Artist Collaboration: Diana Zeng x Resident Design

Diana_Donna

Originally published by Resident Design here.

This collaboration with Tristan Sopp of Resident Design brings to life Donna the Painted Turtle, a 3D DIY paper sculpture.

What made you interested in doing a collaboration with Resident?
Tristan’s been a dear friend for years, and his journey of exploration and dedication to Resident since the beginning made such an influence on me as a creative. It’s amazing seeing the people you love succeed. When I started painting full-time, Tristan was one of the first people to reach out to me with openness and support so this collaboration came about naturally. I love the tangible qualities of art ‒ the textures and feel of a surface ‒ so being able to bring in a three dimensional aspect is truly exciting.  

Donna_Zeng_forward

Walk us through your design process for this specific creation - what influenced the final work?
My current series “Seasons of Change”, which is influenced by Chinese calligraphy and the coming of Spring, was my inspiration from the start. The spirit of the work felt natural to incorporate into a design that connects flora and fauna into a Resident sculpture. The designs were painted instinctively with very little planning and without sketches, and I made one after another after another.

Did you run into any challenges when creating a design for a 3D paper product?

I was mindful that the sculpture would have hard edges and concaves so I painted the design sheets to create an allover effect without leaving too many blocks of negative space. As a three dimensional piece, the final sculpture naturally creates different perspectives that obstruct different parts of the painted design so I did not want to distract from that experience.  

If you had to choose one Resident to hangout with (or to hang in your house!) who would it be?

Tim the Mammoth has been hanging on our walls since Resident’s early days so he’s my guy! His tusks are something else.

Any podcast, album or show suggestions for our community to check out while they build their next Resident?

I listened to the podcast Dear Sugars with Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond while working on these designs. The raw honesty and love they infuse into their advice to “the lost, lonely and heartsick” have a way of making me feel more free while creating. I switched between that podcast and Adele’s record “25, and I was partial to side B crooning “Love in the Dark” with an extra sprinkle of vigor. I’ve always considered Janelle Monáe a powerhouse//treasure and after recently seeing her music video for “PYNK”, I know what my next record on repeat will be.

What are you working on next? Any suggestions for what we should be making next??

I'm currently working on pieces that reflect the beauty in daily moments with the people and landscapes that draw me in. Two of my large-scale works capture moments when my husband, Sam, was enthralled by the flowers and foliage surrounding him. As for the next Resident designs, I grew up in the water as a swimmer so I’d love to see more aquatic Residents ‒ an octopus or stingray or starfish or seahorse!"

See our collaboration Donna the Painted Turtle here!

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