Cassie Zhang

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Cassie Zhang

Muralist / Installation Artist / Illustrator 

Pasadena, Los Angeles, California

www.cassiezhang.studio
instagram @assiezhang

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I’m a visual artist who makes murals, drawings, and sculptures!

The ultimate goal is to spark connection and wonder.
 

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

I’ve been drawing and painting ever since I was little. After high school I attended ArtCenter College of Design for Illustration, which opened up my mind to new ways of making art. I’m really inspired by art and design that brings people together in ways that haven’t been experienced before, and I create that through murals and immersive sculptural pieces. Funny thing is I used to think that I would never do three-dimensional or large scale work… until the day that I saw Ed Kienholz’s “Five Car Stud” at LACMA. It changed my life. That was the first time art sparked emotions in me that were so intense that I had to leave the room. Soon after that I started to dabble in sculptural work and fast forward to now I’ve built an installation of a life-sized forest which I’m continuing to expand (I love trees too).
 

FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?

Clear and compassionate communication with clients. I see a lot of designers and artists get frustrated by lack of understanding, and I find myself relating to those who don’t design or make art because I remember what it was like when I didn’t have the visual vocabulary to articulate what I saw, or the technical experience to understand how things were done. I’ve also been on the client-side of partnerships where I’ve managed art projects and budgets. So I find it easy to guide clients in articulating what it is that they’re looking for while understanding where they’re at.
 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

Adding trees to my forest installation and painting an exciting mural for a nonprofit! I’m also working on smaller versions of my trees that are made out of recycled plastics. <3 Sustainability!
 

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WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS? 

My passion is in connecting with humanity and making art that I’ve never seen before. To do that I experiment a lot with visual form such as color, shape, line, and also have intimate conversations with all kinds kinds of people (one time I spontaneously had a two-hour-long conversation with a construction worker on Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles and made a comic out of it). I live by what David Hockney once said: “New ways of seeing mean new ways of feeling. I do believe painting can change the world.” In addition to painting, I’d say all kinds of visual art and design! You can check out the top of my website for my most recent examples of this.
 

WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?

Writing, although it’s being incorporated into the mural that I’m working on right now. I’m excited to see the outcome! 
 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

Miscommunication between people who make art and design and people who don't. A common complaint amongst artists and designers is that they are underappreciated. I think it seems that way because we make our job look easy by only showing final pieces. People rarely see what goes on behind the scenes because we rarely reveal it. Let's let the world in more! 

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IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

Join my sculpture production team! We build big things and have big fun.
 

LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

I’d tell myself two years ago, “Go after that scary and exciting dream project. Failing at that is way more fun than succeeding at something you don’t care about.” At that time I had just gotten out of school and was settling for projects that I was not passionate about, thinking that I would be able to “at least get by” and “survive” on those. I didn’t. I ended up not getting the money or any good art out of it. 
 

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

Writing sexy grant proposals!
 

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

Murals, illustration, and immersive installations that are engaging, playful, and fresh. 
 

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DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

The ones that leave everyone delightfully surprised and 100% satisfied! Especially projects that bring connection, play, and wonder to the planet. Satisfaction for my individual self looks like having the opportunity to do in-depth research, experiment, and push boundaries. 
 

WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE? 

Depends on the scope of the project, timeline, and who and what it’s for. I’m open to discussion! 
 

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HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

Email me the scope of your project, deadlines, budget, and any relevant content (words, images, video, etc.) that supports your vision. And tell me one thing that you love about your life. 
 

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

Take action and follow curiosity. 

 


This member profile was originally published in  2018.