Angela

Ho

My name is Angela Ho; I work under ‘Ahoy’ as well. I love the process of creating artwork and putting it out into the world. I hope that it will strike a chord with people and give them a sense of delight. My work is all about fun, quirkiness, retro vibes and bright colours.

I grew up in Melbourne out in the Eastern suburbs with a sister, brother, a cat and a canary. I studied at Swinburne University doing a Bachelor of Design with illustration as an elective.

When I was 14, I worked in an ice cream shop on the weekends. The ice creams had faces that we had to make out of placing Smarties and various lollies and candies into the soft serve ice cream; I always thought that each of us working there made the faces somehow look a little like ourselves, like subconscious self-portraits (I don’t look like this ice cream even though it actually is a self-portrait).

My studio is currently in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. I moved here in 2008 from North Fitzroy, Melbourne. I came for a four-month work contract with the graphics department of the South China Morning Post and I’m still here eleven years later! My home studio is mostly always messy but I neatened it for some photos I needed to take for an interview with Outré Gallery. Right now I would definitely not be taking photos of it.

I live in Hong Kong, but I’d love to live in New York for some time (or perhaps the total opposite – a mountainous region with a small community so I could easily go hiking).

I spend a lot of time hiking up hills because it keeps me sane and I can literally get above the hubbub of the city. Two highlights of my year are Sonar and Clockenflap - music festivals in Hong Kong. I got to paint a mural for the wearable tech company WE+AR TRBL at this year’s Sonar festival!

What interests me a lot about working on a project-by-project basis is seeing how different people and companies work.

The key to my entire working life is coffee. I think that if I switched to tea my work would be completely different; I actually don’t think I could produce any work. If coffee ever becomes a banned substance for its addictive qualities, I will be in trouble.

I was lucky enough to be asked to create work for Headspace, an Australian youth organisation, for their Tips For A Healthy Headspace. Tips and stories were provided by young people from around Australia with new works by 50 artists complementing the words. I got to illustrate this tip: 'When I’m not in a good headspace, cuddles make me feel better'.

Volunteering and donating my skills is something I do when I can afford the time. I made this artwork for Last Straw Movement in Hong Kong back in late 2017. Hong Kong has a real problem with disposable plastic and this organisation gives out loads of boxes of bright green paper straws (which they manufacture) to hotels, restaurants and bars here.

Here’s a recent artwork I did for The Monkeys in Sydney. They put together some of the worst internet troll comments about them, then brought together artists, designers and typographers to illustrate a comment each. With these they produced a book called Hate Letters. Creating odd little monkeys doing silly things was right up my alley!

Not long ago I worked with BUST magazine in New York on this little poo illustration, it was the crappiest illustration I’d ever done.

One of my favourite projects recently was for 15 Square Street, a Swedish boutique in Hong Kong which designs timepieces and shoes. They were refurbishing their storefront and commissioned me to paint a mural on their front step. They were completely open to the concept I proposed and the only request they had was for the colours to reflect the Swedish flag.

In 2017, when I had just started to send my work out in Hong Kong to see what type of reception it would get, I was commissioned by Vans’ House of Vans. To get to do something for a company like Vans (which is very supportive of artists) was really encouraging. They were so good to work with too!

I really loved working with Fast Company on this editorial illustration about Snap Spectacles, it was the first job I did with Jacky Winter and for a client in New York.

Another piece I’m really proud of was created for The Cleaver Quarterly’s cookbook The Illustrated Wok. They paired illustrators from around the world with recipes by chefs working within the contemporary Chinese food landscape. I illustrated a red bean ice cream recipe by the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory in New York.

Most of my work starts with writing down concepts and doing some extremely rough thumbnails. Then I work up several of the better concepts into sketches. Once a sketch has been approved I’ll draw it up in Illustrator with flat colour and once the elements have been approved I’ll shade in Photoshop using a stylus/airbrush. People are often surprised to learn that my work is digital.

It’s really important to dedicate time to personal work because you never know what it might spark. A couple of years ago I did an Instagram art challenge and created a Darth Kitty character. I then made some paste-ups of it and pasted them up around my area in Hong Kong. A curator with Corey Helford Gallery in LA saw one of them and got in touch with me! She asked me to be a part of their 13th Anniversary Street Art Show. I made a spray-painted version of Darth Kitty for the show.

Recently in my art practice I had an exhibition as part of the Small Wall Project at Outré Gallery in Melbourne. It was a series of risoprints which combined together to loosely make a landscape populated with various characters, entitled Interspecies Utopia. There was an augmented reality animation to it which could only be seen whilst the exhibition was on and the artworks hung in that specific formation. The twelve separate artworks will have their individual augmented reality animations available for the people who purchased the prints.

While I’m not doing client work, you can probably find me making my own artwork. This is a risograph print I recently created for HKwalls, which is a street art festival in Hong Kong. It was for the gallery show that accompanied the festival and is titled Internal Engine Of Perpetual Optimism.

I’m really excited to experiment more with simple stop-motion animation in After Effects because creating rhythm with movement, especially to sound, gives me a buzz.

Recently I’ve been playing around with augmented reality to see how it can extend my still work. This is a paste-up I did for the Berlin Pasteup Festival in 2018 with augmented reality; sound by Adam Wright. The animation is very subtle.

That’s me! If you want more, check out my full folio and Instagram. Got a brief? Contact me and the good folks at Jacky Winter.

With Jacky Winter you work directly with the artist alongside a hands-on producer—it’s a power-up for your artwork commission.

With Jacky Winter you work directly with the artist alongside a hands-on producer—it’s a power-up for your artwork commission.

With Jacky Winter you work directly with the artist alongside a hands-on producer—it’s a power-up for your artwork commission.