their original tenslat that I worke with was really cool.Maybe it's the colors. I love that it was kind of a circle Di kind on. I justfelt like SOM, Ograsse, retro, vinsage, graphic design perspective. It wasreally CEOL. Hicuro was also fun as well. That one took me the longer time wive.I don't know why it took me a very long time and that we hopefully I'll, neverhave to work on something that takes that long and then my thol, which is mymost recent one, that one had the most Tu there was just so much stuff inthere and after it launched right before July. Fourth weekend so- and youknow, the angel colors are also blue or that specific card had blue,maybe red an why it was very American,...

...and you know just wanted to give itthat bit of love July, for my trout, angels, team and just kind of see how it goes so,I'm just excited for for the rest of the year, and then I have a couple met.Players left to do so be really expiting to see how I can play with thecolorways to be able to. I guess, bing out, like the Mettin andYankees personalities from within within heach CIN design go. Is thereany? Is there any that you're excited to do other than those two no Soow di? They hey how di they tell you,which ones to do like it just ranm. They just tell you they just tell youlike every few weeks. They we like. Oh Hey, it's just ti in this an I'm likeokay, I ten. I work on it, so how many yeah? How many like weeks do you get towork on it or DA? I think, like I e men it'every month, you know somethings bolrandom is just get an email. That's like hey, hear your next few cards andther'r do the art work is due the day and it's really se? U Tat and I'll belike okay, iperchil and I'm you know I I actually like Yorking anom indifferent stings, rather Thanthan ellout at one yeah has it has, has it got overwhelming yetbecause I know you started signing cards and ie seen like I listen to Ben Ballers, podcastand he's just like he's just like stressing out over it. You know I thought a good assembly ineI've got you know summer intern. I got a project meanter through that's beenhelping me with he entire TALP project and it's been tiking awesome like yeah.It's a lot, but asa really fun and I geninely you know I'm I'm involved in thisproject more so than anything as an artist. So when top firs hi me up, Iwas just so syk to wat on a body of work like an entire pieces of twentydifferent istrations. I'm goingto work on like Shit. ISS awten like it wasjust a cool promt, so I know that the scope of things have involved with themarket and the signatures. I mean I'm also in the discourd channels in thefacebook groups, and it's it's really new to me, and you know with fans- andI wouldn't even I mean obviously they're fans but there's a communitythere, and I think we have one of the most inlike highest engagement of thiscourt channels, an in Tentir PAJEC, two thousand and twenty artists with, and it's too DUP likeinthink peoplejust need something and to look forward to you know like a lot of us. ErStruggle like a lot of people here nowadays, because If's, the panademicsporce was already was really big part of their lifes. Like my husband, we wakeup. I wake up to por center every morning every morning, geven a mentisyelling about something you know and then the other day I caught himwatching football, and I was like O al back on Di eerthing attention he's likeno lose reren like he was. He just like missed his port to this big ORT Certon.So I understand that, like there's the baseball card community theyre tocollect oir hobby community, but just people who love port an they missed it and it's youknow, twenty bucks is a pretty good entry point. I think people are justexcited to have a community to resonate withits, not to mention you know,there's probably good resell, value and stuff like that within th as well, but it's just exciting to be ato, be a partof that and neet and actually have a chance to talk to people for fans of mywork and they I have an AA channel. They ask me lat questions about how Iwork. They have kids, they want to get their kids into Drang or all this stuff,thes really cool to be able to have that opportunity to really connect withwith you know, people who not only love my work, but they fully support it,which I'm extremely grit ti for...

...eaactually yeah. I think out of yourcards. I think Mariano one is my favorite, but I like to Mike Tralin alot Su and that I was definitely do because I live with a lot of kids fromNew Jersey and you put the New Jersey thing. So I know if he saw that I don'tknow if he saw it yeah, but he'll be pumped about that. I mean, likeeveryone, eerone crowd where they come from o like New Yorkers. Definitelymore than ever, I've got so much love for Newyor Atuad, Queen Tattooed, on myother grist as well. So you definitely always want to rep where you're fromyeah- and I think that's imgorant- definitely wis my tral. You know when Iwas doing research on him. It was. It was a big thing that he came fromHeville New Jersey and I just wanted to make sure that that was that was known.That was a part of his story and I actually put the Tiscode for MovilleNew Jersey in the card design as well. Just just for people to know like it'slike a hey, here's, where I'm from here's S, here's this Zis codi wrap soyeah. I don't hink. I didn't notice that TAT's do it's Alitte N for everone,like for the general masses, people who are you know specifically Mike shotnerdor fans of his, and that's that's what I really loveabout the illustrations that I do whether it's o test your other project,it. I think what you know. The Baseball Card community calls it Easter Egg. Ifyou know you know kind of thing and I've always appreciated pop, did youthink it was going to take off Lik Guess? No! I had no idea. I just thought I wasgoing to make these cut. I was just dexcitidg to work on the project, thebody at work and no idea. I'm extremely grateful. You know, especially givenourour current climate of things, so yeah, I'm honestly, like always lookingto give back as well, so like Inritin covid hit, and I teach a lot in thesmall business pate I do like all rine teach men do workships as well insocial media, branding and productivity and marketing, and it was a really tough time writingcovid hit. I was impacted as well. You know, so I was lucky that governmentmoney kicked in that to help keep my business a cool, and so I was actuallyworking with square sqore reader to be able to work with their looking calledsmall business ormers all around America. There's where you helpdie't bea sounding word for them in trm of where to go from here, because so manysallbines work so deeply impacted and every single day housed iready people'sdangers of what they did was really important. So you know, I think that was somethingthat I'd love to get back into. Of course, like financial security isreally great and comfortable and important, but I think I try to makesure I'm like giving back to th the extra time that I might have now tofocus o on supporting other people. What about when you finish all twentycards? Are you goingto like put them in a frame or something yeah? I think so,I'm working on that. Okay, Ye! No all right. So these are the last ones arthe average of savage questions. Are you ready yeah? What's your favoriteSong Right now, I eit Song, okay wel! I haven't reallybeen listening to music too much, but my husband has been playing pop smoke,album or NCH of top Moki'm ikeoneof them one oftheone of them with Thelego guys all right. I've been listening to that too. What's a WHO's, an artist that you wantto Clab with on this project, no anything Owow, bothO Eburnte. I really really like earn these stuff like Erzo Wa, is actuallythe main guy, which actually reminds me right now. She checke the top wod Sanhe's, like the main guy that I actually buy personal cargs from okayit's Noisdomnatingly from food, shes really cool. To I mean you know. A lot of theirstyles are kind of similar to mind. I love this kind of like illustrative,...

...creative handstyle, so I'd love to I love to to clob onsothing withthem and last one what', something peopledon't know about you talking to my husband R it. Thismorning I yawne really loud. I got inters of Anin, really well just lik sointo it's, so like comfortable relachange. So there's Aense Act allright I'll. Take it well appreciate you coming on. Could you let the listenersthowh where they coan follow you at yeah people can follow me on mainlyinstagram on social, and, if you want to see my latest project, you canalways check my website as well just toget, a better esensive. My backgroundof my work. It's all ESYN AI think you can call smon it's actually just myinitial FC fonetically and then Mais. I am backward. So it's really just imSopachain, but very reverselay, putting it gater. Igot I actually. I was going to ask you how to pronounce t yeah Taet' see likemy initials Te, be a train. My ane will appreciate it and I look forward t therest of your cards coming up. Often Yeah kme keeme updated love to sharethecontest when it comes out as well for sure.

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