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How Cman Wong attracted global brands to 'Obscura' magazine with design work?
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Cman Wong has found that travelling the world has intensified her love of art and design. When she ventures from Hong Kong and begins working on a new project, she is immediately inspired.

She believes life is too short to sit behind a computer screen all day. Exposure to different cultures while working is what drives her and allows her to better understand the global market. As a sought-after art director working with some of the world's biggest brands, she finds this essential to her success.

"I've always been a frequent traveler. My first time visiting New York City was four years ago. I was taken by the city immediately. The vibe, the lively people, the diverse culture, and of course Central Park, it was magical. Most importantly, the people over there are in pursuit of happiness. It's inspiring as an artist and as a person," said Cman.

Her global knowledge proved fruitful for Cman when working with Obscura, an international lifestyle magazine available in Hong Kong and overseas, including Paris, Italy, London, New York, Tokyo, San Francisco, Berlin, Australia, Canada and Singapore. Founded in 2010 and based in Hong Kong, Obscura is a brand tailored for those with a passion to create their very own style with an outstanding perspective. The publication and online platform aim to inspire readers by sharing their interests in art, design, lifestyle and craftsmanship. Under the same principle, their online store showcases a selection of everyday items which best reflect their aesthetic.

While designing for the magazine, Cman delivered layout and art direction for the styling section at an industry-leading standard. Her work attracted more editorial and advertising initiatives from global brands like Givenchy and New Balance. She was a vital part of the team during the two years she spent at the magazine.

"Now, I look back and know how amazing it was at Obscura. Even a creative director of an agency said he knew and appreciated the layout work I did with the magazine. At the time, I was meeting the production deadline of the project, spending late nights at the office and often overnights working on the last day of the deadline. It was very exhausting and sometimes pretty frustrating, but every time seeing the actual copy, all the negative feelings I may have felt during the process would dissipate," she recalled.

When starting a new issue of the magazine, Cman would first review the copy from the editorial team, making sure she had a firm understanding of the content. She would want to know the topic as best she could before figuring out how best to show it visually. She would then construct the tone, manner, and layout for each chapter.

Depending on the theme of each chapter, the overall mood and layout would be designed and adjusted accordingly within the master style of Obscura. For example, Cman recalls working on a Chanel chapter that allowed for a lot of visual creativity. She designed an ink painting illustration in between the pages to add another layer of visual elements that would allow the reader to further comprehend the subject in a subtle way. It is such attention to detail that makes Cman a leader of her industry.

"Working on Obscura was great. Being able to do some experiments on the visual style and something up to our taste and aesthetics sense was always fun. With the limitation of following the overall visual style of the magazine, I have to push myself more to find a new and different way to excite the reader as well as myself, which is more than following all the rules and finishing the 'job'," she concluded.

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