The abstract meaning of doodling is defined as “to draw, sketch or scribble idly” especially while you are doing something else. Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be abstract shapes. In recent times, doodling has become a trend and an artform. I did not know anything about doodling until I met Mew Hui 3 years back and we became fast friends for I love the doodling designs she had created and shared. Therefore, I got her to draw my favourite characters Hello Kitty and Betty Boop on 2 pairs of shoes for me. The doodle designs were impressive and shoes were gorgeous.
Mew Hui is one doodle artist who can draw on almost anything. She can create her doodle designs on shoes, bags, cups, macarons, and even cakes! As long as you put in a request, Mew Hui will diligently come up with the appropriate and suitable doodle design and doodle pattern and I can say that most of her doodling art pieces are mostly accepted by her clients as they are always and nearly close to immaculate.
I caught up with Mew Hui again recently and I decided to interview her on her doodling art. The interview was conducted via email as she is currently living in Malaysia and below are her heartfelt answers to my interview questions.
(1) Do you have formal training in painting?
I was a student in Advertising & Graphic Design in college, so I did have some formal art studies.
(2) When did you start to have the idea to paint on shoes and other things like bags?
Actually I started #mewdoodle one day when I was in a cafe. I took a paper cup and I started doodling on the paper cup. However, the idea to paint on shoes happened when I was in New Zealand when I was visiting my sister and family. My sister and I saw a pair of white canvas shoes while we were shopping. I had an aha moment to paint it for her as a gift as I was on a 2 months’ vacation in New Zealand. From there, it was a gradual progression from doodling designs on shoes, to bags and then to anything wearable or usable.
(3) What do you paint on? What kind of paint do you use to paint on bags and shoes etc?
Since I started, I had requests from clients not only for shoes, but also doodle art for designer bags, guitars, journals, face masks, iPad covers and even a pair of scuba fins! It depends on the item I am painting on but I usually use fabric and leather paints from USA.
(4) You paint on cupcakes and other edible products, what are the materials that you use to paint on edible products?
Yes, for edible products such as cupcakes, macaroons and fondant cakes, I usually use icing or edible food coloring.
(5) How much do you usually charge for painting a pair of shoes or a bag?
The price range really depends on the item and complexity of the doodle design. For bags and shoes, it can range from SGD100-300.
(6) Do you enjoy doodling?
Yes I do! Especially when I see how my art come to life, it is really satisfying.
(7) Do you intend to make it a career?
For me now, #mewdoodle is still just a passion project. I just enjoy sharing my art with others but it cannot replace my current income from my main business.
(8) Do you face any difficulties along your doodling journey?
I have been very blessed with good and supportive customers. The only difficulty I face is when the queue is long. I cannot rush my doodle art and so I do feel bad for my customers who have to wait patiently and for quite some time to receive their piece of #mewdoodle.
(9) What do you have to say to artists who want to make doodling as a career?
Find your own style. It will also take time to build up your name and customer base, so be patient and keep sharing.
(10) Have you been approached to start classes on doodling?
Yes, I have done 2 classes in Jakarta Indonesia before the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, it has not been possible, so I am looking forward to do more classes in the near future when the situation gets better.
Here are some of Mew Hui’s recent creations. Check her out on instagram!