#SupermarketLadies In New York: Fashion Illustrations By Ping Hatta

 
 

We can confidently say we have the most creative #SupermarketLadies corespondant from New York! Fresh from the streets straight to colourful illustrations and everything is drawn by Ping who is a Thai-born, NYC-based fashion illustrator and designer. A story of Ping is really captivating, I found lots and lots in common with her relationship with fashion and creativity. She also shared plenty of advice and inspirations with you. So let’s dive in!

 
 
I’ve decided to do a New York take on #Supermarketladies. The series represent senior swag from various New York neighborhoods. I want my illustration to represent beauty in diversity, not only in terms of age but also ethnicity and culture, which makes up what New York City is.
— Ping Hatta
 
Chinese grandma rocking shiny bomber jacket and granny cart, spotted in Canal Street, Chinatown
— Ping Hatta
 

What got you into illustration?

I’ve always loved drawing and making things as a child. In elementary school, I would secretly help my friends with their art homework in exchange for them helping me with math assignments. I even made stickers and paper dolls at the back of the classroom.

Soon enough, I was known by the students and teachers for being “the artsy one” (teachers were not happy about a school girl secretly selling and making stuff!). Anyway, my answer to that famous question–”What would you like to be when you grow up?” was, is and will always be “an artist.”

 
 

I went to Pratt Institute for Fashion Design undergraduate program. I was never a fashiony person nor into fashion news but I thought fashion is a wearable form of art and I would enjoy it. Turned out that I suffered the program for two years, thinking that it wasn’t the right fit for me.

It wasn’t until my Junior year that I fell in love with lingerie design and decide to pursue it as a career. To me, lingerie design is a meaningful, empowering art. It is that secret glamour that inspires a woman to feel beautiful from the inside. It has always been my passion and devotion to creating such artwork that can have a remarkable impact on how a woman carries herself.

 
 

Like many said, “fashion is glamorous, doing fashion isn’t.” Despite loving what I was doing, being in a 9-17 big fashion corporate world makes me feel “stuck”. I’ve always felt that there are so much more than just me sitting there and “making it pretty.” Lingerie can be more than a bra. There are bigger social issues out there that I–as a lingerie designer – can solve by using design as a tool.

That was when I turned to art to keep practicing my creativity. I use illustration as a visual diary, capturing moments and bringing out the best character in people with a sense of humor. Eventually, illustration became the main thing.

 
 

What topics your works explorE?

My topics of interests still involve fashion, beauty, women and lifestyle. But like lingerie design, I want my works to empower women, celebrate beauty in diversity, and to make the fashion industry more inclusive.

Fashion industry came a long way in terms of representing diverse beauty, but it’s still not enough. When people think of fashion illustration, the image that comes to mind would be a long-legged, skinny model, usually white ethnicity, strutting the runway. I want to break away from that narrow beauty standard. My illustrated ladies come in all sizes and shapes and they are all beautiful in their unique ways.

 
 
African American lady in bold vintage tiger-print coat, spotted in C-Town supermarket, Brooklyn
— Ping Hatta
 

What activities spark your creativity?

I’m into many different things. Other than arts, My professional past life has been music. I was a singer and a voice-over artist back in my home country, Thailand. I occasionally teach beginner’s tap dance, playing guitar, and I am a specialty coffee geek. I recently got into linocut printmaking and turned it into a little greeting cards business.

I’m also into crafts and the culture. Being in the fashion industry for many years and seeing how fast fashion is produced, I want to find a way that designers can create meaningful products while also add value to other communities.

So, along with four designers, we co-found LOOP Fair-trade last year, a non-profit organization that connects Ecuadorian textile artisans and New York designers, which in return, helps those artisans gaining more income to keep practicing their crafts and while strengthening their cultural heritage.

And when I’m free, I enjoy watching cat videos and read books about psychology!

 
 
European lady with New York’s typical “Have A Nice Day” supermarket plastic bag, Upper East Side
— Ping Hatta
 

what advice you wish you got when you started?

I wish I could read Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.” before I got started. Here’s the equation from the author, psychologist and TED Talker, Angela Duckworth, that I hold on to dear life:

Talent x effort = skill.

Skill x effort = achievement.

When people say to you that “you are so talented,” what they don’t know is talent makes up of thousands of efforts and of practices. If you want to achieve something, having grit is twice as important than having a natural gift. And people always tell you: “Do what you love,” but that’s not the whole equation. I think the other half should be “...then find where it fits, persistently.” The second part of the equation is about mastering your craft, keep reaching out to people who might appreciate what you do, keep putting your work out there, keep getting back up despite the “No’s” and “Cannot’s.” Always habitually commit. And last thing is, always make being successful a responsibility to your survival, not a nice-to-haves.

 
 
Latina grandma in loud prints wither Trader Joe groceries, Union Square
— Ping Hatta
 
A tanned Italian lady in an oversized suede jacket spotted near SoHo.
— Ping Hatta
 

Share top 3 must follow artists on Instagram

Too many good artists out there. Is it okay if I share more than 3?

@analeovy_art and @isabellefeliu are my recent Insta crushes.

@mokshini , @jackyblue__, and @jooleeloren are my fellow New Yorker Insta crushes.

@Yuliyayg is my long-term Insta crushes.

@blairz and @fafi are my staples.

@reginayazdi is my forever mood.

 
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