ANNIE WONG

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Describe yourself! Who are you, and what are you known for?

I’m an artist who is deeply interested in human connection through laughter and play. I make tactile art and animations because I want to evoke the feeling of being a kid making things with your hands. I’m known for my stop motion animated GIFs and short videos, and most recently, my Ovary Actions project. 

 
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Your style is quirky, silly, and (in your own words) a little bit ridiculous - how did you come to create in that style? 

I think it comes from the experience of totally accepting and absorbing the aesthetics and values of popular media growing up, and at the same time, feeling like a total outsider. It’s like my nihilistic adult brain and my fancy-free child brain are in constant conversation with each other and what ends up coming out is something a little weird, a little off, a little ridiculous, such as red slime oozing out of a perfectly wrapped gift box.

 
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Could you go into detail about your current project, "Ovary Actions"?

Ovary Actions is a series of mensturation euphamisms illustrated as animated GIFs. I’ve become really obsessed with visual communication in messaging apps and how using a reaction GIF or emoji can be a really fun way of expressing yourself. When you learn a new language or expand your vocabulary, it gives you more ways to talk about an experience.

I wanted to expand the visual language around menstruation to include depictions that could be a little more lighthearted, especially since some of the euphemisms that exist are kind of silly. Speaking from my own experience, feeling shame about your body is the worst. Once I became comfortable with talking to friends about things like periods and birth control, I felt less stressed and alone.

 
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If you could have viewers learn one thing from "Ovary Actions", what would it be?

It’s ok to be curious about your body. You don’t have to attach judgement to it. There’s so much negativity surrounding menstruation and the sight of menstrual fluid. But, when I look at a smiley red blob on its maxi pad I kind of think, oh look, it’s just doing its thing, minding its own business, living its best life! It’s really not outrageous or shocking or anything.

 
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What's been a high point in your career so far?

Being given the opportunity to illustrate the theme of “Courage” for CreativeMornings this year was a high point. Seeing my illustration being shared on a global level, and then seeing it in the background of various speakers at the lecture events was very heartwarming for me. I’ve been incredibly grateful to have people like and share my art. It feels really good to have people connect with my work.

 
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What's a dream you have that you've yet to achieve? (In regards to your career)

I’d love to continue on the trajectory of making work that is fun and empowering. In the short term that could mean making work for organizations with causes that align with mine like Planned Parenthood for example. In the long term, I’d love to find a way to create fun interactive spaces that encourage connection...basically a playground for grown-ups.

 
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Is there another gif-focused creative that you admire? Or are you a bit of a pioneer in your field?

There are so many artists that I admire! Natalie James, Lazy Mom, Nicole Licht, Libby VanderPloeg

 
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If you could identify one thing you want to be remembered for, what would it be and why? 

For making laugh-inducing work. Laughing is one of my favorite things to do, and if I can help other people do it, then I’m satisfied.

 

 

Check Annie out on Instagram and her website.

And check out her Ten Facts feature here.