For this article in the international artist series, we turn to Malaysia, featuring six artists who create fantastic work, from illustration to graphic design and more! I asked each artist how their country and culture inspired their work, and they delivered fantastic answers. Enjoy!
Hatsu is an illustrator based in Kuala Lumpur. Her work is incredibly cute and fun. You can check out a small selection below or see more in her portfolio.
Hatsu's Moleskine Doodles 1
"My country Malaysia has summer all year long. I'm always full of curiosity about four seasons, especially fall and winter, since I was a kid. It couldn't stop my imagination from creating other seasons in my illustrations.
2015 l Cotton Sheep New Year
2015 l Comic Fiesta
"If you have ever been to Malaysia, you will have found it was a food paradise! Because we are a multiracial nation, there is a lot of food variety around Malaysia. I always love good food. I enjoyed sharing this through my sketch diary to share this around the world."
The Littles_Harvest Fruits
Fei Giap Chong
Fei Giap is an art director based in Kuala Lumpur. His work is fantastic, telling stories through panels or lively illustrations. You can check out a small selection below or more in his portfolio.
What's the Plan Penang? (Short Comic)
"Different races, languages, customs and etiquette make my work filled with different characteristics and imagination.
Petronas National Day Print Ads
"The culture of my country fills my artwork with meaning, exploring and innovating my work from different perspectives.
"It also gives me insight into why so many societies around the world evolved religious belief systems and aids me in finding new methods in creating my work, blending traditional and modern features to highlight my art style."
Astro the Journey
Kai is an illustrator and designer based in Kuala Lumpur. Their work has a lovely modern feel to it while remaining simple. You can check out a small sample below or more in their portfolio.
"Growing up in an environment that embraces cultural diversity has influenced my approach in exploring the different possibilities when it comes to visual and graphic design.
Komugi Otsukimi Moon Cake
"Living in the city of Kuala Lumpur, I constantly find myself drawing inspiration from the different people around me. By meeting people with different cultural backgrounds, family values and lifestyles, I've learned to adopt an open mindedness in approaching my design.
I'm Santa Claus
"Living in a busy city has also inspired me to explore and appreciate simplicity in the midst of life's chaos. I have learned to apply this approach into my design and aim to inspire tranquility and stillness with my artwork."
猴 . Year of the Monkey . 2016
Gene is a designer based in Kuala Lumpur. His work is so vibrant and fun. You can check out a small sample below or more in his portfolio.
"Living in multicultural Malaysia, where various races and cultures have merged beautifully, I'm truly inspired. The significance of color and shapes in culture and religion plays a huge role within my work.
n u m b e r s
"I have been inspired by the multitude of cultural celebrations and festivals all year round. Happiness surrounds us everywhere we go, whether it's an advertisement, tv commercial, or even music. Because of this, most of my work is happy and joyful."
Izzy is a graphic designer based in Kuala Lumpur. A recent graduate of the Dasein Academy of Art, Izzy's work is vibrant and varied. You can check out a small selection of pieces below or more in his portfolio.
The Green Rescue _ Uniqlo Kids Tree Planting Program
"I do get a lot of inspiration on the belief in design from my lecturer, Mr. Chung.
"He is a Graphic Designer who is very passionate in what he does. He taught me the beauty of design is actually very simple: good design solves problems.
A Happy Rotating Wheel _ Basikal.my
囍 —— 共織一頭家
"I like to see how design connects people; design is a silent language to communicate in a good looking way.
How a Pencil Is Being Produced _ Infographic
"After three years of studies, I'm definitely still a new learner on this path. There's still a lot to discover and to learn to design to live and live to design."
Ngooi Su Hwa
Ngooi is a graphic designer based in Kuala Lumpur. Her work is vibrant and charming, from map illustrations to print design. You can check out a small sample below or more in her portfolio.
Ovaltine Packaging Revamped
"Malaysia reflects a rich heritage and an amalgamated culture from its colorful festivals, people, and fun language hybrids to its historic venues.
"Perhaps living in such a fascinating cultural environment has indirectly influenced my design process and led to a fun approach in some of my work.
The Brewing Happiness Activity Book
"I have always been inspired by the food and buildings in Malaysia and enthusiastically translate them into something visual. I am pleased when people, especially Malaysian people, get to know more about their culture through my work.
Myanmar Map Illustration for Samsung
Many thanks to the artists above that took time to answer my questions and share a bit about themselves and how their country and/or culture has impacted their work. You can check out more of their work in the links below: