Many people who follow my work often ask me how I design my art prints. Once I explain to them the story behind the print, a natural attachment is formed where by my customers can relate to the story.
It is truly rewarding for me to see such a great response from my customers that I feel I should therefore capitalise on this opportunity to explain my typical design process for our MASE bags and what makes them so special.
MASE is an extension of my beliefs and vision, to celebrate the beauty around us. Most importantly, it embraces a subtle beauty from within. Every MASE print I design has its own distinct story to tell, it is a form of artistic expression which can be further enhanced by the customer's own unique interpretation when using my products. In essence, the process from start to finish echoes a chain reaction; each person in the equation adds an element of their uniqueness to help make it their own; their own individual artistic expression.
Illustration by Mae Kwan
I get inspired in the most random places and usually when I least expect it. I think the key is to always have a notebook to doodle in so you won't lose that particular thought and can then revisit it later.
Take the example of one of our bestsellers, the Illusion clutch. The idea for the print came to me as I was walking down a narrow street one day in Hong Kong. What I was most inspired by, was the dynamic contrast I experienced in a confined yet spatially intriguing space as I raised my head and looked up to the sky. The back alley may have seemed uninviting in the first instance, but as I walked through it, I was fascinated by the way the surrounding buildings were framing the view of the sky.
After spending some time developing my initial design concept, the Illusion art print was born based on the existence of negative things in life in order to appreciate the positives. The art print demonstrates this concept by incorporating a layering technique to create an optical illusion. I chose colours that are commonly regarded as positive in order to add positivity to the print.
illustration by Tanya Bennett aka Pirate B
Once the print is formed, the next step is to work out a bag design that would complement the print as well as enhancing the essence of the design concept. For Illusion, I knew I wanted a simple bag shape since the print itself was graphically quite simple. I also wanted to create a bag that would remain relatively flat so that the print would not get distorted. The next thing I considered was how to accommodate the storage for money, cards and phone in a flat clutch. In order to remove the need for a purse, the clutch had to serve the purpose of separating the cash and cards in secured compartments so that the clutch itself becomes the wallet.
Zipped compartment for valuable items or loose change
Card slots on the other side as well top slot for notes (cash)
Furthermore, the clutch design allows room for a mobile phone as well as a additional small items such as keys, compact mirror and lipstick. Mini tablets such as the iPad mini also fit perfectly into this durable leather clutch. These are some of the detailed features that can be fine tuned once the sample bag has been made, so that we get to test out the specifications and find out how to improve them. Meanwhile, we also have to test print the digital art so that we get the best colour effect possible for the print before we start production.
Although the design and production process can be tedious and frustrating at times, it is very satisfying when I see my finished creation being used and enjoyed by others. I love discovering how others use my bags to translate their own personal style, it further inspires me to evolve and improve the future collections. In short, this cycle of creation and utilisation stimulates further inspiration for MASE.
It is so rewarding to know that your customers enjoy using your products and can make them their own. The MASE bag becomes an instrument for them to express themselves through fashion. #expressyourself #bewhoyouwannabe
I hope this post will give you some insight into the creative process of MASE. I would also like to thank those who have supported MASE right from the start - you know who you are!