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Meet April's Featured Designer:Phyllis Chua

1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be a surface designer.

I’m Phyllis Chua from Malaysia and settled down in Taiwan. I graduated from the Department of Anthropology, National Taiwan University. Two reasons have driven me to be a surface designer. The first reason is my enthusiasm for aesthetics, culture, art, travel, colors, as well as flowers and plants in nature. Family memories contribute to my second reason. My father is an orchid plantation expert, and my mother is a professional tailor. My patterns are inspired by their occupations and interests. In the summer of 2016, my design brand Phyllis van CHUA was launched. Through the use and appreciation of printed products, elegant temperament, hand-drawn feel, natural beauty, and vitality of printed objects in life, the brand's concept of “art as life, and life as art” is conveyed.

2. What influences your art the most?

In addition to what I saw and felt in my father’s orchid garden as a child, Eastern and Western cultures, arts, and anthropology also gave me a different worldview.

3. What mediums do you use to create your art? Have you tried any new mediums recently?

Watercolor and technical pen are two major tools for creations. Rubbings are sometimes used to enrich expressions in works. I recently incorporated ink into my creative process with pleasant surprises.

4. Your work has been licensed with Georgia Tsao. Can you tell us about your licensing experience?

After winning an award from Taiwan Pattern Design Festival---Invisible Peacock (2019), the organizer held a three-month group exhibition in which I met Georgia Tsao and began our collaboration. I have licensed two patterns to them (Georgia Tsao). Then, I helped to resolve fabric issues, and introduced fabric suppliers as business partners to them.

5. You also have a Spoonflower store. Do you find it challenging to manage multiple streams of income?

Yes, I have a Spoonflower store and a store on Japanese handmade creative platform, Creema. My main incomes are from craft markets and customized products requested by customers.

6. Tell us a little about the opportunities for licensing in Taiwan. Is it easy to find companies that license artwork in your country or do you seek out companies internationally?

It’s more challenging to find art licensing companies in Taiwan, and public awareness on art licensing can be improved. In order to explore suitable partners worldwide this year, I have subscribed to Surface Design News, and hope to reach out to companies that would like to collaborate.

7. Would you like to share any advice you have for new designers?

Keep learning every day and improve your personal professionalism; including fabric knowledge, software technology, aesthetics, and application of colors.

8. What's next for you in your artistic endeavors? Are there any other companies or designers you would like to collaborate with?

I plan to attend more art licensing events domestically and internationally. For example, I attended Taiwan Creator Connection Expo online this year from February 18 to February 22. Due to the impact of the epidemic, the physical exhibition has been postponed to the fourth quarter of this year. Moreover, I hope to hold a personal or brand pattern design exhibition annually. In the fall of 2020, I held two personal pattern print design exhibitions in two cities at the same time with considerable effects and media interviews. In the future, I aspire to work with local and international fabric, wallpaper, home furnishings, stationery, or gift suppliers.


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