Today we’d like to introduce you to Echo Gu.
Hi Echo, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
From the moment I could pick up a pencil, I was fascinated by breathing life into an idea and turning it into concrete & beautiful reality. I spent my childhood in Dalian, China. I was into all different media of art, drawing, crafting, singing, and dancing.
More than that, observing people’s outfits, and admiring beautiful dresses in the stores was one of my biggest hobbies. In the final year of primary school, my dream of becoming a Fashion Designer began to materialize. I started drawing figures, designs for dresses, collecting magazines, as well as experimenting with different fabrics and materials. I remember for my 12th birthday my mother took me to a seamstress who would be able to take a design I made and create a real-life version of it.
I was so proud of my first design coming to life, and even if it wasn’t the most beautiful final product I loved the process of turning it into something real and wearable. From there, I started familiarizing myself with sewing and exploring more unconventional materials like candy wrappers, various types of plastics, and aluminum foil just to name a few. I was interested in using what I had around me to create more creative and sustainable garments.
One very memorable moment that inspired me to really dive deeper into fashion started in 8th grade. I sketched out a beautiful flower print dress and then years later I saw a very similar design showcased at a red carpet event. Although it wasn’t my dress I was so encouraged by the fact that I designed one so similar to a dress worn at an event of this scale.
I felt I had something worth pursuing and with my mother’s help I was able to continue chasing my passion by coming to the U.S. as an exchange student for my first year of high school. I was 15 at the time, living with a host family learning English and American culture each time I moved to a new school. This happened two different times until my junior year when my mother was able to come to America and I was finally able to settle down and have a home now in Sacramento.
I started taking AP art classes where I found a talent and passion for painting as well. I would enter into competitions and managed to win quite a few awards while in high school, the most significant being the People’s Choice Award at the California state fair showcase.
Once I graduated, I was accepted to Savannah College of Art & Design where I decided to major in Fashion Design and a double minor in Fashion Marketing and Bridal wear & Evening dress design. Once I’ve completed the degree, I have also considered mastering Painting or Fine Art.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I’ve been called having really bad taste when I was in primary school. Doesn’t matter how hard I tried, a few girls in my class always mocked me for what I was wearing. At that time I didn’t realize they were just trying to bully me. It made me feel very self-conscious.
Good thing is, it ended up becoming a spark pushing me to want to be a fashion designer. While I was in China, my general education study didn’t go very well. With my grade at that time, it is impossible for me to get into those top Chinese colleges. There were a lot of family issues happening at the same time while I was preparing for my big exams.
After consideration, my mum decided to send me to America. I was scared, cause my English wasn’t good at all. However, I still came here by myself, and it turned out to be the best decision we made. From living in an environment where everyone speaks English, my English improved so fast.
After two years, there was no problem at all for me to follow up in the class. My grade was really high as well, and these high school experiences also helped me become more confident, mature, and open-minded.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
During Covid, I started to build my social media accounts specifically putting time into Instagram. Anytime inspiration struck I would try and convert it into some kind of creative work. Mostly, I am inspired by nature, femininity, and my cats. From styling outfits or backgrounds for fashion shoots to sketches and mood boards to creating & editing videos.
I started doing everything myself building a pretty substantial body of content. That’s when my profile started getting some attention from other users and creators. Some posts even attracted collaborations from photography, makeup, clothing, and accessories brands. I also became an ambassador for a photo and video editing app called “Prequel”.
On my Instagram @artist_echo_gu and my website, you can see how I showcase my drawings, paintings, makeup tutorial videos, fashion designs, handmade garments, film photography, photoshoots, basically everything and anything Artistic or creative. Once I was able to actually attend SCAD in person, I was lucky enough to meet a ton of other artists who were ready to hit the ground running and start collaborating.
I am very proud of the works I’ve been able to create and I’m excited to continue doing so with the new people I’ve met and will meet in the near future because I may be a fashion major but I would definitely consider myself an artist first and foremost.
What are your plans for the future?
I have a lot of plans for the future. Such as creating my own fashion brand, starting from an online business to having my first physical store, and sending my artworks to the museum.
I actually also thought about opening a small live music bar, flower shop, and vintage store. Doesn’t matter what I will be doing, I want my life to be aesthetic.
- Website: https://echoguxiaoyan.wixsite.com/my-site-1
- Instagram: @artist_echo_gu