Daniel Ting Chong: Emerging Creatives Q&A

This week’s featured Emerging Creative is graphic designer Daniel Ting Chong, who was part of the programme at Design Indaba Expo in 2008.

Part of the Project

Daniel Ting Chong is a Cape Town-based graphic designer and illustrator. He is emerging as one of Cape Town’s top creative talents following a series of art exhibitions, talks, commissions from clients and design collaborations with leading international brands including Levi Strauss, New York Times and the Discovery Channel. Here’s what he had to say about being part of the Emerging Creative programme in 2008.

Did being part of Emerging Creatives help you establish yourself as a fully fledged creative professional?

When I participated in Emerging Creatives I was in my final year of studying. I found it considerably helpful for networking, regarding internship positions at the end of my tuition. I wasn't very experienced back then and was still understanding what it meant to be a "creative professional"; however, the Emerging Creatives platform really helped me believe it was possible to work in the creative industry and be remunerated for a passion I've had since I was young. 

How has the volume of your business increased since the stage of your career when you were part of the Emerging Creatives programme? Have you had any major commissions or business orders as a result of it?

After Emerging Creatives, I found myself at the infamous design studio The President, where Peet Pienaar was my mentor. Deciding to freelance has been the best decision for my career. I've been very blessed to work with great local and international brands such as Nike, Adidas, The New York Times, Samsung, Mens Health, Woolworths, Dear Me Brasserie, The Beijing Opera and The Summit.

What was the most valuable thing you got out of the programme?

The Emerging Creatives platform is prolific for networking and is one of the biggest platforms whereby upcoming designers can get noticed. One of the most valuable things I took from the programme was that it validated what I do and made me realise everyone around me is a creative in various different disciplines doing what they love in life. It confirmed my belief that what I was doing felt right and made me feel excited about design. 

Since Emerging Creatives, have you participated in any local or international exhibitions or events, or won any awards?

Since Emerging Creatives I have participated in multiple local exhibitions, but namely two solo shows with my studio mate, Jordan Metcalf, entitled Fear.Less & Heart of Gold, which were both exhibited at the contemporary Cape Town gallery Salon 91. I won the Sappi Paper Think Award while still studying at Vega, and also a Silver Eagle Award with my studio mates at Only Today. I was very blessed to be selected as one of the Top 200 Young South Africans for Mail & Guardian. Lastly, I won a Gold Loerie for MK Bruce Lee Magazine while working at The President and for the past two years I've been selected to judge the Design Communicati.

Daniel Ting Chong lives and works in Cape Town as a professional illustrator, artist and designer. See more of his work at danieltingchong.com.