this week we are getting whisked away into whimsy whimsical, the brand of yee von, an illustrator based in kuala lumpur, malaysia. whimsy whimsical is a collection of paper goods inspired by the cutest woodland critters. take a peek below at what she makes and hear more about her journey.
what is your background?
before becoming an illustrator, i studied science in my high school and then got my undergrad and masters in graphic design.
how did you get started start making + selling?
back in 2009, i still wasn't sure what to do for my future even though i was getting my masters in graphic design. i liked design, but was not fond of the idea working all day and all night. during my last semester, i had a project working with a client who wanted to design recipe books. we came up with the idea of illustrated recipe books and i developed several styles to show my lecturer, who told me that she saw something in my illustrations. it struck me that i drew them from my heart. since then, i made up my mind to become an illustrator. sometimes you may not know what others see in you. and to my surprise it was something that i've been searching for all this time.
how did you develop your own style?
upon deciding to become an illustrator, i spent several months developing my style. i drew anything from whatever i saw on the street to what i imagined and even the dreams i dreamt. one day i was sitting in a tram, i saw a drunk woman wearing a camisole with a lot of tiny hatching lines. i drew her wearing the camisole into my sketchbook and somehow the tiny hatching strokes become my style later on.
what inspires you?
anything from my life experiences, vintage children story books and found objects on the street. whenever i'm inspired, i draw them in my sketchbook. i filled several of them now and often go back for ideas whenever i'm starting a new collection / new designs. sometimes i'll search inspirations on pinterest and instagram too! people nowadays are really open to share their creativity on social medias and thanks to it, i get to see what other artists are working on, what are the trends nowadays, and to learn new skills / craft.
what is your favorite kind of project to work on?
i enjoy working with clients for their custom birthday / baby shower invitations. often they inspire me with their ideas, and these are great opportunities to challenge myself to work on something that i'm unfamiliar with. for example, one of my client requested me to design a baby shower invitation of a camping party with lots of forest critters next to a red old barn house at the foot of a mountain. the project was so interesting because it's not something i would usually have come up with. and it's such an honor to help them visualize what they have in mind for their parties.
what advice would you give to makers who are just getting started?
keep trusting the process, be true to yourself and have faith that things will work in your favor. perseverance is something what i learnt throughout the years, that if i truly love what i'm doing, i will keep it up and never give up. there are times i have had breakdowns and things haven't worked out, but perseverance kept me going and helped me find possibilities to make it all work out.
yee is giving one lucky reader their choice of one of her sets of ten holiday greeting cards, see them all here. enter by leaving a comment with 1) your favorite item from yee's etsy and 2) your e-mail. giveaway ends at midnight on december 8th, pst. good luck! this giveaway is open internationally.