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Creativity As Told By Candice

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

She’s got a head full of creative, quirky ideas and a deft hand that puts them on paper. We had a quick chat with Singaporean creative Candice Phang, an architect by training and illustrator in practice, to find out what creativity means to her.

Candice is a self-employed illustrator who has worked with a range of established brands. Her illustrations feature bright hues, fantasy-like characters with a touch of eccentricity. When she’s not busy illustrating, Candice has her hands full with butler duties for her housemate and “boss” — a rescued cat who now shares her home and heart. (@fishyfishball on Instagram, you’ll thank us later).

Her Illustration Style: Tongue-In-Cheek

Candice is well-versed in both traditional and digital mediums. However, she still has a penchant for watercolour illustrations drawn with coloured pencils.

Make a quick visit to Candice’s website, and you’ll be greeted with whimsical characters doused in bright hues.

The illustrator describes her style as “tongue-in-cheek, and mostly fronted by playful characters.”

Candice, better known as @puffinmuffin on Instagram, says she draws inspiration from the unusual quirks of life, through the engagement of her senses and keen observation of her surroundings.

“For instance, I’d imagine a conversation between 2 pigeons and think about what they would say about humans if they could talk.”

Her Decision to Pursue Passion: A Leap of Faith

Candice studied architecture back in school — so we were really curious as to why she switched from designing buildings to illustrating cute characters.

“The universe had different plans for me.”

Candice, who considers herself more of a visual than technical creative, says that “gravitating towards illustration” came naturally to her.

Despite her knack for illustration, she emphasises that the decision to switch from a stable day job to a full-time illustrator was a difficult one.

Her Collaborations: Seeing Her Illustrations Come To Life

Her faith in pursuing her passion has since paid off.

Candice has collaborated with a slew of global brands, such as Rimowa, Swatch, Pedro, Samsung and Uniqlo.

Candice’s collaboration with Rimowa for their opening at Mandarin gallery in 2016

Candice designed limited edition pieces for Rimowa, in conjunction with their opening at Mandarin Gallery.

If you’re Singaporean, and the customised luggage pictured above looks a tad bit familiar to you — it is probably because it was inspired by our iconic Merlion, while the flowers surrounding it pay tribute to our garden city.

We adore the eccentricity of her illustrations fused together with local icons.

Though she has collaborated with many brands, Candice says she doesn’t have any favourites — and her reason is simple.

“It is the people that make [the collaborations] memorable.”

The self-employed illustrator recently collaborated with Maison Q, for whom she created a series of prints for kids apparel.

“It’s really nice to see my illustrations come to life and be worn as clothes,”

Candice’s prints on kids’ apparel

She also worked on a series of tiny-people portraits for a private event.

Her Muses: Family Guy is one of them.

The “crude humour” of the cartoon series tickles her funny bone. She is enthralled by Adventure Time and Trolls, whose vibrant colour palettes never ceases to amaze her.

She regards Singaporean creative, Wanton Doodle, as her mentor and muse.

“His zest for creating and support for the community inspires me.”

What does creativity mean to Candice?

Though many quirky ideas pour out of her head, Candice is not immune to creative blocks.

When that happens, she takes out a book and lets her creativity flow through what she calls “mindless doodles” because this allows her to draw without over-thinking.

The illustrator, who commands a relatively strong following on Instagram — 9,069 followers at press time — sums up what creativity means to her in one simple sentence.

“I think creativity is the ability to turn my imagination into a physical product and share it with others.”

As a young branding agency, we can totally relate — nothing beats the sense of accomplishment we get after pouring our souls into a project we care about and seeing it come to life.

Thanks for chatting with us, Candice! We’re excited to see what the future holds and can’t wait for your work to be shared with more people, in the years to come.