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Track Light Interview #12 : Caring Wong (China)

Caring Wong Artwork "Leave Me Alone"

“Leave Me Alone”

The “Track Light” series serves to briefly introduce a number of individuals involved
with the One World Artist Gallery from their various places around the globe.

Today, I talk with Chinese-born/Paris-based illustrator & architect Caring Wong.

Canton Connections

John: Hey Caring! You know… you’re the only “Caring” that I know. Who gave you that name?

Caring: My parents, haha. It’s the same pronunciation of my name in Chinese (Cantonese).

John: And what’s the meaning?

Caring: It means “novelty”!

John: Okay, Ms. Novelty. Where’s your hometown and how did you end up in Paris? If your name is Cantonese, then you’ve given me a good clue.

Caring: I grew up in Guangzhou and went to Paris to continue my study of architecture after university.

“Backlight”

John: I don’t remember if I told you or not… but I lived for a few years in Guangzhou. It’s where I learned to design and manufacture the first DrawBag. I used to go to Sanyuanli market and look for sample materials all the time, or reference bags for inspiration.

Caring: I grew up in Panyu, in the south of Guangzhou. And the university where I studied architecture is in Tianhe.

“The Girls Dorm”

Artistic Influences

John: Ah, Tianhe. We laowai (foreigners) know it well. So what are your first memories of art?

Caring: I’ve been addicted to watching and drawing cartoons since I was a child. I love all types of Japanese anime and Disney animation. They had a great influence on my growth as an artist.

John: This sounds familiar. I was into anime as well growing up, and collected tons of comic books. Which cartoons or anime specifically influenced you?

Caring: I remember watching Cinderella and all the films of Studio Ghibli countless times. 

“Houses on the Stopping Train”

John: And did you watch the Monkey King (Sun Wukong) cartoons growing up?

Caring: Yes. Do you know the film “Monkey King: Hero Is Back” that came out in 2015?

John: Yes, I do.

Caring: It’s my favorite version for the moment!

John: Just the other day a Chinese friend told me about the new Ne Zha animated film. Sadly, it’s not subtitled in English here. I didn’t even know this character or story, but grew more interested the more I read about him.

So are Hiyao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli films some of your biggest influences?

Caring: Yes. I was attracted to the setting and the story of Ghibli films when I first watched Totoro. To paint a scene full of dreams like that became my hobby at the time.

John: You know, I think it can be challenging to present worlds that inspire our dreams and imagination these days. The danger is in appearing escapist or falsely sentimental. But I think your work definitely has a quality of sincere beauty and wonder to it. 

Caring: Oh, and Monet is also a great influence. In Paris, I’ve been given so many more opportunities to get in touch with art than ever before. The exhibitions, the museums, and my journeys through Europe have helped me find more inspiration.

John: What was it about Monet in particular that has inspired you?

Caring: His colors!

John: Okay, duh. And what do you do when you aren’t studying or making art?

Architecture

Caring: In addition to being a freelance illustrator, in fact, another part of my life is with architecture.

“Flower Shop on the Water”
“Rainy Day in Amegakure”

John: Yeah, you know… many of your images remind me of scenes from Hong Kong or Guangzhou. They have these tight spaces packed with life and detail.

How much are you doing architecture these days? And who are your favorite architects?

Caring: Actually architecture is my full-time day job. And I have too many favorite architects to mention… like Calatrava, Barragan, SANNA, Alvar Aalto, Bofill, Terunobu Fujimori… so many.

“Back Home”

John: I need to mention in closing that I really loved the DrawBag you hand-painted!

John: Thanks so much for chatting a bit today. In Cantonese, we say (拜拜) baai-baai!

Following Up!

You can find more of Caring’s work on Instagram and DeviantArt, and buy her work here.

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Warehousing and Fulfillment from China with ChinaDivision.com

Once I had manufactured the DrawBag in late 2017, I needed to integrate my WordPress/WooCommerce website with a fulfillment service to get it out to customers in the US and Australia/NZ.

I had considered both Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) as well as other third party logistics (3PL) companies in North America, but ultimately for reasons of small volume, cost, and manageability, I chose a fulfillment company just next door to where I lived in Guangzhou called ChinaDivision.

As part of a series of blog interviews with individuals who helped me learn and launch the DrawBag in 2017, I recently messaged back and forth with ChinaDivision’s Tony Yu, who was my point-man in dealing with website orders and samples sent around the world.


John: So, Tony… tell us a bit about ChinaDivision’s history.

Tony: ChinaDivision is a business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) brand of CNstorm Co. created in 2011 to deliver solutions for clients worldwide. As e-commerce has continued to grow, we’ve developed the experience in fulfillment and technology to support such global expansion.

John: Where is ChinaDivision located, and what kind of services do you provide for your international clients?

Tony: We are a dedicated local office in China where clients around the world connect, both online and offline, to source, stock and ship international goods directly from China to whatever global destinations are required. Our facilities are located in Shenzhen, near the international parcel processing center of Hong Kong.

In addition to these broader services, we also offer some value-added ones like customized packaging, brand upgrading, and marketing inserts to customers before products go out. Basically, we want to partner closely with you to be sure your customers are satisfied!

John: How did you personally got involved with ChinaDivision? Is your background in supply chain management?

Tony: I’ve been in foreign trade for some time. But two years ago, I found out about Chinadivisison and its place in this brand-new order fulfillment industry, which really attracted me. So I decided to join.

John: Cool. I partnered with you to provide fulfillment services for my first manufacturing run of the DrawBag, which consisted of only 1000 units. How does ChinaDivision work with small startups like mine with limited capital and resources?

Tony: Our main rule in doing business is that we must succeed together! We don’t have minimum order quantity (MOQ) limits but basically accept all clients who want to use our fulfillment services. We partner with you in managing this process as your business grows. So we are quite startup friendly.

John: What are the advantages of doing warehousing and fulfillment from China for sellers shipping to North America or the EU?

Tony: There are actually ten reasons we believe make the case for doing fulfillment from China and with ChinaDivision, which we’ve laid out here. Basically, we focus on greater efficiency, lesser cost, and complete control.

John: Have you traveled a bit outside of China yourself? What do you do when not working?

Tony: Not yet. I have to admit that during the weekend I like to purchase on Amazon or other international e-commerce platforms. I enjoy the shopping process myself!

John: Have you bought a DrawBag yet for your kids?! 😀 I know you’ve shipped out a few of them.

Tony: My son is only two years old, so I’ll have to buy one for him later. But I showed a photo of the DrawBag to my wife (she’s 24 years old ) and she told me she liked it and wanted to share it with her friends.

John: Do you have any special offers or discounts for new clients?

Tony: Yes! We offer our new clients three months free storage in our warehouse facilities for up to 3 cubic meters (CBM) of goods. This is useful for startups who may not be doing high volume in the early days.

John: That was actually almost exactly how much space my 1000 DrawBags and markers took up, wasn’t it?

Tony: Yes, that’s right. And after the three months, the charges are quite reasonable.

John: How can people learn more?

Tony: They can definitely read a bit more about our offerings onlineand if they have specific questions, they can reach me by email or through the ways listed below. I’m happy to help!

Skype: Chinadivision-tony

WeChat: +86-13682616810 

WhatsApp: +86-13682616810