“Lose yourself in a world of wonder and mystery as we voyage across the night sky.
There are little pockets of magic to be found in the littlest of places. Spellbinding and enchanting, may we open our eyes to wonders yet to be uncovered.”
Whether it be the celestial above or our origins below, journey on with Eureka as she chances upon the magic hidden right underneath our noses.
Introducing the home-grown Malaysian artist herself — Ashikin Hussin, otherwise known as Eureka! A lover of all things celestial, her illustrations remind many of the wonders this world holds — a philosophy carefully woven into her new covers Traverse and Trinkets!
Read on to learn about her ‘destiny’ as an artist, her love for astronomy, and the creative process behind these covers!
Hi Eureka! To get things rolling, tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Nur Ashikin Hussin or also known as Eureka from EurekartStudio. Eureka was actually a nickname given to me during my high school years in SMS Muar (SAMURA). We had a tradition where each junior was given a nickname by their senior based on their legacy. Mine was inspired by the famous Archimedes' Eureka moment in the Archimedes Principle in Physics. Eureka is a Greek word meaning “I found it!”. Joining both the name with something that I am passionate about which is ‘art’, I’m hoping to reflect myself through my art : )
I founded and ran my small business online whilst studying during my degree years in architecture school and I’ve always loved sharing my art online. After I graduated with a Masters in Architecture in 2019, I decided to become a full-time illustrator. I started out with watercolor as my main medium. 3 years ago, I bought my first iPad Pro and an apple pencil and fell in love with digital art.
When you first started designing these covers, did you have a vision in your mind of how it would turn out? Is the final product what you expected it to be?
I had so much fun working on this project! I was quite pleased with the second round of revisions and glad that Mossery was on the same page. The process was so smooth and I’m so happy with how the final artwork turned out. I felt so fortunate when I was given the brief from Mossery. The ‘Celestial Dream' and the magical/celestial vibe they were going for excites me and honestly, the theme is something I hope for every time I work with a partner.
Talk us through your creative process behind these illustrations!
The starry night series has always been among my favourite collections to date. I’m glad it became one of the main sources of inspiration for this project. I love how it depicts a sense of dreaminess and mysteriousness. The series portrays a girl who enjoys her own company and is always fascinated by the night sky, gazing at the stars and learning about astronomy and the universe. She loves spending time indoors as much as exploring the outside world. The first cover is the illustration of her room/nook filled with her work of art, books, plants 🍃, a telescope 🔭 and all her favourite things.
Mossery decided to go with a slightly different approach for the second cover while still keeping the theme 'Celestial Dream'. I find the symmetrical composition of elements complimenting the first cover very unique. It presents all the magical treasures and trinkets collected during her inspiring adventure. My favourite part of the project are the enamel pins which will be accompanying the two covers. I love designing enamel pins! I'm thinking the two elements extracted from the illustrations would make a lovely pair of enamel pins. It reminds me of a secret book/astronomy club badges or scouts activity badges that you’d wear on your jacket while you go out exploring and scavenger hunting.
What was the most challenging part of this project?
The most challenging part of this project for me was time, I guess. It was a race against time to accomplish the project as I was working on some other projects at the same time. I’ve put long hours into work and meticulous attention to detail but nothing beats the satisfaction of receiving positive feedback after 12hours of hard work and determination.
We noticed there’s a common theme in your body of work — you manage to strike a fine balance between celestial bodies and greenery in your pieces. Have you always been inspired by these themes?
Yes, my works are heavily inspired by my love for celestial objects and astronomy-related things. It’s hard to explain why but possibly the idea of us tiny human beings being part of the vast universe is always so mesmerising to me. I often incorporate the night and the stars in my works. There is a certain comfort that can be brought only by the night and I often find myself thinking and wildly imagining, being more creative at night. Apart from my love for celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole, I always look for inspiration in all sorts of things and that includes nature and life itself. I’ve always been fascinated by plants, nature, and sustainable living. My dad is an orchid specialist, he loves agriculture and my mom is a proud plant parent. I guess the influence may have come from them as well.
In a prior interview, we learned that you grew up in a family of artists! In another life, do you think you’d be pursuing a different career had it not been for your family’s creative influence? Or do you believe that art has always been, and will always be your true calling?
It’s hard to say whether I’d be pursuing other than a creative career. I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. I was drawn to art at a very young age — since I was 7 years old. Though working as an artist was never intentional and seemed rather ‘impractical’ during those years growing up, I don’t see myself giving up on art entirely since it is and has always been a huge part of my life. I did envision myself working as an architectural lecturer and teaching in universities. Perhaps that’s what I’ll be doing If I were to take a different path in career choice. I still find architecture as one of my artistic expressions.
As a home-grown brand ourselves, we’re so excited to be collaborating with such an inspiring Malaysian artist! How do you think the Malaysian art scene has helped shape your career today? Any local role models that helped you along the way?
The internet has largely affected how artists showcase their works in this digital age. I grew as a freelance artist and made a business out of it through social media. In 2015, I was invited on my Instagram to take part in a creative event which was ArtMarketMalaysia. My first show and sell event was the starting point to taking my art to another level and where I started my art career as an artist. I’m glad I took the first step.
In Malaysia, web-based works and curated online exhibitions are starting to make an impact on the art scene. I see people starting to appreciate and are looking for art through more virtual channels and artists are being more creative in getting their artworks out to the public. I love the idea that in this digital age, art is reachable by everyone and anyone thus connecting and encouraging more people to become interested and appreciative of the world of art.
Social media has helped artists, including me, to connect with my community across the globe and I feel blessed to be able to choose this path. My biggest inspiration is Sha’an d’Anthes, an illustrator and exhibiting artist from Sydney, Australia under the guise of FurryLittlePeach on her social media acc. She’s always been my favorite creative person, influencer, and role model on the internet.
Aside from being creative, you’re an entrepreneur as well! How does it feel running the Eureka Art Studio? What’s been the most gratifying experience you’ve had so far?
Apart from doing illustrations, I enjoy translating my art into products and merchandise like stationery and accessories. I feel that it’s helpful in the business sight to make your art available for different categories of people to appreciate in various forms and ways, especially in these modern days.
Handling a small business while building a career as an artist, though I admit is a pretty challenging task especially when it comes to time management. Nevertheless, the results are always gratifying when we create out of passion and love. It warms my heart when people buy my products as a gift to their special someone or to remind them of something special. Seeing that what I’ve created has made someone happy is the best feeling. There was one time, A customer from the US bought 12 of my enamel pins for herself and her bridesmaids to wear on her wedding day :’)
As you continue to further your career as an illustrator, are there any other ventures you wish to explore, maybe even beyond art?
There are so many things I have in mind! Sometimes, I have this feeling like, I want to create more than my space allows me to. I started learning pottery last year and this year, I’m hoping to learn the art of tufting. Imagine turning my own art into a rug! 😍 Other than art-related wishes, I dream of designing my own green landscape and growing my own vegetable garden in my own backyard. I’ve always been interested in and am inspired by eco-friendly and sustainable living which I’m slowly learning to adapt into my lifestyle. I started practicing zero waste and Bokashi composting this year, it feels so rewarding ♥ ♥ ♥
Where do you foresee yourself and your studio to be a decade from now?
I dream of a simple and more meaningful life to come. To live my passion and live the life I love. As much as I love creating for myself, It’s always a dream come true, to be able to share them with other people from around the world to appreciate. I envision myself being a teacher/educator in the future. Sharing my skills, teaching, and inspiring people on how they too can create and make art. I envisioned my brand to grow globally and have my designs come to life as a clothing line and home décor products other than wall art, like throw blankets, pillows, curtains, and pottery works. I believe art has the power to bring joy and character into our homes and lives.
Eureka is an enchanting Malaysian Illustrator whose work depicts all things natural and celestial. Find her on Instagram here.
Reminder: The stars do not dictate our destinies. That bit is left entirely to us.
Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram at @mosseryco in your pictures or unboxing clips when you receive yours, we’d love to see them!