Q&A with Creative Mixed Media Artist Luthien Thye

Luthien Thye, Mixed Media Artist, Book Maker, Jewelry Artist from Altered Alchemy

I have known Luthien Thye for awhile now. It started off with me being a big fan of her work. Being a fan of fantasy and magic myself, I was awed by how she created this world of magical stories and adventures through her work; not forgetting, living vicariously through her active DIY home projects too! In 2014, Luthien gave me the opportunity to include her in one of my previous interviews. Since the pandemic in 2020, the interview topics on The Artsy Craftsy has made a comeback to celebrate the local creatives in Malaysia's arts and crafts community. What a great time to catch up with Luthien for the second time to find out what's new in her world of wonder and if she has any golden nuggets to share as an experienced artist/maker. 
- Shia Lynn

Thanks for doing this again, Luthien! Describe yourself in a short blurb:

Hi! I’m Luthien and I am a Mixed Media Artist, a Book Maker, Jewelry Artist and a Traveler of Realms. If I were to describe myself briefly, it would be “I am no artist, just a dreamer!”

How do you create balance between your personal life as a mother and as a maker?

I am fortunate because I work from home. I have created a small setup for myself in an unused space in my condo apartment. I am there when my kids come home from school, I am there when it’s lunch or dinner time. My kids sometimes sit beside me when I create and watch me, or they will be creating alongside me. I also like to create way into the night when everyone is asleep and the world is quiet. I have never found it difficult to create the balance between being a mother and a maker. In fact the reason I became an artist is because I decided to quit my previous job and stay home with my kids. They were the catalyst of Altered Alchemy.

How did you create a niche in the products and services that you offer?

I actually did not intend this at all. The art created the niche. I just took what I personally loved, like found objects, salvaged items … anything old and peculiar, and incorporated them into my artwork. I believe that if you honestly believe in what you do, you are passionate, it shows on the things you make. And you don’t have to necessarily create a niche, the niche finds you. If you know what I mean!

How did you evolve overtime as a maker?

I think like anything in life, you evolve as you gather more life experiences, when you do more research and as you grow older as a person. I feel like when I started this journey, I was ‘sifting’ through a lot of different artforms and a lot of different things I can use for my artwork. Then slowly I narrowed down what called to me. And as the journey continues, I continue to seek, and learn from others before me. I think in the beginning I made things more for aesthetic reasons. Now, I feel like all of my artwork have a story to tell, and I hope the layers comes through in their aesthetics.

What are the challenges that you have faced as a maker and how did you overcome them?

Creative block! Haha! I know each and every one of you artists out there have definitely gone through this many many times. Creative block is the most frustrating thing. The scariest thing is when it turns into procrastination and wasteful idleness. Normally I would put on my favorite movies that I know will inspire my creative juices to flow, one of them being Lord of the Rings. Or I would divert my creative energies to a different form of art, like DIY or interior decorating, just to allow myself to let loose a bit. Like letting your normal creative muse go on a vacation!


Creative Advice in Times of Covid

Coping with the current climate, what are your tips for makers to stay relevant with their handmade business?

1. Stay Calm. It IS difficult, but the worst you can do is overthink. That will not only be detrimental to your art, it will also affect you as a person.

2. For those who need to make and sell art to survive, perhaps diversify into doing other things for the moment.

3. Survival first! You can be creative in almost anything that you do. Who knows, you may be able to craft yourself a new creative outlet from this adversity.

4. Finally, remember:
- Adversity is the mother of invention
- This too shall pass

Follow Luthien, Altered Alchemy on her blog, Instagram and Etsy

Q&A with Creatives is an interview topic by The Artsy Craftsy to empower fellow artists, crafters and makers with artful life and business tips and advice.

The Artsy Craftsy by Shia Lynn documents her journey on exploring life through art, crafts, creativity and creative mindful living. She also covers mainly creative arts and handmade community related stories. We welcome content collaboration with creatives, creative lifestyle event invites, including sponsored content and brand partnerships. Request for our rate card or speak to us about our creative service. Email theartsycraftsy@gmail.com

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