Interview with Daniel Ting Chong

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Daniel is the very first in what will hopefully become a very important part of the NicSocks range of socks, the Artist Foundation. I interviewed Daniel to ask him about his experiences designing socks. Nic Harry (NH): Tell us a bit about who you are (2 or 3 sentences) Daniel (D): My name is Daniel Ting Chong. I'm 25 years old and born in Cape Town, South Africa. I'm a freelance graphic designer / illustrator based in Woodstock. NH: Why did you take on a project involving socks of all things? D: Every year I try do a self motivated project that is out of my comfort zone, it is the best way to grow as a creative. When this collaboration dropped in my inbox, I couldn't wait to begin. I think there is great merit in doing something that you're really naive about and learning about all the new processes. I have never designed for socks before and thought it was a great opportunity to learn about sock textile design. Ones' vector graphics gets translated into a stitch block, which essentially is like working in pixels. I thought that was really interesting and wanted to push that process as much as I could. The other reason why I took it on was because sock design has been quite mundane over the years and I wanted to inject something really fun ideas into socks. NH: Was this project particularly challenging? D: Definitely and that was the great part. You can't always design and expect it to be perfect. Working with restrictions is great, but it's always interesting to know the limits of it and try push it. When designing these ranges, I had to understand the colour palette limitations but more importantly the stitch count alignment. My approach to the designs were that the pattern needs to repeat continuously without anyone noticing the start and end of the pattern. I think this approach on the sock makes it more interesting because whether you're wearing it with pants or shorts, you'll always have a great crop of the pattern. The difficult part of having this approach is that the sock designs are translated into very limited software which crops off sections and only allow 7 colours on one line. NH: Have you done any fashion items before? D: While I was in High School & College, I used to design for two YDE clothing labels, so one could say I have designed some fashion items before. NH: What's the strangest thing you've been asked to design? D: My soap collaboration was quite a weird thing to work on predominantly because of the substrate. Designing them on computer first and then seeing this tangible soft soap was really weird but a great process again to work on. NH: What inspired your designs? D: Different things inspire me all the time, but really it comes down to everything my life that contributes towards my decision making in design. You can see the Daniel/NicSocks Collaboration socks in the store. [gallery columns="4" ids="919,918,917,916" orderby="rand"]

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