Interview: Yi Qing Gan, Illustrator and Artist

We've designed a limited-edition scarf with Malaysian illustrator Yi Qing for Christmas 2022!  Yiqing is an independent illustrator from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia who gives visuals a breath of life through compassion and curiosity. She channels her inner child into my creativity with quirky expressions and heartfelt stories. She focuses on projects like packaging, editorial, and advertising, but she is open to trying new mediums. Her art style is inspired by finding happy mistakes through self-development and growth.
For this holiday season, we took inspiration from one of our favorite places in New York City, Grand Central Terminal. With sky high ceilings and constellation designs above, we admire its airiness and other-worldliness, reminding us to always look up.

Tell us what motivated you to begin your journey as an artist? 
I believe creativity runs in my blood because since young, there will always be a pen with me, to scribble my thoughts from the wall to the paper.
I love expressing my creativity through art especially the idea of seeing people being able to wear my artwork or even rave over my artwork motivates me. I look at the world as an endless creative playground for me to explore!

How has your style changed as your career progressed?
My style evolved the moment I learn that its important to acknowledge your voice as a creative. They say an artist’s art reflects the artist personality most of the time, I think I’m a cheeky person who loves exploring whimsical moments, but I’m also a vulnerable human being with honest emotions.
Many say my artwork can be sentimental because my style is also a reflection of my personal growth as a human being. I infuse affirming and empowering symbolism into my artwork because I think the world needs more compassion!
I would say that sometimes trends from social media does help me to progress because they pushed my comfort zone to try new things like being in front of the camera, this also make me realised I can express my voice through my sharing and not just my artwork. 
When starting a new project, what’s your favorite part of the creative process?
To be frank, starting is the challenge to me because I know that I tend to have an abundant of ideas, but only one idea can be chosen. I especially love colouring my sketches and putting things together the most, I love to see how my ideas turned into reality! Putting my artwork into mock ups is also a very thrilling process, this gives me an exciting idea how a product would look like before mass production!

Where are your biggest sources of inspiration? 
Besides the internet, I think understanding the client’s vision and values is important to me. Since I like symbolism and fantasy, I like to extract key words from the brand’s mission and turn them into an interesting visual language. 

Packaging designs, design books, art museum, and also my own fun moments are my inspiration. Even reading affirmation quotes inspired me! I suggest to carry your own sketchbook to sketch your authentic ideas! 
Any tips for aspiring creatives?
Acknowledge what’s within your control and stay present with your values, I understand the process sometimes can be overwhelming and its normal to anticipate hows the final outcome.
The most important part is really be open with curious mind and look at every project as an opportunity to learn something new. For me, this scarf project made me realised how beautiful it is to explore women’s dynamic postures and also playing with pattern design!