Heidi Ng is a designer with INKLAB at Saatchi NY.
WHAT DO YOU DO AT SAATCHI & SAATCHI?
I push pixels and make sure they look pretty.
TELL US SOMETHING SURPRISING ABOUT YOURSELF:
I went to the same school — a Roman Catholic all-girls school in Hong Kong for 15 years. I’m surprised that I’m not totally socially crippled myself!
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
It was my first summer job at 16 and I’ve nothing better to do after the HKCEE (The Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination). I worked as a part time filing clerk in an insurance company. The job was alright but the people weren’t very nice so I told myself I gotta work hard and get into college. The job didn’t paid much but I would spend the day’s earning and had nice lunches. Oh well, I felt a lot happier after.
WHAT LED YOU ON THE PATH YOU’RE ON TODAY?
Not knowing what to study in New York, I lied to my parents saying I’ll study Computer Science. In my second semester, I took a film class and thought of majoring in film. In order to fulfill the film major requirement, students had to take a digital art class. I fell in love with the class and my heart told me that’s what I should do. After that, the rest was history.
IF YOU WEREN’T IN ADVERTISING, WHAT CAREER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO TRY?
Maybe work as a pastry chef so I can make edible pretty things. JPEG files are not edible.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE YOUTUBE VIDEO?
Maru the cat is my favorite YouTube video star.
WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE STORY?
I wouldn’t say it’s a great story but one that came from my personal experience. I never got a passing grade in math during my entire time at secondary school. (Yes, the “All Asians are good at math” line is a MYTH!) When it came time for me to take the HKCEE (see above), I HAD to pass. I worked very hard and kept practicing on past exams and (to my surprise) managed to score a passing grade. So I guess the moral is that if you work hard and keep trying, nothing can stop you. Even a math test.
FAVORITE CHILDHOOD TELEVISION PROGRAM?
I grew up with lots of Japanese and American cartoons dubbed in Cantonese. One of my favorite was “Dr Slump”. It was absolutely wacky and hilarious. The illustrator, Akira Toriyama also did “Dragon Ball” later in his career.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CREATIVE PURSUIT?
I’ve been taking jewelry silversmithing at the 92nd Street Y on Sundays for over three years. I always love to keep my hands busy and creating actual objects. And hey, how many hobbies let you actually play with a blow torch and hammers?
Last year, I made a flower brooch for my mother for mother’s day and a matching necklace for myself. I’d also made a bunch of rings, earrings and necklaces. My latest complete work was a hollow construction ring.
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN?
I consider sleeping 12 hours straight a fun thing.
I also go to the monthly meeting of the Woman’s Shooting Sports League (WSSL) for couple of years. They encourage woman of all ages in the city to enjoy shooting as a sport. It’s neat to learn how to shoot a .22 rifle and to become more focus and self-aware. To me, it’s a form of stress relief and meditating.
WHAT WAS THE LAST SONG YOU PLAYED ON YOUR IPOD?
New Order, “Blue Monday”
BOOK THAT YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING?
I picked up this book, “The Last Days of Shishmaref” by Dana Lixenberg at the NY Art Book Fair last year. The book was awarded as one of the Best Dutch Book Designs in 2008. However, it’s not just another designed photography book. There are also essays on what’s happening to the uncertain future of the Inupiaq Eskimos who lives by the shoreline village of Shishmaref, Alaska. What global warming and the invasion of the popular western culture are affecting their lives and tradition. The book is beautiful yet depressing and I recommend it.
A GUILTY PLEASURE FOR ME IS:
Eating Nutella or peanut butter with my fingers.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE GREATEST INVENTION IS IN YOUR LIFETIME AND WHY?
Since a lot of people have chosen the computer or internet so I’m going to pick the self-flushing toilet.
HAVE YOU EVER WON A TROPHY?
WHAT’S THE LAST GREAT TRIP YOU WENT ON?
I went to Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka last fall and it was a fun trip. The food was delicious and everybody is so polite. They have nice clean bathrooms with heated toilet seats everywhere! (Yay!) Did a bunch of fun/weird stuff like going to a maid cafe and a cat café. I went to a baseball game, had pedicure by Dr. Fish (tiny little fishes that eat the dead skins of the soles of your feet) and slurped ramen loudly in your own private booth.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST/MUSICIAN/DESIGNER?
Hayao Miyazaki is my favorite Japanese animator and story teller, I love“My Neighbor Totoro” and “Castle in the Sky”. I also love Hong Kong film director, Wong Kar Wai. (Hey, gotta pick someone from HK!) Check out his films like “In the Mood for Love”, “2046” and “Chung King Express”. And listening to Arthur Rubinstein playing Chopin is always a pleasure.
WHEN’S THE LAST TIME YOU GAVE A STANDING OVATION?
Oh goodness! I even have trouble remembering what I had for lunch yesterday!