Meet the Maker of the Enchanted Animals collection - Siya Liu of Doodle Duck

Meet the Maker of the Enchanted Animals collection - Siya Liu of Doodle Duck

The Enchanted Animals collection this month at Licensed To Charm. We commissioned illustrator and printmaker Siya Liu of Doodle Duck Designs to create images for a magical jewellery collection of unique and delicate animal coin charms. Each charm is handmade and double-sided; with a beautiful mandala style pattern one side and the whimsical animal design on the other side. Layer the charms on necklaces of different lengths to get on board with the layering trend, or add to earrings and bracelets or bangles making them a fabulous item regardless of your jewellery style.

The launch collection includes 5 different designs- the Bird, Cat, Horse, Dog, and Fox- which are available both in Sterling Silver and in Gold Vermeil. In this blog post, we meet the designer who illustrated the designs used to make the collection. Keep reading to find out more. 

Siya Liu of Doodle Duck

How did you get into Design and Illustration? 

I studied Fashion Design in China, began my career as a junior fashion designer however the more I got into the industry the more I realised that it’s the drawing part I really enjoy. After I finished my Masters in Design at Leeds University, I was pretty convinced I want to be an illustrator. This year I took the plunge leaving my full-time job after several years working in the greeting card industry to pursue my dream to be a full time freelancing designer & illustrator.   

What and where did you study?

I originally trained in fashion design and illustration at Shenzhen University and then the University of Leeds; I have worked for textile, crafting, greeting cards & gifting industries for many years. 

Siya Liu of Doodle Duck

Explain how you created the Animal Illustrations and designs, did anything inspire you?

Most of my works are inspired by my surroundings and often mixed with folk art traditions. I have been living in the West Yorkshire countryside for over 10 years. I am very lucky to live where I am, within 10 minutes walk from my doorsteps I can be in the woods and meeting many different wild animals – swans, deers, hedgehogs, foxes, varies songbirds and even kingfishers. I still remember the first time I encountered a full-size red stag in my local walk (I grow up in the very southern part of China, I never meet a deer in real life before), I was totally stocked by the elegance and the size of the animal… It inspired me to create something to capture that feeling. 

What is your favourite charm from the collection and why? 

I have to say the greyhound/whippet charm, as I am a greyhound lover and currently we have 2 beautiful recused greyhounds living with us. 

Outside of design work, what other things do you like to make or do? 

I am also a printmaker, specialising in screen-printing under the name DoodleDuck Designs. I use traditional hand screen printing techniques to produce different ranges of art prints - from small A5 prints to multicoloured A2 art prints. Alongside my art prints and stationery designs, I also enjoy the slow craft of hand embroidery. I have created a collection of doll making craft kits to celebrate the slow craft movement. 

Are there any exhibitions, galleries or artists that inspire you?

I adore Frida Kahlo and her works, the folky elements of her works definitely inspire me.  

What is your favourite part of the design process?

The doodling part! All works start with sheets of doodles and mind-mapping -  it's the best way to organise my creative thought process.