Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Roselina Hung, but most people call me Rosy. I was born and raised in Vancouver and, after a few years of living in London, I moved back here to be near my family. I live with my boyfriend Nicky in an apartment one block from Kitsilano beach, which overlooks downtown Vancouver and the mountains. After living in such a big and busy city, it is a nice breath of fresh air — literally.
I have a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia and spent my third year on exchange at L’Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. I went on to obtain my MFA from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in London, UK. Now I have an art studio in East Vancouver where I work as an artist and portrait painter. I come home in the afternoons to work on my Rosy Designs illustrations and Etsy shop. I’ve recently also started up NicRo Designs. My illustration work is mainly a way to finance my fine art practice, but it’s a fun way to do it!
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I pretty much spend all of my time creating things, in one way or another. Most of my time is spent on my art, but when I’m not working on that or my illustrations, I’m usually helping my mom with her wholesale jewelry business – designing and making jewelry or building her company website. I come from a very creative family and feel lucky to have such a creative boyfriend, so we’re pretty much working on projects all the time. Even when I take a break to walk along the beach or spend time with family, my mind is constantly thinking of new ideas of what to create next.
What first made you want to become an artist?
When I was in preschool I would play around and do paintings of cats, dogs and flowers. Then a little boy asked me to do a painting of Superman and I remember thinking, “Oh, I don’t know how to paint that!” I panicked. So I just painted a head and cape, smeared some blue and red on the paper, and then nervously gave it to the boy. He LOVED it, and I thought to myself, “Hmm, I could do this!” That was my first painting commission, and I haven’t looked back since.
Please describe your creative process.
I’m constantly thinking of what to make next. I sometimes ruminate on ideas for weeks, months, even years, before I find the right way to represent them. My mom used to read to my sister and me every night before bed, and she always bought books with beautiful illustrations. I’m inspired by memories, nostalgia and love. A lot of my childhood experiences go into my illustrations, and I usually start with pencil sketches. From there I create a digital illustration using Illustrator and then use Photoshop to give textures to the vector drawings that are similar to old children’s book illustrations.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I have a silver ring that my dad made for me when I was a teenager. It was the first ring he made in a jewelry class, but it’s really well made. He has a great attention to detail and I think I inherited that from him.
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Etsy can be a great tool for an artist to get exposure and sales, but it takes a lot of work too. Read the Seller Handbook and keep in mind who you are selling to and what they are looking for. Treat your Etsy shop like a professional business because. You need to think about finances, marketing and sales. Think about presentation and branding when creating your shop, products and photos.
What are your favorite features on Etsy? What new features would you like to see?
I like that there are coupon codes now! I’m planning to use those in the future, as it’s a great promotional tool to gain new customers, as well as attract repeat customers. I’d love it if there were a way to edit tags easily in bulk.
How do you promote your work?
I have my own website for my paintings, and whenever I have open studio events, I also include my Rosy Designs and NicRo Designs prints and greeting cards. I also have an art blog, Rosy Designs blog and Twitter accounts for both my art and illustration, as well as a Facebook Fan page for Rosy Designs.
In ten years, where would you like to be?
Still making art! I would love to exhibit my paintings internationally and work with exciting galleries and curators around the world. I would still live by the beach in Vancouver with my family because, honestly, it is just so beautiful here. I’d also like to see the little characters in Rosy Designs out there in the world, maybe in my own children’s book!