By Taylor Reid
This spring Becky Hui Chan from Honey & Bloom headed out to the San Francisco Botanical Gardens to see its annual native wildflower blooms. Becky graphically illustrated four of the blooms and created this print, California Native Blooms, exclusively for The Bold Italic's Shop. She filled us in on some of the details of her amazing work and what inspires both the piece and her designs.
There are so many beautiful wildflowers in California and picking a few to represent this state was definitely hard to do.
What flowers are in the "Native Bloom" print and why did you choose them?
I chose four blooms that really stood out to me because of their color, shape, and size. This print is an interpretation of the Clarkia flower, California Poppy, Matilija Poppy, and the Douglas Iris. There are many types of Clarkias and they come in an array of colors, ranging from pink to magenta. The California Poppy is the state flower. You can’t miss them this time of year; their yellow and orange shades can be seen for miles all over the state. The Matilija Poppy would have to be one of my favorite blooms; they are absolutely breathtaking. The Douglas Iris drew my attention because of its distinct shape. They mainly come in white, yellow, blue or purple, but some of the blooms I saw were a mix of those colors, creating the most beautiful greenish blue and purplish tones.
What are your biggest design inspirations living and working in San Francisco?
My biggest inspiration is definitely the city itself, our community, and what we’re surrounded by…the ocean, beautiful parks, and all the different neighborhoods.
Who are your favorite designers of all time (local and non-local)?
My all time favorite designers + artists would have to be Charles and Ray Eames, Ellsworth Kelly, Alexander Girard, Dieter Rams, Sheila Hicks, Ruth Asawa, and Maya Lin.
Your work looks similar to watercolor paintings; do you ever use paint, or do you only work digitally?
I do most of my work digitally, but I definitely sketch and use watercolor and other materials in my ideation phase as part of the process in bringing my concepts and ideas to life.
You were born, raised, and lived in SF all of your life. What makes you proud to be a San Franciscan? What do you miss that used to exist in SF that no longer is around today?
San Francisco will always be the place that I call home. It has given me many opportunities I don’t think I would have gotten elsewhere. The culture here is rich – there's lots to learn and many people to learn from. We celebrate being unique and different. We are surrounded by so much creativity and amazing talent that it’s hard not to be motivated to try new things and to push our own limits.
We are surrounded by so much creativity and amazing talent that it’s hard not to be motivated to try new things and to push our own limits.
Growing up, the neighborhoods I hung out in the most were North Beach and Chinatown. Time has definitely changed those areas. When some of my favorite places closed, I felt like a part of my childhood was taken away from me. I definitely get nostalgic at times, but I do believe that change is good, and San Francisco is still a pretty cool city to explore and discover. A small gem that is still around in North Beach is Liguria Bakery; it’s where you can get the best focaccia bread this side of the Pacific!