A Conversation with Flying Mouse 365 (Chow Hon Lam)

DG: Hey Hon, how are you? Let’s have a quick intro.
FM365: Hi Darshan, I’m a T-shirt designer & illustrator from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Currently, I’m up to some commission work & also running my own T-shirt brand www.flyingmouse365.com.

 

DG: How & when did Flying Mouse 365 come to life?
FM365: Flying Mouse 365 is a personal project, for which I committed myself to come up with 1 design a day, 365 designs a year. I started this project in year 2010 & completed it in year 2011. I rejected all my commission work & focused on this project during the course of same.
Batman from Flying Mouse 365's Part-time Job series
Batman from Flying Mouse 365’s Part-Time Job series
DG: Prior to Flying Mouse 365, what sort of design work were you involved into?
FM365: Before Flying Mouse 365, I used to do some illustration & T-shirt design work. Also, I often submitted my designs to sites like Threadless & Shirt Woot.
DG: How has the project progressed so far?
FM365: Thank god, the project’s done very well. A lot of people have known me because of this project.

 

DG: What was the most challenging task when you indulged yourself into this project?
FM365: The most challenging part of this project was to come up with a new idea each day. 24 hours of the day were just not enough for me. Each day I had this challenge to come up with a fresh idea & then draw it. I started facing designer’s block once I had crossed the 100 mark. I overcame this block by coming up with more than 1 idea a day than just 1.

 

DG: When did you realize that you should be making a career in design?
FM365: I liked drawing since I was young. When I stepped out of school, the only job in my mind was something related to drawing. And then, I found a part time job in a design house, this is how my design career started.
Cha-Ching!
DG: Your “Part-Time Job”  series based upon the pop culture characters has been internationally recognized & loved by the world. It has also been replicated & modified by many. How do you deal with such copyright infringement & digital theft?
FM365: I’m so glad that people liked my Part-Time Job series. For the copyright infringement issue, if they post the image on a social networking website like Facebook or Instagram, I report it to the site. For others, I seek an advice from my lawyer & let him handle it.

 

DG: Every design of yours is thoughtfully done. There goes a lot of thinking behind each one of them. How is this done? We would be truly grateful if you could put some light upon your design process.
FM365: I like storytelling, I’m trying to tell stories though my design. I believe everything around us have their own back story; A cup of tea, a watermelon, a kitten or even a tree. I’m trying to create a story around these.

 

DG: What are your go-to sites for design inspiration?

 

DG: How is a normal working day spent in your life?
FM365: Usually, my work starts at 10am & I take a break at 5pm & continue after 8pm.

 

Freeze

 

DG:  The world has started taking design very seriously these days. UI/UX is leading the way to every product’s development cycle. What are your thoughts on the same?
FM365: I agree with that. People are now putting more time & efforts in product design. Besides quality, the innovation factor of the product has also become of great importance.

 

DG: You’ve been involved in a lot of new projects, lately. What are they? And how do you plan to take your design career forward?
FM365: Currently, I’m working on a new brand called LIM1T8D, it is for the local market here. And I’m also doing some commission work for Reebok & WeChat.
Flying Mouse 365's design for Reebok
Flying Mouse 365’s design for Reebok
DG: Your designs have inspired many, including me. I love the way you think about your designs. What words of wisdom would you share with the many aspiring artists?
FM365: Don’t aim to draw something that people might have never seen before, but draw something that people might have never thought of before.

Rapid Fire Round:

Design is _____.
A dessert that will make people happy.

 

Ideas can be _____.
Everywhere.

 

Favorite Designers?
Olly Moss.

 

Hon can be found watching movies or eating at a restaurant if not designing.

 

Perfect idea of vacation?
Tokyo.

 

How irritated were you when I kept on asking you for this Conversation?
Sorry for the delay 🙂

 

Darshan is _____.
Patient.

 

Hon is an Award-winning T-shirt Designer. He is all about ideas. He never designs anything without a solid story behind it. A lot can be learnt from the way Hon crafts his designs.

 

Hon can be followed on Behance, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. He also has his portfolio website, chowhonlam.com.

 

It’s been one heck of a Conversation. Thank You Hon aka Flying Mouse 365 for your time.
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