Snippets’. Chats with Creatives. We are back with series two! Here at Digital Fabrics we love everything print, pattern and colour and we love to know what makes designers tick. This second series is all about asking some fun and different questions and learning about the inspirations and ideas behind the artist and their work. We hope to inspire others by sharing snippets of these creative stories. We gave the artists and designers featured a varied and different set from series one list of questions to choose from so we will learn something new from everyone involved, should be fun!
Today on snippets we are talking to Carmen Hui from Carmen Hui Illustrations, her drawings are detailed with a playful and fun Australiana theme and often feature botanicals and animals. Each drawing is a labour of love using layers of coloured pencil strokes and her style is unique and very distinguishable. Her designs can be seen across a variety of mediums including paper, jewellery, textiles and ceramics to name just a few and she also teaches workshops so she has lots of advice and knowledge to share with us!
Hello, my name is Carmen and I am an illustrator focusing on animal and botanical pencil drawings. I started Carmen Hui Art & Illustration about 4 years ago after wanting a sea change from my job as a designer. I didn’t have a set plan when I started my business, I just participated in a few group art shows, a couple of local markets and then opened an online Etsy shop. It was a slow process but each little step gave me the confidence to keep going. Nowadays, my days are split between running my online shop, doing commissioned works, teaching drawing classes and attending design markets.
I live in sunny Marrickville with my partner Mat and my cat Miso.
What 3 words best describe your creative style.
Delicate, emotive and Australiana
What does a typical creative day look like for you? How do you stay on plan and organised?
Everyday is different and consists of juggling many hats. I start the week by prioritising what’s important and allocating time in the week to complete each task. I usually start the day by doing the less fun stuff such as admin, accounts and packaging orders. Then I will do more involved work such as planning and commissioned work.
What would your dream creative project look like? Who or what is your dream project, client or job? Tell us about why you would love to collaborate with them and what you find inspiring about their work.
I am in love with surface design at the moment and would love to see my designs on clothing and accessories. This is something that I have started dabbling in, but would love to collaborate with an experienced clothing brand and adapt my drawings into a small range of clothing.
Being kind to oneself. Being your own boss can have many advantages and disadvantages. You are constantly thinking about your business and what more you could be doing, It is important to give yourself a break every once in a while and be happy with what you’ve achieved. I burnt out really quickly after the first couple of years working for myself, so this year I’m trying to slow down a little. It’s not easy, but I think I’m getting there.
What’s the best thing about being in the creative industry in Australia today? And on the other hand, what do you find most frustrating?
I think right now is the best time to be in the creative industry in Australia. People have a deeper appreciation of craft and great designs and are very supportive in helping small businesses to grow and develop. The growth of social media is also extremely helpful as it helps us reach people far and wide, something that is near impossible in the past unless you have a large marketing budget.
The project I’m most proud of this year is my Everyday Bag designs. This was a passion project of mine and am so happy that it came to fruition. I’m hoping to slowly build on this and release more designs in the new year. In terms of collaborations, I have an illustrated plant pot design with Plernters, a range of Christmas cards and accessories that are about to be launched with La La Land, as well as some soon to be available wallpaper designs with Milton & King which I’m super excited about.