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Interview with Aye Nyein Pyu

Home > Designer Interviews > Aye Nyein Pyu

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Aye Nyein Pyu (ANP) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Aye Nyein Pyu by clicking here.

Interview with Aye Nyein Pyu at Tuesday 17th of May 2022
Aye Nyein Pyu
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
ANP: To give you a bit of background I was born in Myanmar and lived there until I was 14. When I was a kid, I remember colouring often with crayons. From the very beginning I enjoyed working with colours, and layering colours for different effects. My favourite subject was always art and oddly enough, math. Seeing how I love to draw a lot, starting 2nd grade my mom put me in an art class every summer, but it wasn’t until I was 14 when I moved to Singapore American School I was given the opportunity to take a large variety of art classes and really pursue my passion for art. During my junior year in high school there was a design competition for SIGG water bottles. The winning design would be printed on the bottles that were distributed to all the students at school. My submission was hand picked as the best design and it was amazing to see students carrying around the water bottles with my design on it. That kicked started my passion into pursuing design. After completing high school I moved to Canada to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in jewellery design and metalsmithing, and have lived in Toronto since. After graduating from OCAD university I started Mondselle, my own jewellery line, which consists of both everyday and statement jewellery.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
ANP: In 2015, just a year after graduating from university, I decided to establish Mondselle. It started as a platform for me to express and share my creativity with the world. Within the first year it was well received beyond expectations which pushed me to further develop the brand. My designs which combine my Burmese heritage with urban western perspectives quickly rose to popularity because of its unique representation of a culture. Mondselle has been able to cater to audiences from different parts of the world. And as a startup brand there is nothing quite like the feeling of seeing my piece worn by an A-list celebrity such as MYA.

FS: What is "design" for you?
ANP: “Jewellery is an everyday art form.” With this design philosophy at the core of Mondselle, I design jewellery pieces to reflect on the stories of each and every one of Mondselle’s customers.Most of the jewellery we own today comes with great sentimental value, either passed down from our grandparents to our parents or were gifts from our loved ones; every piece has its own special story behind it. I want to help others tell their stories and express themselves through the jewellery pieces they wear.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
ANP: I love creating one-of-a-kind statement jewelry that tells a story.I have a background in fine arts and I like to treat the pieces of jewellery I design and create as a painting with multiple layers of colours and depth.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
ANP: My favorite design is a necklace titled 'United Choker which consists of eight charms representing national costumes of eight different ethnicities present in Myanmar. Contemporary and witty, the charms showcases smiley faces and colorful gemstones for an elegant yet vibrant look.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
ANP: After graduating I worked at a jewellery company in Toronto which focuses on custom engagement and wedding rings. The first ring I designed for them was a classic round halo diamond ring with a split shank.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
ANP: I love working with colours so naturally genuine coloured stones are my playground. I especially love all shades of blue so sapphires and tanzanite are my favourite stones along with Burmese rubies and emeralds.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
ANP: Aesthetic and function go hand in hand. I typically have an inspiration or a theme that I want to explore. I pick out certain details from it, such as the shapes, and from there I sketch out designs by transforming the shapes into something new and wearable.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
ANP: I get very excited when I have my lightbulb moments. However, one aspect of designing is problem solving. The end goal is to figure out how to best deliver an idea I have in my head in the most beautiful way possible.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
ANP: As a jewelry designer my job is to give permanent beautiful homes to beautiful gemstones mother nature has gifted us with. When you are working with very precious gemstones (because the amount is finite), it is not only important to create designs that will stand the test of time, it is also crucial to know the source of the stones. Making sure and understanding the gemstones I am working with are ethically sourced and produced is very important to me.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
ANP: When I travel, I always pay attention to what’s around me, to the people and to the incredible art and architecture. Inspirations always come to be unexpectedly. I will have to attribute my most successful collections to chance inspirations. It is never when I am sitting at a desk with a sketchbook that the ideas come to me. Sometimes I would dream about a design and wake up and dribble it down in my sketchbook.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
ANP: I gravitate towards clean and sculptural aesthetics, and I am also highly attracted to floral motifs. I design products I genuinely believe in - pieces I would wear every day. My focus is also on wearability. You can pair one of my rings with a cocktail dress just as easily as you can with jeans. My line of jewellery is something that both fashionable and classical girls can wear every day.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
ANP: I was born in Myanmar but I spent my adolescent years abroad in Singapore and later in Canada. Having lived away from home since I was 14, I have learned to harmoniously integrate with other cultures. My Burmese heritage heavily influenced the themes of my collections. I try to integrate the understated elegance of Eastern cultures with the more individualistic traits prized in Western cultures.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
ANP: Before I touch a pen and paper, I typically have an inspiration or a theme that I want to explore. I pick out certain details from it, such as the shapes, and from there I sketch out designs by transforming the shapes into something new and wearable. After I have the designs finalized, I create 3D models of them on my computer. When I have a creative block, I let it sit for a while and go back to it the next morning with a fresh perspective.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
ANP: My journey hasn’t been a smooth sail. People don’t see the struggles every entrepreneur faces behind the curtains. When I first started, it was a one-woman operation and I was living off of coffee and excitement. Being a woman in the workforce has challenges but it’s important to stand your ground. People will respect you if you come from a place of strength and honesty. So, my advice is to learn to be independent, and to not be afraid to try something new. Pursue your passion and don’t get deterred if you don't succeed at the first try because the key is to be persistent. You also have to want the stress and the struggles that comes with it if you want to be successful.

FS: How can people contact you?
ANP: I always reply emails quickly. I can be reached at anpyu@mondselle.com


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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