Meet Balqis, the visionary founder of Studio Sunprint, whose creative brilliance breathed life into the captivating collaboration with Mossery. Balqis' artistic journey is a testament to her dedication to reimagining the timeless cyanotype technique for the contemporary world. Through her expert fusion of this age-old method with modern aesthetics, two mesmerising Covers were born. Balqis' unique ability to harness the delicate interplay of light and nature has yielded covers that inspire creativity and ignite the imagination. Step into the realm of @studiosunprint as we unveil a world where Balqis' artistic ingenuity converges seamlessly with Mossery's renowned craftsmanship.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background as an artist/creator?
My name is Balqis Tajalli and I’m the founder of a creative practice called Sunprint Studio. Since 2019, I have been working with a 19th-century printing technique called cyanotype - aka ‘Sunprint’ while embracing other kinds of experimental photography and printing. I am a byproduct of a very long architectural journey and it filled up my entire world for 11 years. That is until I was introduced to cyanotype where the process forced me to slow down and tune into nature and the people around me. I never experienced an art process that moved me to the core and that is when I embraced cyanotype deeply into my life.
How would you describe your artistic style and influences?
I enjoy infusing my work with motifs from nature, especially those with personal or cultural significance. I am also inspired by my surroundings; people, places, and plants that I encounter every day, and they too informed me of hidden beauties that I often take for granted. I hope the works I create are able to carry those stories and inspire others to seek beauty in everyday life and their surroundings too.
What inspired you to create the cover design(s) for Mossery?
I get inspired a lot by the interplay of sunlight and plants. The way sunlight filters through the leaves, branches, or flower petals and brings out delicate shapes or bold stripes to create unexpected patterns and textures. Nature never ceases to amaze me.
What was the creative process like for designing this cover?
The most exciting aspect of cyanotype art is the journey of capturing the subject’s likeness onto paper. Prior to making the cover, I would research ahead about the subject (ie: plants) that grow in the season. A visit to the garden is necessary to discover which plants make the best of the weather. It is also very important to wait for a sunny day to achieve the best details and colours from the plants and (cyanotype) process. Besides experimenting with different arrangements, I would remind myself that patience is part of the creative process. Good art takes time to develop and that means not rushing but simply enjoying what nature and life throws at you.
Did you face any challenges or obstacles while creating the design? If so, how did you overcome them?
Having the patience to deal with unpredictable weather would be one of the biggest challenges for me. After 2 years of dealing with this frustration, to my surprise, it only takes a shift of perspective. These days I learn to embrace the unpredictability and find opportunities within it to rest, learn new skills, or improve on existing skills needed for my art and business.
Are there any specific themes or messages you wanted to convey through the cover?
I want to spark curiosity and creativity by showcasing what art (cyanotype) and nature can bring to the table. I want to help folks to slow down, be mindful, and cultivate patience as they discover the art that sparks joy in their life. By focusing on botanical-inspired works, I hope the cover conveys the message of ephemeral beauty and resilience that is nature.
How do you think your design reflects the spirit of creativity and individuality?
I regard my work as nature’s design and I am part of this big nature collaboration; with the sun, water, and wind as my collaborators. I think the simplicity of the design and process provides so much room for exploration and it can serve everyone, at whatever level and age to enjoy the cyanotype process and its unexpected results.
What do you hope people feel or experience when they see your cover design?
I hope people can feel at ease and eager to fill their notebooks and planners with whatever comes to mind and heart. I hope they see the covers as a reason to bring more of nature's blueprint into their life and inspire more interaction with art and the natural world too.
Are there any hidden details or symbolism in your design that you'd like to share with us?
This is something I realised recently. I subconsciously pair subjects with perceived masculine and feminine features in my print series. Sun Bamboo with their hard branches and sharp leafy features, suggesting more masculine traits. Meanwhile, Sun Hydrangea features soft and delicate petals, with almost lace-like details to suggest feminine traits. You got to achieve both masculine and feminine balance in your life and I hope people will be keen to bring both home (laughs).
Are there any other artists or creators who inspire you in your work?
Not necessarily direct but indirect influence that kept my creative spirit alive. My small business friends, local photography communities, artisans, and teaching artists. There are so many to name but on top of my head; Projek Sembang-Sembang, Bungadanbintang, Gerimis Art, Batiktektura, Exposureplus, Zontiga, and Cikgu Huda to name a few. I grew my practice and art with these friends and mentors who kept on cheering and supporting me and me in turn, doing the same for them. I received so many pearls of wisdom just by witnessing their growth and the impacts they have had on their community too. People should totally check them out!
How has being part of the Mossery community influenced your artistic journey?
Not many people know that I briefly interned with Mossery in 2017. And despite that short period of time, the experience I accumulated was the bricks that became part of the Sunprint Studio foundation. I feel very privileged to work with a passionate community that breathes and lives by stationeries. I was surprised but in a good way! I also get to witness behind-the-scenes and experience the early days of Mossery. Whenever I want to find inspiration or motivation, I don’t need to look far and be reminded of the journey and story of Mossery (community).
How does it feel to see your artwork featured on Mossery's products and reach a wider audience?
Super grateful and it felt like a dream come true. You see all these artists you admire that have collaborated with Mossery before and daydreamed you could be one of them someday. I didn’t allow myself to truly believe it until one of my friends shared the official Mossery post on Instagram. It had my cyanotype prints all over it! God heard my prayers and it became a reality!
Do you have any favourite Mossery products or designs from other artists that have caught your attention?
Nadhir Nor’s. From its notebook, enamels, and art prints, I’d like to have them all for myself! I love how his art is able to capture the essence of lost traditions, beautiful otherworldly beings, and grounded by nature’s elements. It’s just lovely!
What advice do you have for aspiring artists or creators who want to make their mark in the industry?
Be brave and take the leap. Stay consistent and find mentors or folks that can teach you the ropes in the industry. Be humble and hungry to make mistakes. Make many of them because that is how you grow and mature your craft. These are pieces of advice that I take to mind today.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with the Mossery community and those who appreciate your work?
Nature is one of God’s greatest gifts for us all. I hope all of us can find meaningful interactions and use art as a way to connect and care for one another.
Sun Bamboo and Sun Hydrangea Covers are now available for Planners, Notebooks and Sketchbooks so order yours today!