A nice interview feature now on, up and coming creative brand SOYU, the brainchild of Mike Ng of Thunder Chunky and the Renmen Project fame. Soyu seeks to unite East and West with a wave of positivity and their first project Creative Zodiac certainly is a cracker, creating some inspired designs based around the Chinese Zodiac. SOYU has a great life ahead of it and I'm sure there will be plenty more from these rising dragons so without further ado it's Mike from SOYU.
1. What is the story behind SOYU?
There were a few reasons, I set up SOYU. One was to build a bridge between Eastern and Western culture through Art and Fashion. As a British Born Asian, I aim to investigate and explore some of the 'mysteries' and beauties of the far east both for myself and others. I also wanted to add value to a the design world by making special things that people would hopefully cherish in years to come. So on a production level I wanted to the Creative Zodiac prints to be really fantastic quality and have some of the best artwork around. On a more general note, it was also an opportunity to offer something more positive at a time when there is so much negativity in the world.
2. What is SOYU up to at the moment.
I'm bowled over by the response that the Creative Zodiac project has had - we've sold a majority of the prints, so we're busy packaging them up to get them out to happy people! I'm sure people will be even more pleased with the prints on their walls! However, that has allowed us to move onto our next project much quicker too. We hope to go down the fashion route, but we're gonna keep things under wraps - we will be announcing stuff soon… so stayed tuned to our Facebook and Twitter for more details. Every tweet, like or +1 helps us get that little bit further - so we are extremely grateful if you do make an effort to follow us!
3. Tell us about the artists involved.
Not only are the artists super skilful, but they were particularly positive and receptive. They are true legends. I chose each artist for their unique illustration style and talent, but they all had the same awesome attitude and enthusiasm for for it! Even when they all had such busy schedules with their other commercial work.
Some of the artists I had been fans of for a while and others I had already worked with like on the Renmen Project last year. I also help run Thunder Chunky, so that was a whole archive for inspiration. So I sat down with my long time friend and artist, Stephen Chan and we drew up a shortlist and ruled out a few, and picked out the elite. It was just like the X-factor (joke). I've got to say though that this project is all down to the artists, I am truly grateful for their time, effort and craftsmanship they have applied to each piece. Whether it's Robin Boyden's intricate Dragon or the simplicity of 24Exp's Pig - they all deserve equal Merit. I am just a fan like everyone else and the best part about this project has been discussing people's favourite animals. It's been an interesting debate and has made the project superb to work on. To match the quality of the artwork I knew I had to get the guys at Ripe Digital involved to get a fantastic stock choice and finish. I was so pleased with the end result I didn't want to let any of them go!
4. What makes SOYU special for you.
There is just one special reason. I'm doing this all for my young son who is almost 1. I want him to grow up in an inspiring environment that is influenced by a multitude of cultures and so he can understand and appreciate the diversity of the world.
5. What does the future hold for SOYU.
We're just in our infancy with so many ideas and dreams, so I hope to take SOYU places and execute some of those dreams along the way. We'll hit obstacles, but we'll keep smashing them down. 2012 is the year of SOYU.