Swamp, Safari, and Sea with Erwin Ong

Swamp, Safari, and Sea with Erwin Ong

Posted by Denik Team on

We caught up with Erwin Ong, creator behind A Duck Amuck, about his passion as an artist, and what keeps him going. Erwin is a Denik artist, and his illustration style is quirky, happy, and fun. Feel free to check our notebook collection with him, here.

Erwin hopes to make people smile and lift their spirits through his work, whether it be through his animal illustrations, cardboard sculptures, mixed-media canvases, and other projects in his Westchester, NY, studio. His bright, quirky, and happy style is influenced by a lifelong fascination with animals, plants, and cityscapes. He strives to incorporate sustainability into all facets of his creative practice.

1. What has driven you to be an artist?

I have found that making art is the best way for me to express myself and connect with people, may it be family, friends, neighbors, and even people I don’t know.

2. Do you have a favorite piece? A piece that brought you the most joy to create?

The undersea pattern in this Denik collection is something that I am really proud of. It started out as drawings of sea creatures in my sketchbook, and turned into digital artwork after I learned how to use the proper software in 2021. This piece reminds me to always keep an open mind, stay eager to learning new skills, and this has unlocked new possibilities for my work.

3. When you can’t think of anything to create, what do you do?

When I experience a creative block, I simply let go, take a break as long as I need to and live in the moment. An Artist cannot be forced to work a regular job and create Monday through Friday. We need to feel, live and breathe the art we are creating. In the moments where I feel like my energy is not flowing right and I have to be rational about my art, I stop. I take a break and do something else. It can be a short break where I just need to reconnect with friends and get out more often or it can be a longer break where I travel. Sometimes my batteries need to be recharged and pulling the energy from my surroundings, nature or far away places.

4. What are your biggest dreams/goals you hope to accomplish with your Artwork?

I would love to have a theme park based on the creatures I have drawn over the years. I am never more in awe than when I go to an amusement park and see imagination come to life. If I had to choose one ride or aspect to start with, I would like to design a carousel or a playground sculpture.

4. Is there any particular advice that has fueled your creative journey? (Words to live by or favorite quotes?)

From Austin Kleon’s book Steal Like An Artist: “Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.”

4. Is there any particular advice that has fueled your creative journey? (Words to live by or favorite quotes?)

The best way to get updates on my work is through my weekly newsletter at  https://aduckamuck.com/newsletter. You can also follow me on Instagram at @duckamuck (and tag me if you share photos of my journal designs! I always love to see my creatures “out in the wild!”)

To follow along with Erwin's journey, feel free to check out A Duck a Muck Instagram here.

To see the Denik x Erwin Ong collection of notebooks, take a look here.

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