Siow Foon: An Eye for Making Things

Image Siow Foon

Graphic designer Siow Foon runs Things Eye Made, an art/design store-cum-online art showcase. Like her website says, Foon makes stuff – she draws, paints, designs and crafts handmade accessories. Most famous are her jewellery designs in which Foon puts odd and quirky artworks into pendants in lieu of gemstones and other magpies-attracting rocks. With a penchant for limbless bodies and disembodied limbs, JUICE can’t help but find her as fascinating as the bizarre things she’s intrigued by, so we asked her some questions to sate our curiosity…

How do you describe to the uninitiated of what it is that you do?
I see my job as an exploration between Jungian archetypes and nasi lemak wrappings; full of the trappings of modern day society. I’m a social-astronaut that discovers the galaxies of inner understandings through representative mediums of lines and colour. Ok, I made that up. But seriously, I see myself as graphic designer who loves to create and work on different medium.

How did you get the name Things Eye Made?
I was toying with the word ‘fabricate’ while at the same time bugging my friends for suggestions. ‘Things I Made’ was top of the list after many rounds of brainstorming, and as luck would have it, my friend Ivan suggested “Things Eye Made” and somehow I just fell in love with it!

You do quite a lot of things; you draw, you paint, you design, and you make jewellery. Have you always been one to create?
I think they’re all related in some way, the only difference is the choice of medium/material used. You can turn anything into a canvas. I was always into drawing, colouring and crafts when I was a kid. As long as it involves design, art and fashion, I’ll definitely want to get involved. I guess I was meant to do this.

What’s your design philosophy?
Aesthetically beautiful wearable art that touches one’s soul. Enjoy the process and embrace mistakes.

Who and what are your influences?
Egon Shiele, Andy Warhol, Paul Rand, Saul Bass and Neville Brody. They’re my superheroes. I’m pretty much influenced by life, music, girls, fantasy, typography, geometry, architecture, sculpture, patterns, tiles, and traditional and contemporary art/design.

What do you try to convey with your art?
In my opinion, imperfection is something beautiful. Ugly can be beautiful too – the context on how we perceive beauty.

What’s the process like when you’re creating something?
Pretty much the same like everyone else. I’ll start with idea-generation, do some research and also sketches. After that I’ll move on to execution, drawing, painting and computer work (if necessary) – scanning the artwork and some tweaking in Photoshop. Lots of trial and error. Sometimes I’ll just ditch the  process above and  go with the flow, do whatever that pops into my mind.

As for making jewelleries, the process is tedious. A lot of random drawings and painting. I’ll pick the nicest ones and cut them according to the shape of the pendant/ring blank. Glue them on the blanks and apply a thin layer of glaze adhesive on top to create a glass-like effect. Let the first coat dry and wait for a couple of hours. Repeat the same process 5 to 10 times and wait for few days for it to be completely cured. After that, I can proceed in putting the chains, beads, and mix and match them.

Based on your artworks, would you say you’re a morbid person?
I find weird things fascinating.

Purely an inference on our part, we wager you’re quite a music buff.  Are there are any musician who you use as your design muse?
Music definitely plays a big part in influencing my emotion, they help to get me in the right mood. Occasionally, their songs would spark up some drawings. Here’s a list of some artists I like: Bon Iver, Múm, Blonde Redhead, CocoRosie, Yuna, Stina Nordenstam, Racheal Yamagata, Feist, Lykke Li, Filmschool, Little Joy, The Perishers, Sigur Ros, Tame Impala.

How much do you sell your works for and where can we get them?
For jewelleries, it starts from RM20 – RM150 and above. And as for paintings/artworks, RM300 and above. You can buy the jewelleries at Tongue in Chic Online Store as my own online store is still on pending. Alternatively, you can email me for commission work.

Get updates at her Facebook page (search: Things Eye Made) or visit thingseyemade.tumblr.com. Email her at thingseyemade@gmail.com.