The Best Things Happen In Small Moments - Interview With Missquai
Just like any long-term love, our relationship with everyday life requires constant reconnection to keep the spark alive! Hong Kong-based illustrator Missquai’s magical yet highly relatable illustrations are picturesque reminders, that the beauty in life comes in small, uplifting things. It could be your Cats-Only laptop, or breakfast pancakes that keep your body and heart warm every morning. Revisiting her fondest memories, the dreamy portrayal of “Home Kong” is also her unique love letter to the city’s urbanites and their sweet encounters.
Dive into Missquai’s fascinating world made of cat-cityscapes, and be prepared to fall in love with your life, again!
AWW: How has growing up in Hong Kong shaped or inspired you to become an illustrator?
Missquai: In fact, it’s not Hong Kong but the experience of working abroad after university that inspired me the most. When I worked in the Netherlands, I realised that life is filled with unlimited possibilities and there’s no model answer on how we should live our own lives. This also encourages me to reconsider my possibilities — that’s why when I went back to Hong Kong, I was hoping to combine illustration with the design knowledge from my studies in order to bring new prospects and perspectives to this city through positive illustrations!
AWW: Can you share an illustration that best represents your relationship with Hong Kong?
Missquai: “Tenderness under the Lion Rock” is the illustration that best represents me and Hong Kong. It portrays one of my teenage memories: just around the corner of the footbridge that connects Kowloon Tong MTR Station and a shopping mall, you could find an old couple selling Chinese scallion pancakes, who keep the stall running rain or shine. Being in the neighbourhood, it is impossible to miss out those pancakes and I could always find comfort in the food they made. This illustration is a reminder that not all of us have to achieve big goals, and that it is also impactful to remain at your post and do all you can, just like the lovely old couple! The tenderness and perseverance of Hongkongers is best represented by this “Lion Rock Spirit”, which has been very close to my heart.
AWW: It’s an honour to feature your bright and positive illustrations in AWW! How do you manage to stay calm and upbeat amidst all the ups and downs?
Missquai: It’s great to know that my illustrations can bring a little joy to people. Hong Kong is where I grew up and I felt deeply as the city has faced her challenges in the last couple of years. Sometimes I feel sad, and I have doubts about whether I can keep creating positive content. But I believe I should keep doing this. It is very important to stay at one’s post, do as best we can and never lose hope! And of course, my cats are always a great source of positive energy :)
AWW: What are the things in Hong Kong that inspire your joyful illustrations?
Missquai: Most of my illustrations are inspired and motivated by ordinary details and people in daily life, and they are what make our city so beautiful. It’s easy to ignore the little things and wonderful encounters among the hustle and bustle of the city, but the beauty has always been there.
AWW: We are so happy to have collaborated with you for the first four issues of AWW Magazine! Which is your favourite piece? What do you want to do next with AWW?
Missquai: AWW My Time Capsule’s “2020, A Year with Cats” is my favourite so far — it gave me a chance to organise my feelings and reflect on the things that had happened to me in the past year. Be it good or bad, they all make me a better version of myself (and a better cat slave!).
In the future, I would really love to illustrate the stories of people in different industries with AWW!
AWW: Last but not least, can you share with us 3 illustrators from Taiwan and Thailand that you love?
To find out more about Missquai, please visit the artist’s IG account | @missquai
All images provided by Missquai.
About We Love Milk Tea Series
Since showing up on social media in 2020, #MilkTeaAlliance has been around for a while, and represents a shared love of tea drinks in Hong Kong (Milk Tea), Thailand (Iced Thai Tea) and Taiwan (Bubble Tea)! But the similarities are way more than that. Yes, people from all 3 cities love traveling and sharing their experiences, but there was also the way the youths were suddenly thrust into the world’s eyes as well. You could say that tea drinks are a powerful symbol of emotional connections and support!
In this series, we’ll be introducing the beautiful souls we met in these 3 cities. Let’s see what made their creative souls rise and shine!