Hello everyone! I’m happy to present to you the next EVERYDAY CREATOR, Harry from the Instagram account HARRY.IX! Harry is a friend of mine who I met on Instagram almost a year ago. I was captivated by his unique photography and great journaling/calligraphy style. I wanted to interview Harry for this series because I found it so comforting to see another male calligrapher and journaler on Instagram. To learn about this medical professional turned calligraphy and journal artist, continue reading. Without further ado, I present to you Harry our third EVERYDAY CREATOR.
- Hey Harry! Could you please introduce yourself to the readers? (What’s your name? Where are you located? What do you do?)
Hello everyone, my name is Harry. I’m a 28 years old Malaysian-Chinese person from Malaysia. I’m currently residing in the capital city of Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur. I’m working as a clinical nutrition executive (medical sales representative in a commonly understood language) with Nestlé’s healthcare division. I’m always traveling within the city to meet with the healthcare professionals to discuss with them the latest recommended guidelines on medical practice, especially in the area of nutrition, to provide them the best solutions to their patients. From time to time, I would arrange medical talks, where medical professionals would gather together to listen, and to discuss their medical cases. My ultimate goal is to get these professionals to start using the nutritional therapy formulation from my company (KACHING!
- You’re pretty open with your career with your Instagram followers. How do you think your work in the medical field helps or hinders you creative endeavors and journey?
Most often than not, I find that the challenges in my career helps me in my creativity journey. To me, art is a channel that I go to whenever I feel the need to release my stress, and I do this through journaling and calligraphy. Journaling helps me capture the details I have gathered from my various clients. I tend to forget certain details as I have so many meetings in a day, and so these recorded details help me in my planning process. The truth is, I don’t really enjoy planning, however I find myself grounded by it. Journaling, planning, crafting and calligraphy, helps me to stay focused while also making these things more interesting. Of course, there are times I get so busy with work that I do not have the down time to work on my journal, or even practice my calligraphy.
- How long have you been crafting, journaling and practicing calligraphy?
Not long actually, I started in January this year, as it was one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2016 – to keep a journal.
- How did get you started in crafting, journaling and calligraphy?
I started by finding a journal, and not just any journal because I wanted something that is exquisite enough to keep me going (ordinary journals bore me and I usually gave up journaling very soon because of that). I was introduced to the Traveler’s Notebook due to its customizable inserts and the fine quality of the leather cover. As time went by, I felt the need to make the process more interesting, that’s when I started crafting. I started off by using plain decorative masking tapes to highlight the important dates on my planner. Since I wasn’t using much of my tapes this way, I started to use them for gifting purpose, mostly to my clients and they loved it so much that they are still keeping the used tapes from letters and cards! Eventually, I started to learn calligraphy so that I can bring the art of gifting to a higher level. I wrote clients messages, leave behind notes, postcards, in my calligraphy writing. Instead of just keeping the used tapes with no functional value, they now pin my writings on their notice boards. You can only imagine how it fells like to walk into someone else’s space and seeing your artwork hanging in their space.
- Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration literally from anywhere (my clients, the environment, etcetera)! But mostly, I get my inspiration from the other amazing artists who shared their work with me. Every time I receive the carefully crafted/curated mail from people, I get very inspired to make something and to send it back to them.
- What do you do to get out of a creative slump?
I usually don’t get myself into a period like this, but if I do, I simply grab a pen and a piece of paper to practice my calligraphy. Also, I would just tap on my Instagram to immerse myself at the sight of beautiful work done by the others.
- Do you think you have your own artistic style or aesthetic? If so, could you explain?
I try to keep my style simple and practical but classy at the same time (maybe it is a guy thing. Just kidding). My choices of colours are usually plain and cold/dark. I was once told by my friends that they could tell my calligraphy was done by a male simply by looking at the writing. I don’t know how they could differentiate that, but they could not explain it themselves also.
- Besides crafting, journaling and calligraphy, do you have any other hobbies and interests? How do these other activities tie in with you art?
Photography and gardening. Photography helps to capture the details of my creative projects and work (obviously not detailed enough to see the writing in my work because I prefer that to be P&C), while also allowing me to share it with others. Gardening helps me to improve my patience and attention to detail. Attributes like these help me in journaling and calligraphy journey, and I believe I owe these other hobbies all the credit.
- As a Traveler’s Notebook user, what do you primarily use your traveler’s notebook for?
The very fundamental use of my traveler’s notebook would be for event planning. I swiftly mark down important dates in my traveler’s notebook so that I will not forget them. Second, I record down all the details I receive during meetings with other medical professionals just in case I need to look back these past records. In general, I used my Traveler’s Notebook for work purposes.
- Your Instagram is beautiful. Could you explain the process behind getting the perfect photo.
Thank you very very much! Before I go to bed, I practice calligraphy by scripting a few quotes. It is a routine that allows me to practice and turn my everyday stress into a form of art. Once I’m done, I will carefully lay it on the table with the little details and thinga that go well with the calligraphy piece, like keys, pens, wallet, and then I go to bed. When the morning sunlight shines the next morning, I’ll take a quick shot of the quote before I go to work. I’m beginning to believe that it’s become a form of motivation to get out of bed every morning!
- What are a few of your favourite art supplies/stationery? What is one piece of stationery or art supply you have on your wishlist?
Fountain pens, decorative masking tapes, calligraphy inks. Basically, anything that is fine and exquisite. I’m a nut for stationary like that. My one and only item on my wish list would be this really, really fine fountain pen from Graf Von Faber-Castell (drooling).
- What is it is like being a male in the calligraphy and journaling community? Are there any challenges?
I face no challenge at all. I am very good at pursuing what I’m good at. Now there are a few friends of mine (who are males,) that are interested in learn calligraphy and journaling!
- Lastly, do you have any tips or words of advice to anybody who wants to start a creative hobby?
Please be patient if you want to start a creative hobby. It takes time to truly learn something new. Most importantly, never feel shy to share your works with the world; the world is the best classroom. Accept constructive feedbacks openly, and never hesitate in ignoring those who are not helpful in your progress.
Just do it. Just do it. Just do it.
I hope you enjoyed the third interview of the EVERYDAY CREATORS series. It was a pleasure peeking into Harry’s creative process and journey. You can find Harry on Instagram and his usernames is @HARRY.IX! Go show him some love. Stay tuned for the next EVERYDAY CREATORS interview coming soon.