Singapore Memories specializes in fragrant and therapeutic Orchids of Asia and bringing them to you as perfumes, room aroma, essential oil, bath bombs and more. Our work ranges from commercial scent to olfactory art. In this spirit we have partnered with three amazing Singaporean artists to created limited edition packaging, which will be displayed only at Design Orchard in 2022
Introducing our 1st artist, the very talented Ms Julia Tay from Studio Juliat. She is deeply influenced by nature and food, two of her favourite subjects in person and in drawing style. Julia is capable of handling multiple medium, but her all-time favourite mediums remains pen & ink and colour pencils.
She is a design graduate from Lasalle School of the Arts and has worked with top corporates & multi-nationals in Singapore. Her digital her hand-drawn illustrations has led to an array of unique projects, ranging from book illustrations to AR filters and art installations. She is now collaborating with Singapore Memories to explore the wonderful world of scents, smells and olfactory art.
Design Philosophy for Singapore Memories’ packaging for orchid room fragrance
Julia’s journey to design a memorable Singapore Memories Design started with natural elements. Just like Singapore Memories’ philosophy, her work as well has Singaporean floral elements. So, the design inspiration came quickly and seamlessly.
“My work is deeply influenced by nature. I turn to it when I need inspiration and I love incorporating its organic forms into my work.”
Julia firmly believes in power of perfume, which to her comes from smells nostalgic connection to our memories. She considers scents and smells to be powerfully connected to our souls and that they have power to stirs up hidden layers of memories and emotions.
Why did she choose to work with Singapore Memories?
As an admirer of Singaporean culture, she loves how Singapore Memories has taken inspiration from our local culture and history to create unique scents. She found it fascinating that Singapore Memories’ perfume ingredients and essential oils come from Sir Raffles’ spice and Mr Farquhar’s flora range. The spices and Singaporean flora, particularly native orchid are unique to our little island and Singapore memories’ scents have weaved this into a scented story.
“As someone who loves exploring nature and who is a bit of a history buff, I was enthusiastic when the chance to work with Singapore Memories came about.”
Above: The A4 wrapper the outside of Singapore Memories’ “Farquhar” perfume box
“Farquhar” is a homage to Major-General William Farquhar, the first Resident and Commandant of Singapore. Farquhar had a passionate interest in natural history, and commissioned artists to document the local fauna and flora. “Farquhar” has hints of nutmeg and peppercorn in its scent, which are native plants to Singapore. The nutmeg was grown locally for the spice trade in the 1840s.
Julia drew the peppercorn with a colour gradient based on the plant’s different stages of ripeness. As they ripen, the berries on the peppercorn gradually turn from green to yellow and finally to red. The nutmeg’s bright red seed is depicted as nestled in its fruit.
Farquhar’s commissioned drawings frequently feature traditional mediums such as ink and graphite. Julia used a digital pencil brush on Procreate to create this realistic illustration, juxtaposed with ink strokes. The pink background signifies the warm overtones of this spicy scent.
Above: Label for the inner box of “Farquhar” perfume
How Julia fell in love with art!
For Julia, art was simply a natural progression than a choice. It was the absolute love for act of drawing, for creative process and the creative challenges that got her interested. To date, she is thrilled about her work and the happiness it brings. Even when she in not on a corporate assignment, she is busy documenting what around her, seen from an artist’s mind.
But the journey was not without its own hiccups. She had studied fashion design in Lasalle but chose to work in fashion e-commerce industry after graduation. The job was interesting, but she missed the tactile feel of drawing. Soon she felt drawn back to the drawings and she started illustrating with colour pencils and pens as a hobby. Her visits to various restaurants, food court, grocery stores and more interestingly museums, art galleries and archives rekindled her passion for natural illustrations and she found herself recreating them on paper. She especially loves illustrating food and botanical elements. Gradually this hobby became more than an interest and now it has become her full-time career.
Graphic design as an industry and what excites Julia about the creative process
Designing as an industry is always on the forefront of change and perpetually in a state of flux. Graphic design in particular has gone through various phases. It in a way depends on the latest technology that is developed. First, the graphic designs were primarily used for documentation. At some point in history, they became work of art.
But as the technology changed, with the advent of printing press for example, graphic designer just like other, had to adapt to the new era and new form of graphic designing came about.
Now with computers and other digital means, our world is changing again and graphic designers are responding to it.
“My clients bring different projects to me and it's always exciting to see how my illustrations can be used. Today I get to illustrate an app for children, tomorrow I get to design a cloth roof for an art installation. It's a steep and unpredictable learning curve each time and I love it!”
The latest change is AR and VR. Augmented reality and Virtual industry, which brings challenges and opportunities both.
No boundaries when it comes to art
Julia is constantly pushing the art boundaries that others may consider normal or even good. If the design or the art piece doesn't feel right, then she will keep going until she gets it right. Why does she do it? Because even if no one else sees it, she knows it's there every time she look at it. That’s what makes her work stand out from the crowd
Useful tips from a successful artist
There are many helpful skills she has acquired over time and these lessons have been applied to make her journey extraordinary & wonderful. One most important value she cherishes is perseverance. She considers artistic journey to be a marathon. One needs to pace oneself. Many times, it's simply a matter of keep putting one foot in front of the other to keep going. Just follow the process and of course revisit it doesn’t feel right.
Julia’s artistic inspiration
“It's a mishmash of everything which I experience and devour, and it comes unexpectedly sometimes - from a little anecdote I read in a book to the colours in the sky on my evening walks.”
Studio Juliat's ink works are inspired by scientific illustrations and silhouette cuttings, while her colour pencil works focus on delicious cuisines from around the world.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
Julia is a constant learner and keeps enriching her life with various other hobbies. Her inquisition into old world and their spiritual world took her into Viking’s life.
She excited shared with us, “Viking smiths used the bones of their dead ancestors and animals to strengthen their swords, hoping to transfer their spirits into their blades. They couldn't have known that in so doing, they actually were forging a rudimentary form of steel.”
And steel she is made of! Juggling between her work and a small child, she takes care of it all and does a fantastic job at both.
That’s why perhaps she has no regrets. It’s rare to see someone with no wouldn’t change a thing about her or his life. She explains by quoting B. J. Neblett’s words - "We are the sum of our experiences".
She believes that if she did things differently, she probably wouldn't have ended up where she is today. So, she is quite happy with the journey she took even if it wasn't the most direct.
But like everyone else, she gets tired and love to unwind by going for an evening stroll with her family.
“we love watching the sunset. Playing an RPG game or relaxing with a good book helps too. I'm very fond of fantasy and sci-fi books.”
Best advice she received and would pass on to budding artists
“My favorite advice comes from a manga "Kakukaku Shikajika" about an artist's journey. It's simply "just draw!" and "draw what you see".”
She firmly believes that many times just putting pen to paper and letting loose produces the most interesting results, especially on days when one has a mental block.
There is also a book recommendation. "The Graphic Artist's Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines" is a must-read for anyone who wants to go into the illustration/graphic design industry.
If you are inspired by her work, she can be reached at:
Located in tropical Singapore, Studio Juliat is run by an artist who is deeply influenced by nature and food. Studio Juliat's ink works are inspired by scientific illustrations and silhouette cuttings, while her colour pencil works focus on delicious cuisines from around the world.
Do visit her work at Singapore Memories’ counter at Design Orchard. To know more about Singapore memories and Orchid inspired perfumes and Singapore inspired room fragrances, visit www.Singapore-memories.com”