Now based in Bath, Enya is originally from Macau, though she has spent much of her career in London. With a background in packaging design, her love of illustration drove her towards painting food and she’s inspired by the chefs and patisserie artists who make treats she paints.
Following her BA in Graphic Design, Enya earned a Masters in Design Management from the London College of Communication in 2011.
Enya works primarily in watercolour and ink – two flexible media with an expressive, emotive feel to them. Her palette is contemporary, and surface pattern is something she pays a lot of attention to. Her high quality textured papers add to the handmade aesthetic of her art.
With a fluid, expressive style, there’s a touch of Impressionism about Enya’s work as she deftly encourages her colours to bleed into the paper just the right amount. A strong focus on key details makes each piece realistic – essential when depicting complex foods.
Question: What led you to become an illustrator? Enya: The majority of my working life has been spent in the packaging and brand design business working on many FMCG brands, a background which drove my interest in food products in particular. Having always had an interest in this area, it was a natural development to concentrate on this type of art when I left the packaging business to concentrate on illustration.Question: Did you study illustration at college? Enya: Yes, I did illustration when I was in college in Macau.Question: Where did you grow up? Enya: I grow up in Macau, China.Question: Do you have a childhood memory relating to drawing/art that you hold dear? Enya: I do remember my mum took me to watercolour classes when I was a little kid. Question: Where do you live now and what drew you there? Enya: I live in Bath, having spent 7 years in London.Question: Describe your studio for us. Enya: Dessert pictures on the wall. Macarons or cakes on my desk occasionally. Full of plants and flower props.Question: Do you have any studio pets? Enya: My miniature schnauzer is my companion.Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Enya: My influences and inspirations are broad. I admire all the creative talents responsible for the beautiful patisserie that I so often illustrate. I also like artistic innovators like David Hockney, the style of the use of colour and the realistic, classic style of Pieter Wagemans.Question: How do you get your ideas? Enya: My ideas come from different small components, from second hand book shops to the massive online library Pinterest.Question: Do you collect anything? Enya: Vintage illustration books.Question: Do you keep a Scrapbook? Enya: I love buying scrapbooks wherever I travel.Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Enya: Music, Travel, Photography.Question: Tell us about a favourite project you've recently completed. Enya: LeChoux menu for which I illustrated 6 different choux buns.Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Enya: I love to work with any food projects! Especially sweets related or to be given a opportunity to create a set of beauty product illustrations.Question: Why is illustration such a powerful medium? Enya: I think drawing is the 'Tongue of the hand' that can express the communications between the receiver and the giver.Question: What is the best use of illustration you have ever seen? Enya: Pierre-Joseph Redouté classic book of rose illustrations created over 300 years ago and still looking beautifully fresh.Question: What makes a really good client brief? Enya: Clarity, ambition and with plenty of room for creative interpretation.Question: How much of your work is hand drawn? Enya: Fully 100% hand drawn.Question: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be? Enya: A pastry chef.Question: What's the best advice you've ever been given? Enya: Don't miss the deadline. Don't look back, keep on moving.Question: If you could travel back in time, who would be the one person you would want to meet and why? Enya: I would love to travel back to the 1960's and hang with the graphic designer Milton Glaser - and work on some psychedelic designs together! Groovy!