Michelle Chen is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Malaysia. We are thrilled to feature her beautiful work this month!
Michelle, thank you very much for being part of this beautiful community. Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi! Thank you so much for having me! I’m Michelle Chen (otherwise known as Michelle Cpy), graphic designer and illustrator based in Malaysia. I’ve formed a deep and unexplainable love for art and have always been since young. I was really into realistic drawings at first (traditional medium) but because I wanted to express myself even further, I’ve decided to shift gears and found my place in doing poster designs instead!
Could you tell us a little bit about your approach and work?
My work mainly revolves around mental health, self-love journey and personal development. Most of the topics I’ve come up with are usually based on my own experiences. Inspired by my own personal struggles of mental health and failures along the way, I’ve carefully curated them in ways that would provide solutions and what I want people to take away from when they look at my posts.
They are a summary of what I’ve learned in a visual format and also a reminder for me and everyone. I love playing around with typography and using abstract story-telling panels infused with pastel colors to convey my expression. All in all, I just want to form a deep and genuine connection within the community and allow people to feel validated.
What about these particular pieces? How do you want people to feel when they observe them?
I want people to know that it’s okay to slow down and take our time off to do our own things without guilt. I know productivity guilt is something we often struggle with for years and I hope these pieces are able to remind people that it’s okay to spare some time to give ourselves love because we deserve freedom and a moment of clarity - today and everyday, we truly deserve to treat ourselves a little better each day.
Our intention this month is “Pause”. What are your thoughts on that and how is it reflected in this work?
I want to debunk the myth that pausing doesn’t mean that we are doing less, being left behind or surrendering ourselves to responsibilities. It just means that we are creating more peace and clarity within so that we can do more, better. Pausing means that we are allowing ourselves to open up to new ways and possibilities in order to rejuvenate our souls. To step back and realize that we are nourishing our own Universe.
Where or what is your favourite way to pause?
Listening to music while taking a walk around my house has been a great way for me to find calmness within. Sometimes I would allow myself to sit with my feelings, navigating my emotions while laying down, staring at the ceiling. I believe doing nothing is essentially doing something to our bodies!
We’re always curious about what people are listening to. What’s your go-to right now or in general?
Ooooh! I love listening to Lexie Liu, Jasmine Sokko and Porter Robinson!! I would never get tired of them and I’m always greatly inspired by their way of expressing themselves. They are just phenomenal human beings that I really do admire a lot!
On the contrary, I do often get myself into rock / metal genres too. Bands like Polyphia, Bad Omens and From Ashes To New are my current top favs!!