Interview Dialogue with Abby Yahaya, Malaysian Art Illustrator

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A 23 years old girl with a cheerful personality and an outstanding talent, Abby Yahaya. She shared her journey with Studio Pandan in exploring her deep passion for arts illustrating.
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#1 What was your very first job ever - getting serious with your current business?

My very first project was for my mom’s friend, where I designed a Happy Birthday canvas illustration for her and now that I have practiced digital illustrations, I started receiving gigs to design packagings, postcards and posters for local brands.

#2 Tell us about your journey into the art industry; when did you realize that you could turn your love for art into a career?

Remeniscing back to my high school days, I really love creating cute notes and doodles of the things I study, I print them out for my friends to enjoy and learn. A thought came up, I wonder if this passion of mine could be pursued into something useful for other people. I spent my time practicing by drawing everything manually, my pencils and I we go against the world! After some time, I managed to send my drawings to art competitions and consistently posting in on social media for the purpose of sharing, this is how the audience started noticing me and I gained clients, I was hired for my illustrations multiple times and I am convinced I could help them in the best way possible especially for their brands and designs. Eventually, I finally managed to turn my hobby into a growing career, till this present day.
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#3 If you could go back in time and give your young artist self one piece of advice, what would it be?

I would like to thank my younger self for not giving up on this journey although I’m growing slowly as I am still a student, I grow at my own pace and I managed to spend more time on my passion.

#4 Where do you find the most inspiration for your work?

Mostly, I gained inspiration from animated movies like Coco, Klaus, Encanto, Ghibli, and even local series like Upin and Ipin. I like seeing how the animation works, the environment, the colors and the feels that the artist worked for.
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#5 What does your creative process look like?

Prior to working on a project, I like to see inspiration from other artists besides learning and understanding the client’s theme and direction. I’ll come out with sketches, studies about the theme and the color palette which highlights my art style and the client’s branding so that we both have our own personal touch for the final artwork.

#6 What was the most significant design or business challenge that you have encountered and grown from?

The most significant work that I learned a lot from is probably the one for MissLilyShop! I had to design 4 illustrations for their New Year’s collection which are a clothing tag, calendar, booklet and Thank you card! I had so much fun working on it because I just love their brand direction which suits well with my art style.

#7 What has been your biggest achievement? When was the last time you thought, “wow, I can’t believe I just accomplished that!”

The highlight of my design is the latest work I produced for children’s book illustrations published by UMT. It is a bit challenging to control the art style and colors that would attract children’s eyes. The publisher of UMT just launched “Che Bee and The Colony” which was illustrated by me and I’m so honored to have my artwork in children’s book!
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#8 Which upcoming project or endeavour are you most excited for?

My upcoming project is the one I am working on currently Daily Doa book by one of our local authors! It is so exciting as this is the second book that I’m working on and can’t wait to see the outcome!
Studio Pandan is excited to see more and more artists and creators being recognized, check out Abby’s work on Instagram @fleorettes ,if you have a suggestion let us know who else we should interview in the comment down below!

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