Meet the Designer Behind Your Favorite New Tote: Sky Yuen

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Last year, we announced the launch of our exciting new Featured Artist Tote Bag Program.

If you haven’t heard about it, we are accepting submissions for one of your designs to be featured on a limited edition tote bag. We’ll feature a new artist every season, and the tote bags will only have a limited edition run—making them that much more special. You can submit your designs here to possibly earn a spot on one of our totes.

Today, we're releasing our second limited edition bag, created by Sky Yuen, our amazing Assistant Graphic Designer here at Annmarie Skin Care. Read on to learn more about her process and background in design!

Sky's bag design – you can get one here

1. What made you become an artist? Tell us your backstory.

When I was younger, I was enrolled in a local pre-school and after school daycare in El Cerrito, CA called “Casa de Ninos.” My older sister and I spent a lot of our time there until our mom or dad would be able to pick us up after work. Starting at 3 years old, I was enrolled until I was about 11 and moved on to middle school in a different city. I spent a good chunk of my life there.

My daycare exposed me to a lot of different classes to keep us occupied. I’ve taken gymnastics, ceramics, basket weaving, french lessons, drawing, painting, book clubs, ballet, tap, capoeira martial arts…the list goes on forever. It was an option for us to do, but I wanted to experience all of them!

I will always be grateful for my daycare for giving us kids exposure and an option to learn different crafts and skills.

Of all of those classes, I gravitated more towards all of the creative classes and exercises. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an “artist” but more so simply a creative. I loved anything that required me to use my hands and allowed me to think freely – something that didn’t have strict rules or boundaries.

Some of Sky's ceramics

2. What does Honest. Wild. Beautiful. mean to you?

Honest Wild Beautiful means to be 100% transparent. To be raw. To be unique. It’s finding beauty in a care-free world.

3. Where was the inspiration behind this piece you submitted?

I’ve grown an obsession with reading ingredients on bottles and packages over the last couple of years. Whether I’m in the shower or in the aisle of a grocery store, you will find me standing with a product in my hand reading the ingredients.

It rooted from my role as a “Skin Care Expert” at Sephora for over 5 years. In my role, I had to know and understand the functions of major cosmetic ingredients in order for me to successfully assist clients. When times were slow in the store, I would read each product and try to learn the benefits (or downsides) of each ingredient.

With that, I had something ingredient based in mind for my design. I believe it’s very important to be transparent with the ingredients that others put on their skin. I wanted to create something dainty, minimal and honest.

4. How would you describe the style of your work? And how did it come to be?

Linear, minimal and simple. I’ve taken a lot of art classes over the course of my life, but I’ve always gravitated towards the more simpler route of creating. Instead of paying close attention to shading and lighting, I’ve paid more attention to the opposite – linear and geometric.

In college, I started to draw and “sketch” with a Sharpie. There was something beautiful about the harsh black thick line against a stark white piece of paper. I loved it.

In contrast, using a pencil was not in my favor anymore. A graphite pencil line was thin, light grey and didn’t pop as much as I’d like it to. Boring, if you will. Don’t get me wrong, pencils are still great when it comes to sketching ideas and being able to erase my unwanted vision.

But there’s something risky about drawing with a permanent marker that forces you to love and learn from your mistakes. If you ever need a Sharpie, I always have one in my bag.

A few of Sky's sketches

5. Tell us about your creative process.

I honestly don’t have a set in stone process when it comes to creating. I think that’s the beauty of creating – it’s a different process every time with interesting end results. Most of the time, it does start with (mainly pen) and paper and it becomes a snowball effect of ideas.

The lines, squiggles and chicken scratches will eventually blossom into something that was not even my first vision. Again, since it’s pen and I’m not allowed to erase, it turns into something else that I wasn’t expecting (and it’s exciting!).

Internet inspiration, such as Pinterest, really helps me get the ball rolling. But it’s nice to close the laptop once in a while and give all of my attention to a piece of blank paper.

6. What do you do when you're stuck in a creative rut?

When I’m stuck, I have to step away from the laptop and away from the desk. It’s like I have a mean thunderstorm cloud over my head and I have to run away from it. Sometimes when I focus on something too hard or think too hard, it blocks me from my initial vision.

The word “perfect” repeats in my head when I’m creating and causes me to draw a blank. It’s a really bad habit that I’m trying to break. A good singing session, snack, walk or snuggles from puppies usually get my brain away from that roadblock. Puppy snuggles are usually my first option.

7. Any pre- or mid-designing rituals?

Puppy snuggles.

8. What's next for you? Anything you want to plug?

I love to teach myself new crafts. I’m currently very interested in stamp carving, wood block printing and textile design. My goal for 2019 is to have a booth at a craft fair to showcase all of my hand carved stamps and stamped items. Follow me on Instagram! (@s_kehaunani) Yay!

Thank you for sharing your work with us, Sky! Don't hesitate to pick up one of her bags! You can find them here.

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