This week's Flower Person is Xuebing Du, a photographer and product designer based in California. Xuebing's colorful photographs evoke a sense of intimacy with nature and draw the viewer into admiring all the details and textured captured. Her beautiful photographs have been published in DOPE Magazine, Booooooom, and The Green Gallery, to name a few. Some of Xuebing's clients include Apple, Huawei, Brussels Royal Opera House, and Paris Opera. In this interview, we talk about Xuebing's inspiration from nature, the healing power of self-love, and the allure of the unknown.
Hi Xuebing! Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
Hi my name is Xuebing Du. I am a photographer as well as a product designer. I was a lot more into music when I was younger. As I grow older, I've been using photography as a medium for self-expression. I choose to focus on visuals because it is a relatively easier and independent way to create what I have in mind.
You have so many gorgeous photographs of nature and scenery. Can you tell me where are you from and where do you call home now?
I was born and raised in China. I moved to California about 7 years ago, and I have lived here since. I enjoy the weather in California, and it's one of the main reasons I stayed. I feel more energized and inspired when the weather is warmer. It helps me dream, imagine, and create.
I LOVE your "California" photograph series. The images are so crisp and vibrant...there's such a lively essence to these pictures! You seriously honor the beauty of flowers in your "Mother of Pearl" and "Florals" series. Where did your love for flowers come from or what first drew you to flowers?
I've always drawn to nature, in my early work I photographed a lot of leaves and plants. To be honest, I used to find flowers a difficult subject to photograph, I wasn't able to present its beauty. In 2017 I went through a difficult time in life. It was through that healing experience I was able to appreciate the gentleness and softness of flowers. It has taught me so much about self-love, the power of femininity so that I was able to heal myself and grow. It's interesting how some events in life can cut one's heart open and through the pain we find flowers grow.
I'm wondering, what are you working on at the moment?
Personally I'm consistently working on myself by understanding my characteristics, my needs and desires, and nurturing myself to grow into the woman I am. Professionally, I'm taking the time to absorb influences from music, art, movies, and also videos I find interesting.
Culture and media have the power to transform us. Do you have some inspiring words you love and live by?
Words can be really powerful, I read inspirational quotes when I'm not feeling my best. They give me strengths to lift up my spirit. One of the most inspiring words I received was, "Never ever will you think little of yourself or worry you are not good enough, because you are and much much more than that." It still touches me because these words are exactly what I need to hear.
Those are such kind words and a touching piece of advice. Sometimes we need to remember to love ourselves. I find that journaling every day helps me do that. What's a daily ritual that's made an impact in your life?
Should I say I sleep a lot? It makes me want to do things when I'm well-rested. I also drink a lot of water to keep hydrated. Honestly, I spend a lot of time by myself, and just having my thoughts with me is great. I do talk to myself through a mirror or a camera. I find it a helpful way to understand my own thoughts through self-analysis.
As an introvert, I can appreciate some quality alone time because it brings me comfort to reflect on myself. What brings you the most comfort?
Obviously knowing my family and friends are safe and healthy in other parts of the world brings me the most comfort at this tough time. I want the world to be a safe home for all of us, now I'm just hoping the coronavirus ends soon so we can live a safe life again.
I totally agree with you. Knowing my family and friends are safe during this time brings me peace of mind. Who is someone that had the most impact on your life for the better?
I want to say my father. He has always been a role model I look up to. He has supported me so much along the way. I’m truly grateful to have him as my father. In the recent couple of years, somebody has influenced me greatly, he has helped me, showed me what love is. I would not prefer to speak his name, but I thank him, and wish him a happy life.
Now, for a bright spot! Where do you find inspiration or what have you found super inspiring lately?
I draw inspiration from life, music, movies, my childhood memories, people etc. Musically, I listen to the songs I used to love in my teenage years; rediscover Spanish classics. I revisited some romance movies, crime films, and sci-fi movies, from which I look for visual references. I also like to watch random videos and articles about ancient Emperor tombs, future predictions, and science discoveries. The unknown is really fascinating to me.
- Through words, because I’m not a talker, I listen.
- I feel so ashamed. I’m not very much a reader, don’t have one.
Favorite food to cook?
- Cutting is my favorite part, I like using scissors and knives.
- Hainan, China, my childhood fantasy grew pretty much from there. (Note: Our Blue Lotus is also sourced from Hainan!)
- There are so many, really difficult to name a favorite, but I’m into sci-fi movies, crime films, and good visually stimulating movies just for pleasure.
What is one advice you would tell your “younger self”?
- Being you is enough.
If you would like to find more about Xuebing and her work, her socials are linked below: