Carmen Hui is an illustrator based in Sydney, NSW. She has a talent for creating beautiful pencil drawings that are a delicate mix of things from nature - florals & animals and the occasional Australian icon!
Having spent over 15 years working as a designer & brand consultant, Carmen has now taken the jump across to building her own business & has created a successful career from her passion of illustration.
Carmen prints her own smaller works in her home studio, but sends her bigger prints to us. She uses Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, a lovely smooth 100% cotton rag paper, which compliments her pencil drawings.
You can follow Carmen and her work via her instagram & website!
Have you always had an interest in illustration & art?
I love drawing and like many illustrators have been drawing since I was very little. My family was very encouraging and enrolled me in many art classes when I was young, the classes weren't technical and were more like afterschool childcare, but it encouraged me to keep drawing and developing my craft.
When did you make the decision to turn this passion into a career?
I have always wanted to be an illustrator but didn't really know how I could turn it into a career. As a result, I studied a Bachelor of Design which was the next best thing and worked as a designer and brand consultant for 15 years.
I kept drawing as a hobby along the way and started sharing my work on Instagram. I was surprised by the number of people who liked my work and little by little, started selling my work and turned it into an almost full time career.
What do you feel is your biggest achievement so far?
I think my biggest achievement so far was quitting my 9-5 job and deciding to have a go at building my illustration career. It was such a scary step but so rewarding at the same time. I am learning so much about building my own business and seeing what I do as more than just a hobby.
What/who are your creative influences?
I am constantly inspired by nature as you can see in my recurring subject matter, there is so much to learn from nature and I love learning about the flower or animal that I'm drawing for each project.
I am also very much inspired by my partner Mat who is always coming up with crazy ideas as to what I should be drawing next.
What are your favourite tools of the trade?
Has to be coloured pencils right? I fell in love with coloured pencils since I was very young and although I have experimented with other mediums along the way, I still find the comfort and versatility of coloured pencils very reassuring.
How have you found getting started with printing at Image Science?
I love the people at Image Science! They are super helpful and are always just a phone call away. They were great in helping me decide which paper works best with my style of drawing and I just love the idea that I can always depend on them in producing great prints for my customers.
Have you found creating edition prints from your originals to be influential to your business?
I think to be able to sell my artwork as prints in a range of sizes has definitely helped grow my business. The fact that prints are more affordable help me reach a wider audience, and the ability to scale my drawings meant I can cater to most people's whims when selecting a print for their home.
I've got so many ideas in my head, just need to find the time to try them out! At the moment, I am very much interested in creating repeat patterns and experimenting with combining pencils with digital.
I don't really know what I will do with the patterns yet, but would love to be able to team up with a textile or wallpaper company sometime in the future.
(Editor's note - Our PhotoTex prints are often used for wallpaper type installations and are a great and inexpensive way to get started with experiments in that area).