Tuesday, September 29, 2015

{CREATIVE} may leong

Our latest creative person of whom we are in complete awe is May Leong, who completely won us over with her leafy James Bay illustration. Read ahead to learn about May's creative inspiration and more!

Who are you and what do you do that's cool and creative pursuit. 
Hello all! I’m May Leong, a day dreamer who loves creating cute things on the daily. I also draw people that inspire me -- my family and friends, musicians and may I add, the casts of Game of Thrones. You can find my whimsical creations on my Instagram account called @hey_missmay or cruise by my store for fun, quirky greeting cards at www.mayandbaz.com.


How do you define creativity? 
Creativity comes from the very heart. It is a means of story telling for me. I draw from every day living. My bestie and my "unidentical twin" in this life, Stevie Ugov, would often say the most cray cray things that would crack me up. I would take that one inspirational word or in fact, the whole sentence and turn them into work of art or cute little greeting cards.


What do you listen to (or watch or read!) when you're looking for inspiration? 
Totes going through a nerdy phase right now, reading Game of Thrones for the second time around (looking for "hidden" clues leading up to super fan theories) and doing a Star Wars marathon (because I can). Besides all that, I adore Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, especially the selection of soundtrack that comes with, my favorite would be Sidney Joseph Bechet’s "Si Tu Vois Ma Mere." Excuse my French, as it’s quite a mouthful to pronounce. Topping the list of inspiration is Karaoke! One night, my friends and I went out and sung our hearts out. Everyone was so into it, jumping up and down, turning the room upside down. We had a blast and I came home with a million ideas.


My favorite go-to blog at the moment is waitbutwhy.com; I feel like the need to read random facts. "Why I’m Always Late" cracked me up last time (being consistently late throughout life in general), and I adore how the writer, Tim Urban, spun it around and said “optimistic-people-have-one-thing-in-common-always-late.”

Click ahead to read more about how music influences May's art, what pulls her out of a slump, and more!

How does music influence your creative pursuit? 
On the daily. I love how music motivates me to create things that I never expect to, in the first place. I see it as an adventure. It could be any genre from Radiohead’s "Creep" to "T-shirt Weather" by Circa Waves. A title of a song would just light up a world of infinite possibilities that I can create and illustrate. I once did a music-themed illustration revolving around The Beatles and as I was creating the artwork, I was listening to their album on the loop for weeks. Sounds crazy but I did it!


Music and fashion are one. I simply adore how artists like David Bowie and Lady Gaga have outrageous outfits and set the trend for the season, that’s what make it fun and exciting.

Do you find yourself particularly drawn to types of music when you're working/creating versus when you're just enjoying life and doing something less focused?
I made a playlists, as people in the 21st century do -- Summer, Rain and Strange Condition -- to just name a few. I listen to my Summer range when I’m in my design studio. It includes the pop and the current, with a mix of classic.

illustration by may leong with pen on paper and cut out leaves and flowers of the Summer list: Taylor Swift, James Bay, Lorde, David Bowie, Lana Del Ray, Oasis lead singer Liam, Lady Gaga, Harry Styles of One Direction, and Miley Cyrus
When I’m in the state of panic with mountains of work and deadline coming my way, Dave Brubeck’s jazzy tunes are there to calm me down and keep me on track. Well, not so interestingly, Strange Condition just comes off from the song title of Pete Yorn (awks!). I really enjoy alternative and indie genre, it’s when I’m enjoying life and dreaming away. I can’t get enough of "Country Disappeared" by Wilco and "Detlef Schrempf" by Band Of Horses. These songs takes me to places that I’ve never been. It’s so dreamy. So strange but true.



Is there something specific you can listen to that immediately pulls you out of a slump? 
I’m very drawn to Tay Tay at the moment. It sounds totally nuts and I will probably regret saying this (when I look back in ‘digital’ time), but I wake up every morning and start dancing to "Shake It Off" before I do any real work. For a normal ‘slump’ like one of those moody days, a "Bitter Sweet Symphony" or "The Scientist" would make me feel like I’m rising from the ashes.

Was there a particular song/album/artist that struck or inspired you when you were younger? 
It was all about the girl power in the '90s. Britney Spears and Spice Girls were standard inspirational dreams to me and my girl friends. My childhood memory goes back to my dad’s '80s mixtape. When my brother and I were young, we did a sing along to Bon Jovi and Starship. Today, I have many random '80s classic which till this day, baffles my boyfriend a lot. He thinks I’m being extremely cheesy but I think otherwise, "I’m being awesome and reliving my '80s childhood dream."

Thank you so much, May! 

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