Interview With Designer Chow Hon Lam (aka Flying Mouse)

Over the past few months I’ve been fortunate enough for the opportunity to have some lengthy discussions about the t-shirt industry and get to know one of today’s top and one of my favorite designers. Chow Hon Lam (aka Flying Mouse) is revered in the t-shirt design world and you’ve no doubt seen his awesome work all over the internet. In the past he has been awarded newcomer of the year and most printed artist on Threadless, has took up the recent challenge of creating a new design everyday and now is branching out with his own clothing line.

On the eve of the launch of his latest project, Chow agreed to an interview here on TeeRater and has provided some sneak peaks at some of the designs that will be available at FlyingMouse365.

I want to thank you for taking the time to share some of your thoughts with my readers. How have you been?

No problem, glad to do it. I’m doing well, really excited about the new project.

I think what people most would want to know is how you got started designing t-shirts?

I subbed my very 1st submission to Threadless in 2007. After a few winnings there, it gave me the confidence to do more and more designs. I’m now really enjoying t-shirt designing.

Do you think you have a particular style that you can describe?

Can I say variety? I don’t have a particular style. I always try to do something new. I believe humans are greedy, we always like something different, something new. For me, I just don’t think I would buy 20 shirts of the same style, maybe it’s just me. I continually enjoy exploring new styles, it is fun for me.

I have certain things that inspire my own designs, is there anything that regularly inspires your work?

Everything around me. I believe everything has it’s very own story, a cup of tea, a watermelon, a pussy cat, a cloud, or even a chair. I try to create a story for them. I always believe they have something to say, but they just can’t speak. Some people tell a story through a movie, some people using a novel or comic, and some tell their story though a song. For me, I tell my story though a t-shirt, the amazing part of t-shirt design is I can tell a different story everyday.

What I and others find amazing is the amount of designs you create. How are you able to create such a large body of work?

I usually will write down ideas in my sketch book when I get some inspiration, then draw them one by one. Sometimes I can come out with a few designs in one day. I spend anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours to draw one design. I had an experience when I only thought of ideas without drawing anything for a full month, in that month I successfully came up with 160+ ideas. Now I can concentrate on the drawing them.

When you started submitting your designs did you ever think you would become one of the most successful and well liked designers?

No, I never thought of that. I didn’t have any experience in t-shirt design before I made my first submission. I was just thinking about having some fun and making some pocket money. I’m really happy my work is recognized by the community,

You’ve been really successful at Threadless. What did it feel like to become the most printed designer in 2007 and be named newcomer of the year?

It felt like a dream, flying in the sky, and floating in the galaxy. lol. I just feel I’m the lucky one, there are a lot of good artists out there. The awards I achieved really gave me more confidence to keep on in my t-shirt design career. I have to say thanks for the support from everyone.

There are a lot of people out there including many of my readers who want to become t-shirt designers. Is there any advice you can give to an aspiring designer?

Do more designs, and try not to let people forget your work.

I’ve been privy to your new project for several months now and we’ve discussed various aspects of the how it is going to work. Can you let the public in on the details of what FlyingMouse365 is all about?

The idea is to have a new design coming out every day for a full year, so that means that every week there will be 7 new products available. These 7 new products will be available for a quick pre-sale at a lower price for the entire week and once the week ends there will be 7 new products to replace them and so on. We will also have a permanent store that will feature the most-liked products without having a pre-sale.

That sounds great and I know my readers will be looking forward to November 11th when you plan to launch. I would just like to thank you again for sharing some of your thoughts with us.

It was my pleasure, cheers!

Be sure to check out Chow’s latest endeavor at FlyingMouse365