Carmen Hui is a Sydney artist and illustrator with a keen interest in Australian flora and fauna. Drawing has been a daily joy since she was old enough to hold a pencil, and drawing continues to provide a source of escape and relaxation for the Sydney artist.
Her delicate emotive style, with careful layering characteristic of the artist, brings out the personality and emotion behind her drawings – something that Carmen says “just happens.”
“My work has evolved over time, becoming more detailed and elaborate. I feel that my approach to drawing - and any skill for that matter - is constantly evolving. I learn something with each drawing that I create, which is both exciting and satisfying”.
Carmen started her business about 4 years ago, and hasn’t looked back. While running your own business is a constant juggle, Carmen takes a pragmatic view. “I’m so happy to be making a living from my art. It brings me joy when customers tell me how my drawings make them feel, or remind them of loved ones. I’m so glad that my work can evoke such feelings in people”.
While a typical day will involve anything from admin, packing orders, doing the books and marketing, Carmen wryly notes “if I’m lucky I get to fit in a bit of drawing too.”
Carmen takes a holistic view of Australiana, celebrating not only our unique wildlife, but the products and stories we grow up with. One of her most popular cards is bouquet of native Australian flowers in an iconic vegemite jar. She enjoys thoroughly researching each flower or animal and their individual meanings and quirks. Her dream project is to collaborate with a retailer on a range of homewares. Surface design is another passion, and something Carmen has her eyes on in the future.
What material do you love and why?
Pencils! The humble pencil is portable, mess-free and so accessible – you can just grab it and start working with it. I’ve dabbled in other mediums but I always come back to pencils – you’ll never find me without one close by.
What is your favourite thing about where you live?
I live in an apartment block in the inner west with little access to nature, but lately two little Rainbow lorikeets started visiting me and recently a butcherbird started to drop by too. I feel so lucky that they have chosen me as their friend.
What piece of advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
To not worry too much about the future and just do what you love. Everything will work out somehow.
“I am constantly inspired by nature. I love reading about the meaning of each flower and all the quirks and abilities of each animal. Nothing in nature is ever the same, and I love the challenge of depicting their ‘core’ on a piece of paper.”
Stylish Australiana stocks a range of Carmen's greeting cards and tea towels.