LYDIA YANG | ILLUSTRATOR + DESIGNER
On the rawness of shooting in the moment
Lydia Yang, also known as Oak & Bindi, is an illustrator and designer; and co-founder of creative illustration collective Tell Your Children based out of Singapore.
Lydia has worked on projects for W Hotel Singapore, Guess® x A$AP Rocky, Under Armour, Shinola Journals (Detroit, USA) and JUICE Singapore to produce illustration & creative content.
She has also painted murals in offices and festivals across the world in countries such as New York, Jakarta, and also a handful of spots locally.
In October 2017, Lydia launched a personal label named Die Hard Lover(@dhl_diehardlover). The label has 3 collections so far — released in unique collaborations with Gallery & Co., Actually and The Refinery.
How did you become an illustrator?
I grew up particularly enjoying drawing and was always toying with ways to be creative. It naturally led me to take a visual communications course and have been working commercially as a designer/illustrator ever since.
Who influenced your work the most?
The work I’ve put out has taken various forms of expression and output over the years having been constantly reinventing and representing myself best and to its most honest. It’s hard to pinpoint a single person who’s influenced my work at large, but am a huge fan of the work by creative duo M/M Paris (Mathias Augustyniak & Michael Amzalag); some of the modern day graphic that comes out of Indonesia; and I find my illustration style to be largely inspired by graphics from cartoons/movies that came out in the 1940s-1960s.
What motivates you in your work?
The challenge of doing better than the last.
How does photography help you in your craft?
Photos are a blueprint to my drawings, a color palette, a vibe or a texture. I am mostly inspired by photographs that help create a certain mood or represent a concept. I am a visual learner and hardly read so I collect and save a ton of pictures/photographs and refer to them when I need to to find inspiration; and from that it translates through my work & creative execution.
Do you have a favourite photography genre, and why?
I am drawn to film photography, flash photography, the photography of interesting objects, architecture and fashion. I feel like the rawness and strike-of-luck; shooting in the moment type of shots are the best type of photography. Daniel Arnold (@arnold_daniel) is great at this.
What is the story behind your Sofort photo series?
My photo series is a simple take on “A Day in the Life of” — I love that I’m able to explore and expand my passion as a career and am blessed to be able to work with a team of friends running an illustration creative collective as a day job- alongside working as a freelance designer/illustrator. So with this series I just wanted to encapsulate the ins and outs of what goes on in a creative’s day to day life.
What do you enjoy the most about using the Leica Sofort?
The double exposure is a really fun addition to a Polaroid camera, and also the camera itself is very aesthetically pleasing.
What is the unique difference between shooting with a Sofort and a digital camera?
As mentioned above, I do enjoy the strike-of-luck, shooting in the moment kind of photography; and in this modern digital age where content is perfected and online, having a fuzzy Polaroid as a physical keepsake can bring back some great memories and is a sentimental object to own, or even give away to friends and family.
Do you have a favourite Leica? Or, what is your dream Leica to own?
A friend we met up with during our last trip in Hong Kong took some really great photos of us using his Leica SL - so that would be one of my favourites, and if possible one to have someday!