Artist Spotlight: Christopher Auyeung

Christopher Auyeung of Topher & Company creates amazing jewelry and accessories and also is involved in graphic design. I came across one of his necklaces when I was putting together a treasury for Team Discovery. The design was so original and beautiful that I just had to include it! I'm very happy to have the opportunity to feature Christopher and some of his work :)
Oversized EGO Scarf by Topher & Company

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Christopher, and I currently live in San Diego, California. I just graduated from UCSD with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Psychology, and I am currently an M.A. candidate for Marriage and Family Therapy at Bethel Seminary San Diego. I love to knit, and Topher & Company is the inevitable product of that love. I also currently work as a part-time graphic designer (my current contract is with a non-profit called CK-12, doing textbook figures and illustrations) and SAT tutor.
2. In addition to creating art, how else do you spend your time? What are your favorite hobbies, places to go, people to see?
I love people. Throughout college, I was involved with InterVarsity, which is a Christian non-profit organization dedicated to raising up effective, world-changing leaders, and probably my favorite part of my four years at UCSD was all of the people I got to hang out with, counsel, develop, and learn from. I also love to cook, especially for people, and sing, especially with people. Do you see a pattern? In fact, my favorite part about being self-employed is the fact that I literally get to choose my favorite coffee shop, call up a friend, and hang out with them while I work. It’s awesome.
3. Were you always drawn to art? If so, how did this manifest growing up? If not, what made you first want to become an artist?
I took art classes from when I was really young, learning to draw and use pencils. There was this program called Monart that I used to take classes from, and it was really big back then; I’m not sure how popular it is now. In high school, I switched to a local art studio, where I learned how to oil paint – so I have a pretty solid foundation in fine arts.
In junior high, I played this online… game? It was called Neopets, and I was totally addicted. You were allowed to have a shop as a Neopet owner, and I discovered that you could design your own banners and backgrounds, so I just decided to jump in and purchase a graphics editing program. The rest is pretty much history – I’ve been designing for over 9 years! This inevitably led to my love of design in general, including knitwear.
4. Your jewelry is so unique! How do you come up with the designs?
Thanks! Funny story, the first necklace that I designed actually started out as a headband. When I finished, it was too big and didn’t fit on my friend’s head, but it fell around her neckline, and I thought it looked really cool as a necklace. I looked up some soft jewelry, found out that it was totally on trend, and then started designing the braided necklaces because I like how the knitted braids look. I modeled them sort of after how trendy jewelry looks right now – you know, with the big flowers and multiple strands.
3Stranded Necklace with Flower by Topher & Company
5. Where do you draw your inspiration?
Honestly, mostly from fashion! I keep an eye on what’s coming out of stores that I like, and I also really love when I see unusual shapes and graphic elements (probably because of my graphic design background) in clothing. I also flip through stitch dictionaries regularly to see if anything catches my eye or piques my interest.
6. How do you promote your work?
Mostly I just try to list as many items as I can. My life is pretty busy, but I knit as much as I can. On Etsy, I’m also part of Team Discovery, which has been an incredible team to be a part of. I’ve felt so loved and supported – I get featured in SO many treasuries, and I ended up on the front page of Etsy this past week for the first time, which increased my views and hearts like CRAZY! So those two things have been the most beneficial: listing items regularly, and joining an active treasury-making team.
7. What advice would you give other artists that are new to selling their work?
Do your research! I kind of jumped headfirst into the pool of selling on Etsy, and hit my head quite a few times. I listed like eight items, and wondered why I wasn’t getting any views or sales. You really have to know what you’re getting yourself into, and research as many good tips, resources, and business tricks as you can before you start selling, especially those that are specific to selling on Etsy. Make sure you have great photography, research your competition and make sure you know what sets you apart, make sure you calculate a good, fair price for what you sell, and make sure to keep impeccable records of what you buy!
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I have absolutely no idea. This is the worst question to ask someone right out of college. Hahaha.
The NAUTILUS Beret in Eggplant by Topher & Company
Christopher's work can be found at:

Etsy Shop:  

Facebook Fan Page: 


Design studio:

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