|clockwork mouse unisex sweatshirt|
Huzzah I finally have a second one of these!
I came across Kathy and Eileen's work when I was selling a few illustrations at Electric Kitsch and had to try really hard not to spend all my money on their stuff! I ended up buying their fox tote bag and a turtle pillow as a gift for Will.
This might sound a little weird but there's a certain creepiness to some of Eileen and Kathy's illustrations and I mean that as a compliment; the reason why I bought the fox tote bag was because I liked how the fox looked a tad evil!
I e.mailed them a while ago and this is what they had to say, enjoy!
First off, tell us a bit about yourselves!
Hello, we are the two Co-Founders of Y.h Clothing, Cathy and Eileen, we are identical twins and are based in London. Y.h Clothing is a handcut and handprinted lino apparel brand, and its name is formed by our two Chinese names, Yin and Hing. Cathy loves colour and studied a BA in English Language and Communication at King's College London before getting back into art, and Eileen studied a BA in Illustration at Middlesex University and likes cleanliness and potatoes.
Have both of you always been interested in art and what prompted you to start your own brand?
What are the main differences between both of your artistic styles?
We have both always loved art and drawing since we were little! Alongside Y.h Clothing, we're both respectively Freelance Illustrators (you can check out our Illustrations on our Facebook pages (www.facebook.com/
CathyKwanIllustration and www. facebook.com/ eileenkaihingkwanillustration) . We are also members of The Drawn Chorus Collective (www.facebook.com/ DrawnChorusCollective), where we have just finished a group exhibition called, 'The Greatest Show On Earth', showcasing illustrative re-imaginings of circuses, freak shows and fairs in Literature alongside many other talented Illustrators - we're now looking forward to our next show in Summer 2014!
Y.h Clothing was thought up over a charming cup of tea together. The idea was to create a handprinted brand that had a true handmade touch to each product. Unlike most handprinted apparel brands that screenprint their products, Y.h Clothing uses lino (or linoleum in full) printing. To those unfamiliar with lino printing, it's a printmaking technique where the design is cut into a plate of lino, and is then inked, and in our case, hand burnished and printed onto fabric (or paper). So when you buy something from Y.h, we can proudly say that each design is designed, illustrated, hand linocut and handprinted by us two Illustrators.
Who or what inspires your artistic technique, brand and style?
Y.h Clothing aims to create peculiar and beautiful designs for individuals looking for something a little different. The design process is done together, so what inspires us respectively, inspires and affects the final designs. Bold shapes with fine lines. Strange yet beautiful subjects.
|Arthur Tote Bag|
The indisputable main difference is the use of colour. On one hand, Cathy's art is bold and brazen with colour; and is inspired by all things retro, Japanese pop art and pop culture. On the other hand, Eileen's work is romantic yet inspired by things that scare her and is muted black and white pencil; she adores detail and fine lines. However, despite our styles being strikingly different, our work also carries subtle similarities; such as peculiar shapes and forms and lithe characters.
What advice would you give to anyone trying to start their own brand and to those looking to improve their artistic skills?
Spend time planning and developing your brand and product - what makes you special? Who is your target audience? Is your product something people would want? If it's handmade, how will you affordably produce stock? Etc. Don't rush things at the beginning. If you're working alongside a business partner, similar to us, then communication and compromise are very important - set targets and continuously check that you're both on the same page! And lastly, be ready and willing to overcome all kinds of obstacles. Y.h Clothing is still growing, but after several collections and with our recently launched, Autumn/Winter '13 Collection "Tick Tock Tick Tock" - which in both design and look has been our favourite collection so far - it's been a blast! (Please check it out www.yhclothing.co.uk)
For improving artistic skills, it sounds cliche, but practise practise practise. Draw for at least a few hours a day. Keep challenging yourself. Also, look for what interests you as a creative and as an individual; these can range from other artists, to music and hobbies. It all leads to what fine tunes and defines your own artistic style and identity.
|Awesome Bear Christmas Decorations sold at a craft fair|
|Thanks so much to Cathy and Aileen, make sure you check out their Facebook and Twitter to see what they're up too!|
I hope you love Y.H as much as I do!