Friday, May 5, 2017

An Interview with...Vicky Chan

Once a week I post interviews with interesting people about their insights on their experience of working in the Knitting industry. I’ve noticed that every one of these individuals makes their living in a slightly different manner bringing their own unique presence to the knitting world.

You can find Vicky here and here on Ravelry.

Where do you find inspiration?
Internet, TV, stores, books, magazines, people. Inspiration is everywhere.

What is your favourite knitting technique?
Top-down seamless.

You mix knit and crochet in some of your patterns, are you finding more people have both skill sets?
I mix knit and crochet when they lend themselves beautifully to a design. I think people who like both crafts would enjoy this type of patterns as much as I do.

Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
Yes. There are so many talented designers out there, you're bound to come across their work and can't help but admire it and being inspired. I only see the influence that makes me want to design more, learn more, and maintain my own style.

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
I make all my samples because I enjoy the process of creating something that I design. This also allows for modification and correction before I pass the pattern to volunteer testers.The number of testers varies depending on the pattern. I usually target for at least 2 testers per size.

Did you do a formal business plan?
No. I'll do one when the time comes.

Do you have a mentor?
Unfortunately, no. It would be wonderful to have one.

Do you have a business model that you have emulated?

Do you use a tech editor?
No. I do my own tech editing. Reading pattern books, receiving feedback from testers and answering questions from customers have helped me a lot in writing better patterns.

How do you maintain your life/work balance?
I'm pretty carefree about this. I mainly try not to bring work home. Having time for my family and for myself is the key.

How do you deal with criticism?
No one likes to hear negative criticism, I'm no exception. But one can only improve by being receptive to feedback. I do review and validate the criticism carefully and try not to take it personally. Luckily, there are a lot of kind people out there offering encouragement and helpful feedback rather than hurtful criticism. 

How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself?
I don't rely on my designs to support myself. But I would like to see how far I can go.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?
Give it time, do your homework, make more patterns, enjoy the adventure. If you're good at it, you'll make it. Hey, if not, at least you have your fun.

What’s next for you?
Publish more patterns as I didn't do very many last year. Maybe submit some designs to magazines and experience the process.

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