Stan Chow Doesn't Get Bored of Faces
Stan Chow does a lot of portraits. If you follow him on Twitter or Instagram you’ll see a constant stream of famous faces, with some you might be seeing for the first time. He’s always current, using his cultural savvy to comment on recent events or express his interest in the biggest news of the day. For instance, during the World Cup this summer he didn’t let a match go by without giving us a new look at some of the sport’s biggest or greatest heroes.
But heroes come in all shapes and sizes in many disciplines, so Stan’s work is never done. Wired Magazine’s upcoming uber-intelligentsia meeting of the minds, Wired by Design (WxD), has as many heroes as any other high profile conference with the MVPs in each of their own categories. “There seems to be plenty of pretty interesting people to see,” says Stan who is about to head over to the conference. David Chang who is at the top of the food world will be showing off his culinary wares for the attendees, along with his Pastry maven Christina Tosi. Rumors of an appearance by Jerry Seinfeld are afoot. And Wyatt Mitchell will be sharing wisdom as well. Stan says about Wyatt, “he’ll be talking about the New Yorker redesign, which I have involvement in, so it’ll be interesting to hear what he has to say.” Also speaking: Bernstein & Andriulli photographer Platon.
For their super slick website presenting the event (that is totally sold out, sorry!) Wired had Stan illustrate all the portraits of these speakers. It’s a fitting way to bring together graphic stylization and some of the best minds around.
Even though Stan has become known for his stylized portraits, having done hundreds of them, it hasn’t always been this way. It was something that he started with early on but moved in a different direction along the way. “Doing portraits and caricatures was what I was really good at since I was at school,” he explains. “I used to do my school friends, teachers, and popstars from the 80’s. Then when I was a little older I used to do caricatures of barmaids for beer. It was a lot of fun.” Not a bad way to keep the night going. “But for the first 10 years of my career, I never really illustrated portraits professionally. There were so many great portrait artists and caricaturists around the time I left art school that I felt there was no chance of making a mark amongst them.” Eventually he found his way back into it after working out his own unique style. The rest is a history of innumerable faces.
With all those portraits you’d think Stan might get bored of it. He hasn’t. “It’s the fact that I am illustrating somebody different, that’s the challenge,” he explains. “It’s just that no two people are the same, so that’s where the excitement comes from. Nailing a likeness is like scoring a touchdown!”