Dingding Hu is the founder of Hu is Hungry, a food-inspired stationery and gift line. She uses humor, positivity, and a great eye for design to make fun and whimsical products. While running Hu is Hungry, she is also a commercial illustrator working with brands to enhance their voice and drawing illustrations for publications. Dingding grew up in mainland China, and made her first digital illustration around the age of 10! Since moving to the US in her early 20s, she has developed her own digital illustration style based on the consistent interest of observing and documenting. Illustration, with its unlimited potential of expression, allows Dingding the freedom to tell the story of everyday extraordinary, sometimes absurdly.
Says Dingding: “[In] early 2020 I was approached by an editor to pitch her an illustration book. I said yes immediately while I had no idea where to start…It was not a smooth path to get a YES…It made me realize NO is just part of the process, not a failure. So I kept on researching, refining, and diving deeper into what is possible, and finally got my YES! I love what I do for a living, however it’s been a challenge for me to balance client work and building a personal brand. By working on the idea to illustrate my own book, I was forced into a lot of market research, idea development, and self reflection on my work. During the process I gained a much better understanding of where I stand as an artist and where I want to go next. Receiving the YES gave me an incredible confidence boost on my journey of building my own brand! I am really grateful for all the help I was able to receive!”
Dingding used the Oh Joy! Academy How to Pitch a Book Workbook to guide her through the pitching process. She’s eight months into the process and hopes to have an update for us soon. Congrats Dingding on your book…we can’t wait to see it!
Meet Claudia Ramos, founder of the stationery brand Hola Mijas Bonitas. Claudia illustrates and designs her five fun and diverse characters (Claudia, Amber, Mily, Rosa, and Lizbeth) influenced by her life growing up in Los Angeles, CA. Hola Mijas Bonitas is providing inclusivity and diversity with stickers, washi tapes, and more. Claudia is the first from her family to graduate with a B.A. from CSUN and the first to be an entrepreneur.
Says Claudia: “My goal is to spread the beauty of diversity while inspiring others with my art. I sell stickers, notepads, pens, and so on. I’ve launched the Hola Mijas Bonitas website, Instagram, and people really like them. I’ve been featured on L.A. Times, She Se Puede, Buzzfeed, and Happy Planner. After I took Joy’s class, I applied a lot of the advice that was provided. Thank you too for being so supportive!”
Claudia took our How to License Your Art & Design Work. Since the class, a lot has happened for Claudia, including finally trademarking her brand Hola Mijas Bonitas! Wishing you every success Claudia!