When Veronica (our graphic designer) discovered Sunny Gu’s absolutely stunning illustrations on Pinterest, she spread the word and showed them to me. I instantly fell in love with her artwork and then had to share it with Melanie (co-founder of BonLook). Melanie was equally enamored by Sunny’s unique style and monumental talent and shared her website with Sophie (our other co-founder and Chief Designer). I think this is just what happens when you encounter her work. Her obvious talent is so striking and her illustrations are so beautiful that you just feel the need to share it with anyone that you think may appreciate it.
Sunny Gu has recently been featured in Dolce & Gabbana’s Swide Magazine and has done commissioned illustrations for some of the major names in the fashion industry. It is for this reason that we are thrilled that Sunny Gu agreed to be featured on our blog as one of the “Women We Love”! Although I would be happy to spill volumes of praise and share my thoughts on her supremely skillful art, Sunny’s take on things is quite a bit more interesting than mine! As such, here is my interview with her:
Q + A
Tara: Tell us a little about yourself.
Sunny: My name is Sunny Gu, an illustrator based in Los Angeles with a focus on fashion illustration and surreal portraits.
I was born and raised in China, I moved to the United States when I was 13. I wish to find a way to capture and preserve the beauties that I see, the kindness that I feel, and recreate them in someway. I decided to become an illustrator and artist.
My illustrations are always full of vibrant colors, rich details and delightful feelings. My work is an endless journey searching for beauty, value, truth and self. When I paint, I am bathed in happiness, I hope my colorful illustrations can bring you some joy too!
Tara: What are 5 of your all-time favourite things?
Sunny: Flowers, smiles, colors, sunshine and desserts.
Tara: What makes a certain designer speak to you? What aspects of fashion in particular inspire your work and drive you to create art?
Sunny: I always drawn by fascinating craftsmanship, unique vision, elegant silhouettes, interesting textures, fun color combinations and floral prints!
The most inspiring aspects of fashion is that it’s always changing and renewing, it’s about evolution and regenerate designs inspired from a variety of sources. Fashion is timeless!
Tara: In your career as a fashion illustrator, what have been some of the most standout moments for you?
Sunny: It always make me feel special whenever I see my illustrations become a part of something bigger than themselves!
One of the magical moments was when I first saw my illustrations printed as garments in Koi Happiness collection. Koi is a clothing company based in Santa Monica, specializes in designers scrubs. I grew up with a few family members working in the medical field, they are some of the most beautiful, caring and giving people I know. Their scrubs uniforms are very simple and plain, mono-chromed. I have a great respect and admiration for people who dedicate their career to help others recover from diseases and illness. I have always dreamt of doing something to benefit this special group.It was a pleasure when Koi asked me to create some murals as photo shoot backdrops for their catalogue. After I finished the backdrop paintings, I worked with the design team creating some delightful patterns for their scrubs collection. It was a very satisfying experience!
Tara: Clearly many of your absolutely stunning illustrations incorporate different types of flora and fauna. Are these two things linked together in some way for you? If so, please tell me a little about it.
Sunny: Nature has always been a huge inspiration for me! Nature has supplied us with everything we have ever wanted. It’s so beautiful, limitless and mysterious. There’s always something there waiting to be discovered.
I love drawing animals and plants, especially those exotic looking ones! I have a folder where I save all the interesting flora and fauna that caught my eyes, I look at them once in a while, always trying to think of a way to incorporate them in my illustrations.
Tara: Do you have any favourite artists?
Sunny: Oh yes, I have too many!
If I have to name a few. I love Gustav Klimt’s romantic paintings, Van Gogh’s emotional colors and Claude Monet’s dreamy landscapes.
I admire the works of fashion illustration masters such as René Gruau, David Downton and Bil Donovan.
Tara: What are some of your aspirations (both career and otherwise)? I’d love to know about where you’d like to see yourself in a few years’ time.
Sunny: My goal is to make a comfortable living by doing what I love! Surround myself with like-minded, diligent, kind, passionate people.
In a few years, I would like to see myself continue working as a fashion illustrator, creating exciting projects for a wide variety of applications. Collaborate with talented creative teams and working with respectable brands. I’d love to take on some long-term projects such as books and illustration series.
Tara: Outside of fashion and art, what are some of your other passions, interests and hobbies?
Sunny: Spend quality time with family and friends, wander around in beautiful gardens, get lost in a good book.
Tara: Who are some women you love? Which women really inspire you?
Sunny: I love happy, independent, intelligent, elegant women.
My all-time favorite is Audrey Hepburn! She is timeless, symbol of classic and femininity, extraordinary beautiful, elegant, charming, talented, smart, caring and compassionate!
Tara: Do you have any advice for other women who may want to pursue similar career goals?
Sunny: Believe in yourself, keep chasing your dreams and create your own opportunities!
Yes, maybe I went just a little overboard on the picture sharing here but I seriously can’t get enough of her artwork and it was really difficult to choose between all the amazing pieces that incorporate fashionable eyewear (one of my all-time fave things!). This is a pared-down version—before I had dozens of images! Once again, thanks so much, Sunny, for sharing your art and agreeing to the feature. Just a reminder: we are still taking nominees for our Women We Love feature. Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if there’s someone you’d like to see on here!
Are you now totally in love with Sunny Gu’s amazing illustrations? Make sure to check out her entire repertoire on her website!
You can even own your very own print of so many of her different pieces! Visit her online store and see what she has to offer.
Finally, be sure to follow Sunny on Facebook to be up-to-date on her most recent work!