Saturday, 2 July 2011

Featured crafter - Miyyah

This is a series where we will be featuring our members. The questions is used with permission based on

We shall start with our talented who has been shall be relocated in a few days time to the East Coast.
As an artist/crafter, what do you make? What are your favourite materials to work with?
I’m a quiller – as in paper quilling art (the art of rolling/ twisting strips of paper into intricate designs). My favourite material to work with is paper. I’m fascinated on how you can change simple and delicate strips of paper into beautiful things.

Where do you get your ideas for new items that you do? Who inspires you?
I get inspired by everything around me – things I read online, things I watched on TV, fashion magazines, food stalls, galleries etc. When you’re addicted to quilling, you’ll start seeing things in swirly mode, and every time I see something interesting, the first thought that came to mind was always – “Hey, maybe I could quill this..” My phone camera is full of weird pictures of doors, children’s clothings, food, signs, and etc that only I can understand hehe.

How did you get started in crafting? And how do you continue crafting in the real world?
I started making cards when I was in high school (and a bit of hand-drawn typography too), and during the university years. Usually they’re for friends and for keeps. I discovered quilling back in 2005/2006, while googling online, and fell completely in love with it. I cut my own strips using scissors, and made my first quilling card (which I still keep).

I got inspired by other quillers too, as each of the quillers I’ve known of (online & offline) are distinctively different from one another. Each has their own strength such as colour coordination, neatness, styles, and etc. It is always inspiring to learn something new from them.

In 2008, I finally found a Malaysian craft forum called Lovescrap (now closed) and got to know some very talented Malaysian crafters. I started posting my works online, and later decided to open up a craft blog, to share my passion. There was no turning back then (and you can really see how I grown from those early days till now from the blog entries).

What is the hardest and your most favourite part of crafting? I’m a lecturer (for a non-art related subject), so I can only quill at night-time. I’m a multitasker as well, so I love doing ten things at a time – I quill, browsing for ideas, checking FaceBook, chat with friends, replying mails, watching Korean dramas, watching TV, eating, listening to music and sleeping – all at the same time haha. (It requires skills to do that LOL, and I know I’m not the only one).

The hardest part is converting the idea into the real deal. Quilling needs patience, and time, which I found quite difficult to handle. An artwork might take me less than 1 hour to do, but on some others, it might take days, or weeks to finish. It’s hard to translate your idea into a real piece, and to make it distinctively you. I want to do things that have me written all over them, and when people look at my work at first glance, they’d know those are mine, without having to look at the disclaimer hehe. It’s not easy to do that, and I’m still working on it.

My most favourite part of crafting would be the moment I glued my last piece of quilled piece. Nothing beats the satisfaction of looking back at your hardwork, and the thoughts you’ve put in it. Only you will understand its real value. The more love you’ve put in them, the harder it is to part with them.

If you are doing this part-time, how do you find time to fit it in to your busy schedule?
I strongly believe that if you like to do what you love, you’ll find time for it. I’ve known some artists/crafters who had to juggle work, family and kids but still have time to do what they love.

What made you decide to start your own art/craft business? Do you have an online shop? Better still, a brick-and-mortar shop/studio.
When I started crafting, I did it for the fun of it, and simply because I love doing them. I started receiving requests from friends to buy my works – and later strangers started to email me and request for some custom-made works as well. I don’t prefer to call my blog an online shop, because I like to maintain it as a craft blog, instead of a craft business – since I simply want to do what I love.

Do you have any advice for those in the biz?
I’m still new in such biz, and still learning new things. My advice: Know your market, take criticism constructively and most importantly, only if you love what you do then you’ll be able to do everything satisfyingly.

I don’t own a real studio, but in the process of preparing a miyyah@kertas studio at home, where I can have my own little art sanctuary.


  1. Very nice craft works "quiling craft"
    I love this craft works..full of inspiration..^^


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