The arty interview: Lay Hoon/Arty Guava




After stumbling across the works of graphic designer Lay Hoon on the web, I decided to find out some more about the creative process of an engineer-turned-graphic designer.

You can see more on her website (click here) and Facebook page (here).  




Your illustrations are truly beautiful - how long have you been practicing?
Thank you! I've been drawing since I was six. My mother enrolled me for art classes at 10 and I stuck to it for 5 years. After that, school work became too demanding and I stopped drawing all together. It was not until I finished university that I decided to draw and paint again. I've been focusing on my illustration for about three years now. 

Did you ever experiment with another medium, or has illustration always been the one for you? 
Illustration, or should I say Art, has always been my first love. But being born and raised in a very practical and pragmatic family, my parents did not encourage me to pursue it as a career. So I studied bioengineering at university and worked in the healthcare industry for about a year before I decided to make a MAJOR career change to graphic design. Only then did I start illustrating again. 

What is your artistic process? 
I do things quite haphazardly, to be honest. For my Spring 2 works, I was just experimenting with how watercolour bleeds, blends and form random patterns on wet paper. The resulting patterns reminded me of flowers, which I then accentuate. As an afterthought I wanted the flowers to have a face/expression, so I painted in female portraits.

Where do you find inspiration?
I know it sounds clich├ęd, but it comes from anywhere and everywhere: fashion magazines, cartoons, window displays at shopping malls, nature and of course the internet. I'm usually drawn to thematic fashion photography that is surreal, emotional, and highly dramatic. I also find the play of lights and shadows to be very fascinating - like how foliage can cast interesting shadows on the subject or how water distorts lights etc. I keep an active Pinterest account (which you can see by clicking here) to archive all the interesting finds from the internet and often refer back to them for inspiration.

You are clearly drawn to beautiful, bright images, but have you ever tried creating some darker materials?
I've been playing with the concept of 'pretty ugly' in my head for quite some time. It’s basically taking what we normally consider dark/ugly and making it ...'pretty', for a lack of a better word. Like making images of skulls, creepy insects, wounds, decay and transforming it into a pretty picture. Nothing concrete yet. 

Name three illustrators we should watch in 2014 (other than yourself!).
Ohgushi, Kareem Iliya and David Downton have been a real inspiration to me lately.


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