Passion is an understatement but to have a calling in life could be an inspiration to somebody. It is especially inspiring to see women empowering other women while making it big in the industry of their choice. Anyone can succeed when a considerable amount of time and effort has gone into it. What better way to support this statement than to feature these four amazing Malaysian women who are growing steadily in the art and design fields? Ever wondered what it’s like to follow your heart and do the things that make you happy? Read on to find out what passion means to these young ladies.

 

Nur Ashikin binti Hussin, Eurekart Studio

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Q: What is the most challenging part of creating art, in your opinion?
The Internet has largely affected how artists showcase their works. There are many online platforms out there for aspiring artists to present their work to the world these days – via social media, websites and online marketplaces. Artists develop digital profiles for viewing, buying or selling purposes. I love the idea that art is within a few clicks away and people get to see more of the behind-the-scenes content from artists themselves. Personally, the Internet has become a huge part of my business and career as an artist. I now see myself not only creating art for my brand, but also engaging the creative community, inspiring and connecting with people through my art. Sometimes, it can be quite challenging to juggle between making art, managing my online accounts and creating fresh content regularly all by myself.

grateful for where I am

I experience burnout once in a while, especially after spending a long period of time on a project or trying to squeeze too much out of the limited time and energy I actually have. It is one of those moments when I don’t feel creative and then I can’t create anything under pressure. When I have reached the point of burnout, my plan of action is to simply give myself the time to rest, reset and recalibrate. It all happens naturally and before I know it, the creative juices will start flowing again.

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Q: What advice would you give to your younger self before becoming who you are now?
Just go for it! I used to take so much time to think, decide and plan when I should have just gotten started. All those years in making art and setting up a business have taught me that the best way to deal with things is not to overthink.

Quiet and Cozy

Q: How and where do you usually get your inspiration from?
I look for inspiration in all sorts of things – from animations, literature, song lyrics to nature and life itself. There’s nothing specific and the fact that most of the authentic ideas come when I least expect makes it more exciting. I love celestial objects and astronomy-related things so you can see them a lot in my works. For some of us, the night is our time to shine, when our minds come out to play. It is true for me as I often find myself thinking and imagining things, being more creative at night. There is a certain comfort which can be brought only by the night. Apart from my daydreams and imaginations, being in the creative community also fuels my creative process. Visiting art galleries, great architectures or seeing other artists work their magic inspire me.

I just love drawing whether digitally or traditionally, pottery making or anything that involves creating beautiful things with my own hands. These activities are like therapy to me. I want to continue creating things from my imagination. I designed my first enamel pin because I desperately wanted a pin of my own design, which eventually motivated me to start my own enamel pin business a year ago.

 


 

Chris Song, Artbysong Design

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Q. What message do you want to send to girls who dream to be an artist or designer one day?
The design and art field is relatively broad. You’ll have to try a whole lot of things and discover the path that you’re truly passionate about. So, step up and grab every opportunity you can find. Take up that designer role in your (school) club or that product photoshoot for your cousin, or maybe even organise an event photoshoot for your friends.

Never stop learning and hustling. Observe every little detail and ponder on the lessons or inspirations you could gain from your experiences – it doesn’t matter if it’s a Facebook viral post, a Pinterest visual that catches your attention or even a failed advertisement.

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Q. How and where do you usually get your inspiration from?
It comes from everywhere – from the accounts or pages I follow on social media, the nature, my dreams, books and of course, a designer’s essential: Pinterest. I often jot down or draw the ideas in my notebook so that I can refer to it whenever and wherever.

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Q. How do you deal with an artist’s block and how long does it usually last?
I will take a break and do something that doesn’t require much brain energy, such as baking, cleaning or playing with my dog. It usually lasts up to a few days and surprisingly recovers once the deadline is near.

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Kin Yap, Heng Yimin & Soon Cai Ling, Epikinono Studio

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Q: What is the most challenging part of creating an art, in your opinion?
Since we are always focusing on designing with empathy, ensuring the design works for people is the most challenging part for us. Now that people’s lifestyles and habits have changed due to the pandemic, the changes will redefine what kind of ideas and designs would work. It is a challenge to be at the forefront of change and understand how people, markets, and technology work out to fit into the new norm.

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Q: How do you deal with owning your own studio at a somewhat young age?
I would say the biggest advantage we have is that we work as a team and it have always been a teamwork. We considere ourselves to be a newbie in the industry, so we often explore and look out for practices that are suitable for us. A happy design team does happy and great things. Learning from each other and understanding different perspectives will create better solutions and we can grow together. We do a lot of observations and communication – we love talking to people and making new friends with other designers or clients. Through conversations, we get to figure out something new and apply the idea to our design. Stay curious and never stop learning new stuff.

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Q: What advice would you give to your younger self before becoming who you are now?
Stay passionate and intense. Be responsible and try your best at every opportunity.

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YeeYn, Eyinteresting Design

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Q: Did you have to deal with any prejudice for being a woman in design?
Luckily for me, I don’t have this issue. In fact, it is an advantage because most clients think female designers are more detail-oriented at work.

2. Monae Beauty - KissMas (Christmas 2019)

Q: How do you deal with owning your own studio at a somewhat young age?
It’s a stage of identity transformation for me. It also means no more one-man show. I learned that you’ve got to lead and work with your team and manage work quality and client’s expectations while making sure your business is running well and profitably. Learn while you earn, and vice versa.

1. Cafe 5 (2017)

Q: What message do you want to send to girls who dream to be an artist or designer one day?
As Napoleon Hill said, “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind of man can achieve.” Well, we came from nothing and go back to nothing in the end, so we have nothing to lose.

5. LouPo Noodle (CNY 2021)