As a Malaysian stationery brand that frequently collaborates with artists worldwide, we’re taking this Malaysia Day to look around us instead and celebrate our talented local designers.
Watching their out-of-the-box ideas come to fruition was a sight to behold!
Read on for our interview with Liana, the Creative Director of Crayon Studio, as she details the studio’s design inspiration, the process behind designing Desk-Mates, and more—
Hello, Liana! Thank you for taking time out of your schedule for this interview. How about we start with a quick self-introduction?
Hey! No worries, thank you for having me. My name is Liana 🌲 I am a creative director and a multidisciplinary designer at Crayon Studio.
We absolutely love the Mossery × Crayon Studio Desk-Mates bundle you’ve designed for us this year! Can you tell us the source of inspiration behind these fresh and quirky designs?
Oh! Thank you. We had heaps of fun designing it. Being mostly at home during the pandemic, we realise that we put more thought into our living space now more than ever.
The design of the Desk-Mates bundle is inspired by mid-century modern furniture designers like Anna Castelli and Gustav Westman.
The motifs we made are a juxtaposition of organic and geometric shapes. When putting the colours, design elements and typography together, it felt like we’re building a house of Crayon with the creatives 🏡
How was the design process of the Desk-Mates bundle? What were the challenges you faced, and what were your favourite parts of the journey?
It wasn’t apparent when we were deeply engrossed with the experimentation part, but in hindsight, putting together a string of different patterns and colours took more effort than we anticipated. We want the items to be individually unique but still look cohesive throughout the bundle.
Ah! The favourite part of it was coming up with the concept and mood-boarding. We had so many ideas, one involving fire 🔥 However, as this collaboration was meant to feature the studio, we decided to root it back to the current working situation and core of Crayon Studio.
Couldn’t have done it without the amazing feedback and support from the Mossery team. It was definitely a teaching moment for the whole team and I.
We’re really looking forward to the exclusive Creative Gym Zine by Crayon Studio! As it’s also the first collaboration we’ve had to come up with a zine, what were the insights you’ve gained from creating it?
The nice thing about creating a zine filled with prompts is getting to know myself and creatives of all sorts around me. We made sure what we were creating would appeal to others and be flexible enough for the prompts to apply to everyone.
Overall, this collaboration helped me gain a fresher and clearer perspective of what creatives would want in a ‘lil companion journal that would help them get the most out of their creative process 🧘🏻♀️
What do you hope an aspiring creative will feel upon receiving the limited edition bundle?
We understand that creativity is sometimes messy (in the best way). With this bundle, we hope to create a sense of clarity in the midst of the creative flow 🍵 A companion you can keep close to you whenever you feel like the creative juice is flowing or not.
The Desk-Mates bundle hopes to encourage the state of flow for all types of creators. What advice would you relay to budding creatives to help them with their creative process?
I would say, do work in a good mood. If you’re not in a good mood, make a special effort to set the right ambient. Play your favourite music, brew a pot of tea, dim the lights, and maybe spare a minute to clear your headspace and take in this new surrounding.
It’s almost like you’re getting ready for a wholesome date, except it’s work. If you instill love and care into your creation, it will show 🌞🌱
Let’s talk about Crayon Studio. Can you share your story behind the founding of Crayon Studio? How did you come up with the name?
I’ve been freelancing ever since I first started design school. It began with friends and family at first and then I acquired clients consistently. Eventually, the pandemic hit in 2020 and I was one of the many people who got laid off my 9-5. I knew I had to turn freelancing into a primary source of income.
Even though it was scary at first, I registered Crayon Studio as an official business anyway. I messaged clients saying, “Hey, I’m expanding. I'm not freelancing anymore. Here’s my website”. It was an amazing feeling.
I went through so many names for the studio and even spent money on domains just to see if it sat right. Crayon is one of the most basic creative tools we use as children. If you give a child a box of crayons. Their imagination can be put to colours! I want anyone who works with Crayon Studio to feel the same.
If Crayon Studio was a person, how would you describe their style and personality?
She’s the new kid in the block with an Adobe subscription and super-fast Internet connection, ready to tackle design problems one file at a time. She loves organised clutter, toy food, and picture books. She might also have green hair.
Every design studio has their own philosophy. What is Crayon Studio’s?
I’ve experienced burnout many times in the past, and I thought being able to have my own studio was the perfect opportunity to get myself out of that cycle. (Not just for me, but for my team too!)
In Crayon Studio, we want to be mindful in design. We maintain a good work/life balance at the studio. When we show up for work, we are fully present. We practice evidence-based mindfulness practices and storytelling exercises so that when we create, we create with intention and reason.
Having worked with local emerging businesses and well-established brands, do you find the processes for both to be similar or starkly different? How so?
Working with emerging businesses means that we’re building something new together. There’s more research put into it because we want the business to be significantly different from their competitors. More often than not, it’s a learning process for the client and Crayon Studio too.
With well-established brands, it’s kind of the opposite. It’s more likely that we work backward. We study about their products, what they’ve done and all of that. Then, we regroup and think of how to move forward with the existing information that we gathered.
As part of the ever-evolving Malaysian creative industry, do you think it’s important for local designers to partake in the evolution of a current trend, or to lead a new trend entirely?
If you’re riding a quick trend that resonates with your identity, then yes! Hop on the bandwagon and do you. And if you feel like doing something that’s never been done before, do that too. Combining different methods that work for you is what makes you unique, there are no absolutes in this field. Lucky us ✨
Trivia question! If space travel is available to the public, which type of businesses within the industry do you hope to embark on a project with? Why?
I definitely would like to tap into the F&B industry. Ah, to be able to discover the new ways we can make and drink coffee. That would be sick!
The limited edition Desk-Mates bundle is now here! With an exclusive book cover, the Creative Gym Zine, groovy coasters and a sticker pack, it’s a perfect gift for yourself or your loved ones.
Made for all types of creators, Desk-Mates is intended to be used as a helping tool in all your creative journeys and processes.
We hope you’ll enjoy reigniting that creative spark from this bundle as much as we did!
Remember to tag us with your unboxing clip @mosseryco on Instagram, we’d love to see them!