Wrappr: Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Arty Guava: Well, I've always wanted to pursue a creative career ever since I was very young, but not specifically an artist. I was considering being an architect or an interior designer.
W: Tell us a bit about your background, and how you got to where you are now
A: I was born and raised in Malaysia, and my parents like many Asian parents were very pragmatic. Being an artist was not a career choice that they would encourage.
I started out with a Bachelor's Degree in Bioengineering but chose to make a career switch after about 1 year of working in the field. Art and Design have always been my calling, and it was something that I could not ignore despite my parent’s initial reservations. After completing a part-time diploma in Multimedia Design which took 1.5 years, I made a leap of faith (at least for me) and embarked on a career in design. The past 7 years working as a graphic designer in Singapore specialising in branding and packaging have been very fulfilling ones. In addition to graphic design, I am also a visual artist working under the artist collective OtherHalf Studio, creating immersive multisensorial art installations for events and exhibitions. (https://www.instagram.com/
I moved to Vancouver with my family in 2018. I'm currently working full-time at a creative agency and illustrate in my free time. I've only started doing illustration consistently at the start of 2020 to help myself cope with the stress of Covid. Illustrating distracts me from my worries and transports me to my happy place
W: What type of work do you do for your clients?
A: I'm really a jack of all trades when it comes to design. Most of the work I do for my clients falls under branding, packaging, and illustration.
W: Which of those do you enjoy most right now?
W: What type of work do you do for your own enjoyment?
A: Illustration as well. I'm trying my best to align the work I do for my clients with the work I do for my own enjoyment so that I can spend most of my time doing what I enjoy.
W: What work of yours would you like to be remembered for? Or is it something you are working on?
A: In general, I would like to be remembered for creating works that touch your soul and uplift the spirit. It is definitely a work in progress.
W: What is your creative process?
A: For an illustration project, I will first dissect the creative brief and try to map out as many ideas as possible. Then I look for visual inspirations, references (usually from the internet). When I'm satisfied that I have all the building blocks I need, I will start illustrating on my Ipad. I will usually create more options than what is required and only select my favourites to present to the client. Unselected ideas are kept in my back pocket to be revisited and refined at a later time.
W: What are you planning to create next?
A: I am not sure of myself. I will go wherever the wind blows me.
W: What is your biggest indulgence?
A: Bubble Tea
W: Where do you find inspiration?
A: The internet, nature, travel, and memories from childhood.
W: How do you feel about being involved with Wrappr?
A: I'm so thrilled to be involved with Wrappr. Many times as a designer, I often question my role in creating more waste for people to consume especially for packaging works. It is so fulfilling to be working with a forward-thinking brand like Wrappr who is committed to creating beautiful well-designed products that are also sustainable and zero-waste.
W: What are your thoughts on the climate crisis, zero-waste products, things you’re doing to be environmentally friendly, etc.
A: It may sound idealistic but maybe only environmentally-friendly zero-waste products should be allowed in the market, making it convenient and easy and convenient for people to consume while protecting the environment. It would be great if being environmentally friendly becomes the ONLY choice you can make.
Personally, I always carry around a water bottle and a bunch of reusable bags in my backpack. You never know when you might have a bubble tea craving or need a quick run at the groceries. Unfortunately, since Covid started, a lot of bubble tea places have rejected the use of personal water bottles due to health safety reasons.