We first came across James Merry's work in relation to Björk and have since delved deeper into his simple and spectacular reinventions of the rule book of embroidery. You can read more about JT and his connections with Damien Hirst and Iceland here.
James Merry photo credit: Billy Hayes
James Merry nominated Malaysian illustrator Nadhir Nor:
Nadhir Nor is a poet. with each of his illustrations comes a story, whispered softly into your ear - an observation, a sensation, a promise. I felt an incredible connection to his work as soon as I stumbled across it on Instagram last year. There's a sublime magical quality to it - an overwhelming sensitivity & romanticism, so rarely handled with such strong and effortless technical finesse.
I adore how each drawing is its own world - a self-contained bubble with its own secrets, its own laws of physics. with the lightest of touches, Nature predominantly sets the emotional tone - miniature psychological landscapes, blurring the topographical and the human; planets wane into pieces, floating like petals; a flower of thought unfurls from a head...
I couldn't be more excited to watch how Nadhir is going to grow as an artist - in whichever direction he chooses. His work so far has hinted at a full and magical world lurking beyond the edge of each drawing... I just want to crawl inside them and stay there for a while.
Work by Nadhir Nor:
Nadhir Nor nominated Malaysian photographer Amani Azlin:
Amani is a Malaysian photographer who is currently studying in London whom I bumped into randomly on instagram. The internet has definitely made art more inclusive and accessible to everyone, which also makes it very easy to get all muddled up among everyone's almost blueprint-y creative endeavours. I find Amani inspiring because regardless of this, she stands out.
I always find it intriguing how Amani always manages to make even the most mundane subjects interesting. It can be a series of brick walls and you can still see the great details she gives in every shot, like tracing you fingers against an ancient relic where you can just feel the tremendous amount of effort put by the artisan, yet when it's Amani's works they all come in effortlessly. Her works and series always play with the loveliest marriages of colours, space and subjects and that really makes me want to do the same whenever I'm putting something up together.
Work by Amani Azlin:
Amani Azlin nominated visual creative Sharina Shahrin who also runs Everyday Studios in Kuala Lumpur:
Sharina's conceptual heartworks (as she refers it!) really ignites the imagination in me and as a result encourages me to always make and create myself. Her heartworks are saturated with psychedelic colours that explores the themes of infinite time and space taking the form of an abstract digital, traditional or mixed media painting. There is movement, depth and passion that radiates from the pieces that she creates and not surprisingly this passion is also vibrantly radiating from herself. Being a true free spirited creative that she is she does not stop at painting but is always expanding herself into other realms of creativity such as music and photography.
If she is not creating magic, she is inspiring it. Sharina also holds creative workshops in her studio at Everyday Studios that invites people to come play and explore while learning. What I find inspiring about her is how she completely immerse herself in her art that she herself exists as art.
Work by Sharina Shahrin:
Sharina Shahrin nominated designer Bono Stellar (Nawwar Shukriah Ali):
I would say the person that inspires me right now would be my friend, designer Bono Stellar (Nawwar Shukriah Ali) of Stellar Design. What I love about Bono is that she exudes life. She embraces what she does wholeheartedly and is always pushing her boundaries as a designer. She doesn't stick to just one platform to express herself and is constantly experimenting with materials/mediums/jobs/collaborations and it's always a pleasure to see her brilliant ideas come to life.
I believe she is a necessary catalyst in the local scene in Malaysia as she's involving herself in all creative fields from textile design and creative direction to acrylic installations and group exhibitions. She's always up to something, I'd like to believe she has more than 24 hours in a day! Her intentions are positive and her energy is infectious and she is inspiring because her goal is to ultimately educate Malaysia about the arts and create a community that is supportive and unrestrained.
Work by Bono Stellar:
Bono Stellar nominated LA based set designer, creative director and photographer Adi Goodrich:
I nominate Adi Goodrich as my current inspiration. I have a long list of inspirations but Adi's one of the creatives I would love to collaborate with. I think we have some similar influences such as fine art paintings being transformed into 3D installations. The thing I admire most about her is that she goes crazy with ideas. Everything she creates is so daring and I appreciate her experimental approach in set design.
Adi Goodrich and her work:
Search here for areas of interest (e.g. radio, installations...):