Get to know the self-taught graphic designer known as Soft Bwoi

With this in mind, much of Soft Bwoi’s work aims to amplify self expression. She

With this in mind, much of Soft Bwoi’s work aims to amplify self expression. She recently completed two personal projects while working outside her busy day job (at digital agency C27 where she is creative group head), and also the weekends spent at the arts space Safehouse, which she runs with her friends championing local talents and hosting some pretty crazy parties too. In her personal work, Soft Bwoi pushes her creativity beyond traditional categorisation and immerses herself in a pure form of creative expression. This can take the shape of collaging, interior design and video editing to name a few. In Isolation, a three-piece artwork created during Malaysia’s first lockdown in April 2020, the designer poured her feelings of scattiness and loneliness into a grayscale series of works.

She worked on it non-stop for a week, hardly leaving her desk (even though there was barely anywhere she could go). Soft Bwoi looks back on the work as a deeply personal creative expression. She depicts a universal feeling felt by many at the time, picturing what the world feels like during a time when the word ‘unprecedented’ popped up every couple of minutes. “I wanted to make sure it felt mundane as much as it felt hopeful,” she says of the artwork, “that amidst the bleak darkness, there was a glimmer of light that was just as much as stagnant as it was floating.”

Elsewhere, the designer has created the album cover for the local KL artist known as Bastard. In one of her most challenging but enjoyable designs, Soft Bwoi found a way to encapsulate the essence of the enigmatic artist into an image. It started out, however, with her taking a photo of Bastard and then collaging it into an image of him kissing himself. It was another project completed over lockdown, which this time, had its benefits in the fact that the collaborators had time to experiment. In turn, the resulting album artwork is a record of this collaboration, featuring random sketches and collages that intuitively came into fruition. But most of all, the project marks a “super fun” time involving a group of friends and an album that was “genuinely a lot of fun to listen to.”

Though she has lots of plans for the future including all the “normal stability stuff”, one day, it’s her goal that her work with Safehouse can become a full-time gig. She hopes that soon, the art space can become an alternate school for creative learning, nurturing young people to gain further access to creative opportunities and eventually, contribute to the local ecosystem of thriving creativity.