So like, woahhhh. 10 years. Crazy. How did time pass by so fast?
It doesn't really exactly feel like that long ago when I first started visiting dA and now it's already been a decade.
So kinda for myself (and also anyone possibly interested) here's a journal post recapping my last 10 years~ (Also sort of my journal in photography too, I guess.) May 17 2002
I signed up on dA when someone in the drawing group I hung out with told me to check out his works here. I was only 14 then. I didn't use dA a lot at the time because it looked like this: [link]
I was on a 15" 1024x768 display and the ad banner + dA header took up half my screen on every page load. Did not like. >_>Sept 2003
I dropped by dA every now and then, in Sept I suddenly found it a lot more user-friendly, the new version: [link]
I added dA to my daily visit and I started making friends on the site. Nov 2003
I started helping
post his works on various art forums and websites, and became active on dA because of that.
Some of the first works of his I posted here: Early 2004
started getting rather popular. (Back then, anyone with 10,000 pageviews was considered rather impressive, I think the new dA benchmark is probably at least 500,000 or 1 million, I have no clue.)
I liked meeting new people while managing his work. But still, it sucked to have nothing of my own to show. I started posting my modelling attempts:
Gahhh goosebumps. No offense to the photographers, I'm just really not model material.2004-2005
I continued managing Noah's work, and met loads of awesome, cool people.
I was very into Japanese Visual Rock and played the keyboard for a band that did a lot of X Japan and Luna Sea covers. I met a lot of other guys in the scene at various gigs and eventually met
(Arissa), who was doing fashion design at school. And I thought hey, I wanna do that too, then I can make awesome costumes for myself for my photoshoots! Very nice, Jingna. May 20006
I bought my first camera as a birthday gift to myself. Dude who sold me the camera didn't even tell me I needed a memory card for the camera! So my first photos with the camera ever were of perfume bottles because that's the only things I could think of photographing while tethered to the computer. -_-
After finally getting my hands on a CF card, I asked Arissa to model for my first photoshoot:
I had to feature her work because I loved her designs so much back then. Haha we were such punks. Late 2006
It still hadn't really occurred to me that I'd wanna do fashion photography. But studying fashion design -- we had photo projects so I started experimenting in the direction.
The most convenient model was still myself though, so I started doing self portraits:
Did a collab with *noah-kh
! He coloured my horrendous lineart, I can't for the life of me think why he would agree to something like that.Early 2007
I started getting into daily top favorites on the frontpage. Not very often but here and there, 2-3 hours at a time. My watchers started growing and I started managing both my own account and *noah-kh
's. Mid 2007
I photographed some of my most viewed works on deviantART. The dress was actually school work I had to document, so it was quite unexpected for it to end up so well received.
I remember asking
for his advice on Forgotten Fairytales, if or how I should edit the picture. I was considering smoothing out the dress towards the end or cropping it, but in the end we just agreed it looked the best as it was, so I left it alone. Since then I sort of came to the habit of trying to capture all elements as perfect as possible in my shot so I never have to go through the unnatural process of changing the flow of something, it became quite important to me.
Photographed my sister:
Received my very own Deviousness Award! You can read it on my page right under the Journal post.Late 2007
My first commercial job! For Mandy Wu Jewelry [link]
I think like many of my first clients, Mandy discovered my work on dA.
Worked on a Gothic Lolita series "The Midnight Game". Dec 2007
My last semester in fashion school. I decided to quit. You can read more about it on my blog post about my education here: [link]
By this time I already had some work offers. Small jobs like gigs, event photography, I was young and I was new, so I tried doing everything I could just to see how much I could make to support myself. Early 2008
I started work as an assistant at a photo studio, more to placate my parents in my 2nd school-quitting episode than anything else. I lasted a month before I decided it was pointless if I don't get to shoot my own things, which I yearned to do so much of.
In order to really give focus to photography I quit the national air rifle team too, I saw that as the end of a chapter in my life. It was really quite a bit change. Jan 2008
Wacom picked me up as a featured artist for their Cintiq range in Asia. The featured image was Luna:
I started experimenting with studio photography. March 2008
X Japan Reunion!
For how much X Japan meant to me I couldn't miss out on this concert.
I met so many amazing people and made so many friends that trip to Japan that Tokyo remains one of the cities I actually have most friends gatherings in until today.
answered my call for assistants on dA and was a super wonderful help as translator/assistant over the next half a dozen or so trips I was there.
This was quite a life-changing trip as it gave me time to reflect on what I wanted to do with photography and gave me a sense of purpose.
I did SO much work there. And I can't believe Arissa and I managed to catch the cherry blossoms in full bloom for our shoot. It was so incredible. Mid-late 2008
With the feeling of change and all the support I was shown on dA I decided to do an exhibition and a book.
I still have a hard time believing I was only 20 when I did that. And really, it probably would not have happened if not for the support I was receiving from everyone here. 2009
Noah and I were both chosen as featured artists for the Intuos 4.
After my exhibition and book I started throwing myself into commercial/editorial work and thus reduced the amount of time I had for personal pieces, something which I regretted later. But looking back now, it was the year for so many 'first times', so I can't really exactly argue.
The few personal shoots I managed to do, I was extremely proud of them. Mid 2009deviantART World Tour
Holy shit, I can't believe I went to THREE of them.
I went to Paris with photographer friend Quentin Shih to assist him on a gallery project for Dior, and since I was there I thought, hey I'll go to London too. I wonder if anyone else went to more stops than I did besides
I came back to Singapore to confirmed jobs with Mercedes Benz Taiwan, Harper's Bazaar Singapore, Pond's Indonesia, and Gothic & Lolita Bible in Japan.
Shooting for Gothic & Lolita Bible was such a dream come true, having collected the magazine from since... volume 3 or 5 or something. Late 2009
The awesome thing about travelling so much is meeting deviants from around the world. Got to photograph dA superstars
~! Dec 2009
I met and photographed Sugizo. For a PERSONAL shoot. Like. Holy shit.
And turns out Sugizo liked my photo enough that he requested to use it for his book the next year.
I wrote a little summary blog post for 2009, if you'd like you can read it here: [link]2010
More exhibitions! I had 2 solo ones that year.
I held a show at Japan Creative Center in Singapore, I showed a collective of images from my earlier days, the central theme was visions inspired by Japan.
Exhibition: Angel Dreams by Zhang Jingna
Some of you probably already know about this from my Facebook page, but just for those who missed out, I'm preparing for a new exhibition due to start this month on the 29th till 18th June.
This is my second solo gallery show, man, I'd forgotten how much a pain it is to do one till I got down to doing it. T_T But this is something I had really been wanting to do for this year, so here it is.
The collection will feature some Japanese-themed pieces, photos from my collaboration with Sugizo, some other previously unpublished works, a selection of my iconic pieces over the years, as well as a room with outtakes, behind-the-scenes photos, work-in-progress materials, and personal items like artbooks and photobooks that have influenced and inspired me over the years.
The venue is a really beautiful space and I'm very excited to begin with the installation, except we've yet to start on the printing because
Feel free to check out some photos from the event here: [link]
Also had a street exhibition along Orchard Road in Singapore during the Audi Fashion Festival. It was quite a big set up as fashion works had never been showcased in that manner before. Aug 2010
deviantART 10th Year Anniversary Birthday Bash!
I went with
and the guys from IFS!
It was superbly awesome and you can check out photos on my journal post: End 2010
I continued travelling, moved to stay in Los Angeles for some time. In 2010 I got to visit Pixar, Blizzard, Dreamworks, and gave a talk for Canon in Singapore and at Laguna College of Art and Design. All was good.
Personal favourites from the year: Jan 2011
Went to Montreal with
! We crashed with
and met up with
, who gave me a tour at Ubisoft Montreal! Life is awesome when I get tours, I'm so very easy to please. Mid 2011
I started a StarCraft II team, called Infinity Seven: [link]
I shot with Rain in Korea, and was interviewed by dA at Comic Con:Oct 2011
deviantART decided to sponsor my team!
We've come a long way now from then and the roster has massively changed, and instead of no-name leagues we're actually getting into group play in major tournaments like MLGs etc. We wouldn't be where we are today without dA's support, so thank you dA. Nov 2011
One of my favorite shoots from 2011: 2012
I coloured my hair a dozen times this year, it's now pink.
I got interviewed a few times in the SC2 community so I get to talk about dA quite often. XD
I'd been a bit busy with shooting, went to Vietnam in March and then New York the rest of it until late April.
Now I'm in the midst of working out a move to New York, so stay tuned for pictures from there soon~
In closing I'd like to thank all the wonderful people on dA for being such an awesome community~ You guys are so super amazing, you have no idea.
Last but not least thank you
and everyone I can't fit in here because of the journal's 60kb post limit, you know who you are~ I'm so glad to have met you here and I love you all, stay awesome.
*Edit: Someone suggested I do an improvement meme, so I made one! My work from 2006-2012:
My Education - [link]
Equipment and Where The Money Comes From - [link]