For an artist, the world of objects is an enormous playground full of fresh images. Graphic illustrators look at an impression that goes beyond the ordinary – both visually and conceptually. They scrutinize images, colours and texture and they find rhythm in what they see. These habits of the eye and mind feed their creativity. As a child, I did have an “art & craft” subject in school but very honestly, I was never good at form-marking (not on paper at least !).. However today on the second edition of “Love My Work”, I’d like to introduce you to a great pair of talented graphic designers who are making a living out of their passion – design and caricature! And just so that you know, they are the magicians behind my spotlight girl – can’t thank them enough!
Let me present to you – HJ & Lee!
A bit of background
HJ and Lee are two lovely sisters based in Sarawak (Borneo), East Malaysia. As art lovers, they developed a keen interest in drawing right since childhood. HJ & Lee studied graphic design in college and worked as a designer and a photographer respectively before venturing out on their own. Sometime in 2011, both of them started creating personalised birthday gifts for friends in the form of caricature products. This motivated them to start their own line of exclusive handmade and digital merchandises.
The idea behind the work..
“Everyone is unique. Individual beauty and strength is the driving source of our inspiration. Our company, Aleph Tav Art, was founded in 2012. Our journey began by creating handmade caricature products and today, we have two online gift stores on both Etsy (mainly US) and Pinkoi (Taiwan)”.
“We believe in changing the perception of gifting. We decided to make caricature into a form of gift rather than just a piece of hand drawing. Every handmade product is wrapped up in craft paper with a laminated stamp. We encourage our clients to write their personal messages before sending out the gifts to the recipient. We also try to be creative and add in personal stories to make the gift unique”.
What makes your work so interesting?
“The most fun part of our job is receiving creative ideas from our customers. It is exciting to work on projects like that because you will rarely get a similar idea or concept again. There is a recent piece I did for a customer to celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of their marriage. The idea was fun and quite special. However it does get challenging when clients are unable to provide sufficient information. When that happens, we need to come out with something new and unique with limited resources.”
The best part about your job?
“I just get so amazed with the amount of time and effort we put in. Actually, the entire process is very enjoyable. The positive reviews and feedbacks from clients keep us motivated. We always remind ourselves how blessed we are to be able to do something we love and make a livelihood out of it.”
“We are moving one step at a time for now and our ultimate dream is to globalize. We want to see our artwork everywhere – that would be fantastic! One day, we hope to have an exhibition and publish a book consisting of all our illustrations over the years”.
A message to all the budding artists?
“It’s good to think out of the box but focus on the one thing you do best. Never stop practising and studying the art form you love. Try to develop your own signature style and character in the long run. And lastly, do not get overly competitive and try not get easily influenced by people’s opinions. Believe in yourself, trust yourself”.
Inspiring, isn’t it? Well I hope you enjoyed the interview and all you budding designers/illustrators and basically this is a message to all creative individuals – never give up! Hope you enjoyed the interview. And if you want to find out more about Aleph Tav Art, feel free to contact HJ & Lee via the below mentioned links.
Stay tuned for more such inspiring ideas, professions, people and stories!