SF x Singapore - Cheryl Tart
This series, SF x Singapore, is our way of celebrating Singapore, via the myriad talents Singapore is home to.
Our first featured artist is Print Artist, Cheryl Teo. Cheryl's hand-drawn print designs can be seen in the fashion world, via brands such as Love Bonito, ilo the label, Shein and more.
Her collaboration with Super Farmers is her first foray into the wellness world.
We drew inspiration from Singapore's beauty we have discovered in the past year and a half. We realised being 'stuck' isn't really so, because it gave us a chance to discover what we've been missing all these years - the secret spots and gorgeous flora and fauna.
Singapore's resilience and efficiency during this pandemic has shown the world what we're capable of.
These, brought us hope. Without a doubt, we knew we were after a theme that would bring hope.
Meeting Cheryl for the first time brought the same feeling of hopefulness. Her child-like spirit and undying passion for her craft made us feel hopeful and uplifted. And if you've read our last blog post, you'd know that we've prescribed a child-like hope-filled mindset to help you meander through tough times, because hope is the only thing that floats, and floating brings you life!
During the pandemic, Cheryl left the corporate world to focus on honing her craft and creativity to bring more joy, hope and magic to the world through her prints. Cheryl’s creative process begins with immersing herself in nature. She was inspired by the success our Urban Farming Kit-grown microgreens brought her; In her own words, "It's the first time a plant has grown so well under my care! I truly felt like a proud plant mum for once!".
We knew then, our Urban Farming Kits brought hope to the many people who felt they could not grow anything because they had 'black thumbs'.
This led to our Super Farmers x Cheryl Teo collaboration - a depiction of hope and seeing the beauty in every facet of life.
This limited edition range is now available only on www.super-farmers.com
Cheryl reveals the inspiration behind this collaboration and how she wishes to spread hope and magic through her art.
1. There is such a child-like purity about you that is honestly so rare in this sceptical world. What are your hopes for the world?
I genuinely hope for peace and love for everyone, for this pandemic to be over, and for humans to be kinder to one another. There is just so much going on around the world right now!
I hope that the world would be more open and shift from subscribing only to mainstream established franchises to supporting local artists, especially since they embody the spirit of doing what they are passionate about. Would be awesome to see even more people starting to embrace this spirit and magic that is encompassed by local artists!
I feel that life is a reflection of what we allow ourselves to see. If we see hope, there is hope. If we see darkness, there is darkness. So I hope that everyone sees and believes in hope. Because “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear”!
2. Thank you for being our first-ever artist collaboration! Can you share with us your thought process when designing these Urban Farming Kits?
Thank you so much for having me onboard! In my print designs, I enjoy experimenting with creative techniques and telling a story with my designs by producing unique textile prints that are eye-catching and meaningful. What really inspired me when I designed these labels was the experience of growing my very own Chinese Kale from the Urban Farming Kit and seeing it flourish. It had a great impact on me - as it is the first time a plant has grown so well under my care. I truly felt like a proud plant mum and it was a kind of pure joy.
During these uncertain times, we have a chance to slow down, and learning to appreciate and connect with nature is so powerful as it is also a healing process when you nurture something. This collection encompasses the idea of growth, not only for the plant but us growing together with the plant - which is even more meaningful.
I hand-painted different stages of the plant growing process with acrylic paint, in an abstract style. I wanted to convey the concept of growth from a seedling to plant, captured via different elements in the print: from abstract paintings of the soil, seedling, mini sprouts, to fully-grown leaves and even water flowing! This set of labels feature a hand painted leaf in the front that is growing in size as well, across the 3 different microgreens, to signify growth in different stages.
For the colour palette, I chose vibrant and eye-catching colours to instantly lift your mood when you look at it! I’ve read that surrounding your plants with good vibes help to them grow better too, so hopefully my designs will help your micro greens to flourish!
I hope that when people look at these label designs, they would feel this sense of joy looking at the bright colours and the different elements of the print would remind them of Growth and Hope.
An important reminder that amidst these tough times, there is beauty in life, and to grow something that benefits you and your body is just a magical combination.
3. You have done a wide variety of textile print design work! How do you continue to be open to new ideas? Can you share what motivates you to be open to change?
I have so many ideas in my head and so many creative directions that I want to embark on in my business. The textile print designs that I design can be translated onto surfaces like fabric, interior, ceramics and everything in between! My work serves to add vibrancy and life to any regular item, so it would be hard for me to not be open to change! Being very passionate about prints helps me stay motivated as well, as I’m always looking for new avenues to integrate my textile prints into, and one of the things that excite me the most is when I’m commissioned to work on projects that are completely out of the norm and I have yet to work on before. These moments where I get to step out of my comfort zone are where my creative juices flow exponentially, and I would love to keep growing as an artist / print designer, and would hope to keep growing with the years and projects to come.
4. What stifles your creative flow? Is there a ritual you must do, in order to always be in a state of creative flow?
Having a good work-life balance helps me stay inspired, from hustling hard and seeing my work being launched, to taking some time off to be in nature, to feel rejuvenated again – that really helps me feel refreshed and ready to take on new projects and designs! With that being said, if I don’t recharge myself in a different environment (from my work desk), I find myself feeling a little stuck, and that stifles my creative flow. Oh, and that I cannot work on an empty stomach, so I am always snacking or constantly munching on something as I work! I love cookies, it’s a great pick-me-up mid-day to refuel my body and my creative juices!
5. Can you share with us a few of your favourite Singaporean things to do/ un-common places to go/ people we must stalk on IG?
My most favourite Singaporean thing to do would have to be eating! I love visiting my favourite food joints and satisfying my cravings, I live to eat! Would love to design a print related to food one day. I love hiking as well, conquering different nature trails in Singapore and finding new spots in nature to inspire myself. Some of my favourite nature spots are Kranji Marshes, Coney Island and MacRitchie Reservoir Park, to name a few! Somehow being in nature gives me hope - that everything comes full circle and there is this peaceful and tranquil feeling being surrounded by greenery, and also to give my eyes a break from all the screen time at work!
I have to say I am a huge fan of this year’s National Day song and music video, ‘The Road Ahead’! Not exaggerating but I have watched it at least 200 times, because I really love the animation and different scenes in the MV, it is so creative! I even watched the Behind The Scenes of the animation and I felt so inspired seeing the animators share about their inspiration or creative process behind each scene that they worked on! Kudos to everyone who was involved in producing this MV! My favourite part is how they combined reality and animation together, it has such an upbeat energy, coupled with the touching song lyrics - it really gives me hope during this uncertain period! For Singapore and the world.
Do check out @linyingmusic on Instagram if you have not heard the piano version that she did, her voice is so lovely! And also, follow @cheryltart on Instagram to see more of my work and the processes that go on behind the scenes! I am open to all kinds of projects, from fashion, to interior prints, even wall murals, prints for weddings, gifts etc. The possibilities are endless as my prints are very versatile! Just drop me a DM / email, happy to work on anything art-related basically :)
These 18 months of the pandemic has not been easy for everyone. In line with this year’s National Day song, The Road Ahead:Our home, the home we share
Let us look all take a deep breath and rest in the comfort that there is hope. Slowly start to notice the simple joys in life and stop to look at how far you have come and grown through these hard times. We are going to be alright. Happy National Day!
Author: Nicole Chan
Edited by: Cynthea Lam