NUR ASHIKIN HUSSIN prefers being called by her nickname, Eureka. The 26-year-old illustrator grew up in a family passionate about art – she watched her dad paint all the time, while her mum was an art teacher.
Eureka soon realised her own talent for watercolour illustration. She said: “I first began sharing my works online in 2011 and discovered that the Internet was a great place to connect with both my audience and other creatives.
“At the age of 21, I was invited to join my first show-and-sell creative event in 2015, where I sold most of my original works. It became the starting point to take my art to another level, and where I started my profession as an artist while being a full-time architecture student.
“My art style has changed a lot, especially since I started digital art two years ago. I believe that artistic style evolves and grows over time. I don’t strive for perfection and realism in creating, but [lean] more towards stylised drawing.”
She continues to create art for herself and others, under the name Eurekart Studio.
How did you come up with the alias Eureka?
“Eureka was actually a nickname given to me during my high school years. We had a tradition where each junior was given a nickname by their senior. Mine was inspired by Archimedes’ famous ‘Eureka!’ moment – the Archimedes Principle in Physics.
“Eureka is a Greek word meaning ‘I found it’. Joining both the name with something that I am passionate about, art, would mean that you’ve found me through my art.”
I can’t help but notice the recurring theme of celestial bodies in your art.
“My works are heavily inspired by my love for astronomical and celestial objects. [The] idea of us tiny humans being part of the vast universe is always so mesmerising to me.
“I often incorporate the night and the stars in my works. The night is my time to shine; when my mind comes out to play. I often find myself thinking and wildly imagining, being more creative at night.
“It’s always astonishing when I look up and see the stars or even think about them. There’s a certain comfort which can be brought only by the night.
“The stillness under the light of the moon and the stars allows us to reflect, restore and reset. Those are the few hours we get to be with only ourselves and our thoughts, and those comforting moments are very precious to me.”
Have you attempted to explore the dark side of life?
“I have, actually! I’m a very different person now than I was 10 years ago, and so is my art.
“In the early years, my art was dark and expressive. I’d have occasional dreams of weird and mystical creatures and I’d paint them. I used to despise colourful outfits and wore only black and white.
“As I grew up, I learnt that my art changes a lot after a breakthrough, and I began to feel more confident with myself with every growth and experience.
“As I developed and become more like ‘me’, my artistic voice did the same. Now, I don’t think I can live without colours!”
You spoke of creative burnout and self-criticism in a previous interview. Do you think self-criticism may have led to a creative burnout?
“Yes, especially working with personal projects. Sometimes I have the tendency to constantly judge and criticise my creative process by comparing with other creatives. That’s when a burnout arises, and I start to doubt why I even started in the beginning.
“When that happens, I simply give myself the time to rest, restore and recalibrate. It works most of the time and I feel the creative juices start to flow again.
“Though, I always feel that it’s easier to focus while working on a client project because the brief, art direction and deadline of the work have clearly been stated before execution.”
On your Instagram bio, it states you are “chasing dreams”. What are you chasing in life?
“I dream of a simple and more meaningful life to come. To live my passion and live the life I love. My small business has become a big part of my life and my creative journey. As much as I love creating for myself, it’s always a dream come true, being able to share [my art] with other people from around the world to appreciate.
“I envision my brand growing globally, and have my designs come to life on home décor products ... as wall art, throw blankets, pillows, curtains and pottery works. I believe that colours and patterns have the power to bring joy and character into our homes.
“I love colours so much and I aspire to see how they impact our lives and how we can [utilise] them in our homes.”