Hello Carmen, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me about you and your art. I imagine being an artist is a pretty amazing ‘job’, can you tell me what you love about it?
Hello! Thanks for having me. :) It is a pretty amazing job, I still pinch myself every time I think about the work that I do! I love everything about my job, from thinking up a concept, working on the layout to the mundane things like packing up an order. However, the best part would definitely be meeting the people who buy my art, seeing the smile on their faces and hearing about their stories and how a simple drawing can touch their lives.
How would you describe your art?
My art is very much inspired by nature and the story behind each flower or animal. I work mainly with coloured pencils and my drawings are soft and delicate with a touch of old world charm.
Yes your subjects are predominantly flowers and animals, and these are two things that inspire happiness pretty much universally. Is that feeling also what inspires you to illustrate them?
Yes! I love animals and flowers, it is what I’m drawn towards. I love reading about the historic meaning of each flower and the quirky personality of each animal. I often imagine what kind of lives my characters would lead while I illustrate, and what funny adventures they tend to get into.
Okay what is your favourite flower right now?
I have recently discovered pin cushion hakea, it is a native plant from south-western Australia. It totally looks like something from a storybook and I look forward to the day I’ll see it in real life.
Carmen do you have any particular habits or routines that you follow while you work?
I always draw with natural light as I find it really hard to see the subtle colour variations with artificial light and I always make sure I have a big cup of tea and a bunch of podcasts on standby.
Awesome. Your illustrations have so much detail! How long would it take you to complete a piece like ‘Girl With Flowers’?
Hehe, forever! I seriously do not have a life! A drawing could take anywhere from 4 to over 30 hours. For ‘Girl with Flowers’, I think it took me a total of 22 hours to produce.
Wow! That’s so much work! Alright, what’s the most important thing art school taught you?
I never went to art school, I studied design at uni, but funnily enough never took up a drawing major while I was there. Everything I do now is self-taught. The design course encouraged a lot of conceptual rather than practical skills, so I guess it taught me to think outside the circle and not be hindered by what is possible or not possible.
Great lesson. And what is the most important thing life has taught you?
To not be so precious about what you do, you can never achieve perfection and everything is about what you learn along the way.
What is your idea of happiness? I took this from the Proust Questionnaire haha
Hehe, pretty simple. I want to be able to draw all day and be able to make a career out of it. Extra points if I could live in a little cottage by the forest surrounded by lots of flowers and animals.
And lastly, if you could give anyone in the world your La La Land ‘Abstract Pink and Purple Florals’ card, who would you give it to and what would it say?
I would give it to the first person I see that looks like they needed cheering up. I would tell them everything is ok and people do care. :)
That made me smile :)
Click the below to see and shop Carmen Hui for La La Land :
Photo by Tamara Graham
Interview by Michelle Edwards