Lay Hoon is a Vancouver-based artist, whose art reveals and shares the joy of creation and the beauty of life. Her work is vibrant, idyllic and sets a scene so inviting that you feel both a desire to be there and joy for those who are. 

We recently visited Lay Hoon’s studio to delve into her creative process, exploring the inspirations and personal experiences that shape her art

"My journey began when I was very little. Adults would often ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I would consistently say I wanted to become an artist," Lay recalls. Despite her early passion, practicality led Lay Hoon to pursue a degree in Bioengineering. However, her love for art never waned. Lay Hoon eventually took night classes in Multimedia Design and transitioned into the creative industry, working on packaging and branding in Singapore for over a decade.

The turning point in Lay Hoon’s artistic career came during the pandemic. Moving from Singapore to Vancouver and facing the challenges of uprooting during this difficult time, she found solace in her art. "Feeling overwhelmed, I started illustrating daily to find peace. Thinking I had nothing to lose, I began posting my work on Instagram. To my surprise, I slowly garnered a small following, and commissions started rolling in," she shares. Two years later, Lay Hoon mustered the courage to quit her full-time job and focus solely on her art practice.

Lay Hoon’s art is deeply influenced by her childhood in Malaysia, nature, and her experiences as a mother. "Growing up in Malaysia has a huge impact on my work as an artist. The rich Malay, Indian, and Chinese culture, and the slower pace of life in a modernising country, inspired my aesthetics," she explains. Nature also plays a crucial role in her creative process. "Nature is the greatest artist in my opinion. Whenever I need a new source of inspiration, I just take a slow walk through nature and observe."

"Observing my son essentially just being a kid reminds me to make time for play and not take myself too seriously. That carefree joy and exuberance is something I aim to capture in my art."

Lay Hoon emphasises the importance of self-care in her creative process. "Movement is a huge part of my self-care routine. I make sure to get that done at the start of the day before anything else, by either going to the gym or taking a long walk," she says.

Lay Hoon’s art often conveys female-centric themes and focuses on self-acceptance, sisterhood, and connecting with nature. "A common thread that connects all my works is the theme of Harmony. Being in harmony with oneself, being in harmony with the people around you, and being in harmony with the natural environment," she explains.

Lay Hoon’s story is a testament to the power of following your passion and the beauty that can arise from life’s challenges. And the proof is in the artistic pudding - the journey is worth it, both for Lay and all of us who have the privilege to enjoy her creations.