Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Meet Creative: Yee Sien of Midnight Seamstress

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

When I first started my creative biz, I was 18 years old in college. I used to customize t-shirts with fabric painting, and it was a hit among my college mates and my lecturers, including the staff. What's more important was that I remembered, how happy I was when I first discovered the possibilities of turning my passion into a biz, and utilizing my talent. I was good at something, and I knew that at that time, the secret to success was to pursue something you are truly passionate about, wasting no time & effort at all and just continue to move forward. I was very grateful to God that I was given this gift.

However, I was also too young at that time and had very little resources, so I sort of floated at the same spot in the ocean.... the creative community was very small those days. Plus, back then, we didn't have Facebook to create a business page for it, although we had Friendster. So, after college, when I tried to further my biz, I took the liberty of creating a Friendster account for it (today is Facebook page). I was very ahead of my time, but still the answer was resources. Not just monetary resources, but the kind where you have connections or the community to believe in your work and help you promote... blogging wasn't quite a big thing those days, and it's definitely rare to come across creative lifestyle bloggers like myself that focuses on niche topics, but hey, that was how I started this blog =)

Today, whenever I see newcomers, aspiring or inspiring creatives in the creative biz community, I share their joy and excitement. I know how it feels like, I can relate and I can remember the fiery passion within me that drove me to do more and more with my hands and my talent. And because I can relate, all I want to do is to be able to expose these talented bunch of people.

If you are wondering if this story inspired me on my blog post today, well... no. More like crafty-hands Yee Sien of Midnight Seamstress (such a profound name) inspired me to share my story. And of course I'm eager to share her story too with you, especially on what inspires her, what helped her through her creative journey, and more. So, I hope that you will find her empowering too.

Name: Ang Yee Sien
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Link: Facebook


1. What is your day-to-day like as a creative person? How do you juggle your tasks, projects and personal life?

Both my full time and part time job relates to art and creativity but in different ways. Sewing is more personal and also connect me to people more directly. Time organization is pretty straight forward when I have a full time job; I can only sew at night. But when comes the shooting months, when I go out and film things almost all the time, that’s when I joke about how my shop will be closed for monsoon! However in fact, I keep my social media page alive by spreading out the posts throughout that period and not disappearing for the whole two months. At rare times, I would also steal like half or one hour to sew a few straight lines before I hit the sack. As an introvert, my social life is not that active so I never have to worry about less time attending to people. 

2. All creative people have their own toolbox. What’s in yours and what are your favourite tools?

My tools are the basics, some for sewing and some for rivet fixing. My favourite will be the rotary cutter as this was actually the first ‘serious’ tool I bought when I started Midnight Seamstress. I remember seeing it quite often on blogs and videos and thought it was such an awesome tool to cut things fast and straight. I still like it now how it works perfectly together with the transparent ruler and the cutting mat.

3. Fill in the blanks and complete this sentence: "Whenever I am _______, I am ________"

“Whenever I am sewing, I am lost in time.”

4. Describe your creative work with just 3 words:

Original, Thoughtful, Forwarding

5. They say creative people are eccentricweird; so, how weird can you get?

I can never stay happy with my current condition and always want to venture in something new and fresh (hence the fact that I travel frequently) and yet hates the uneasiness that comes with change. Call me Dilemma Diva.

When my mood is on, I can work straight on for 10 hours, skip meals, and at the end of the day,  find myself in dehydration. I've successfully corrected this bad habit.

6. Name your top 3 favourite books for ideas:

Erm… I must say, internet is taking over the world. I usually get visual ideas from the Internet.

7. Music mixes are awesome! What’s your music playlist when you are creating & making art?

I switch on LIVE Radio 365 app and pick the genre that goes with my mood, mostly easy listening, blues or country.

8. How do you organize your creative ideas & inspirations for reference?

I keep snapshots in my phone and pin stuff on Pinterest. I haven’t quite developed an organization skill for this yet, perhaps a good reminder to start doing it.

9. What is your favourite place to go to for inspirations?

Pinterest, Etsy, some indie brands

10. I SPY with my little eye:  Who’s your favourite creative person (artist/crafter/baker, etc.)?

Tenten handmade, Minifanfan

11. If you didn't discover this creative interest, what would Life be for you?

A life where you didn't believe you can do much about it.

12. How your creative passion inspires you?

Just be yourself and just do it.

13. What was the most difficult part of running a creative biz?

Marketing and selling should be, but I think they are the aspects that can be overcome technically. Hence, the most difficult is, to be constantly creative, thinking out of the box. To create styles that intrigue people and attracts fondness for a long time.

14. What sort of lessons do you learn from it?

Persistence, faith for purpose, and willingness to get out of your comfort zone.

15. What is your Kung Fu style to fight creative blockages?

Creative blockage is my least favorable part Normally it takes a few nights, sometimes weeks to create something new. I’ll be frantically scanning all my visual sources, sketching and sketching, sometimes throwing away the initial idea, and sometimes coming back to the first idea. My ultimate Kung Fu style is actually just sit down and start doing, and let it revolve as it goes. It is scary to do it this way, but sometimes it is only through this process that your idea is evaluated more precisely.

16. Give the readers some love! Do you have any tips, advice or words of wisdom?

90% of your work is rubbish, that’s what we call creative work. This is my recent realization to this cold hard fact. It is like what they say to writers, 90% of your job is rewriting.

Doing and failing. Doing and failing. It’s a repeated process. When you’re successful, it doesn't mean that your journey will be smooth from then on. When you fail, it doesn't mean you don’t have a chance to rectify and be better.

If you want to procrastinate and find excuses, don’t blame for what you are having now.

17. Daydream mode ON! What do you want 5 years from now?

First and foremost, a beautiful sewing palace, oops, ok, I mean place. :D

An established business. Sew and sell while I travel. Be able to join the larger international sewing community.

Hoping that my passion will inspire others to have something better in their lives.

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