For the past 5 years, Amazin' Graze has always loved supporting creatives from Southeast Asia through collaborations to create a platform that allows them to showcase their work to a wider audience - and it just gives our snacks that extra magic and sparkle! You may remember the unique designs for our Christmas collections the past years by artists, aliitlelamp_ and TinyType.
Introducing the insanely talented artist, Dania Mah (also known as @thatDania) behind this year's Raya Gift Box design! This limited-edition gift box features the cutest illustrations that capture the essence of "balik kampung" nostalgia most Malaysians are familiar with, especially with the presence of the pandemic that has many resorting to celebrations at home with a smaller group of family and friends.
The perfect standout snack for gatherings, find 2 new flavours of our bestselling Dark Chocolate Brownie Chips: Peppermint (a fan-favourite from Christmas last year) and Nuts n' Raisins in the Raya Gift Box. Share MORE happiness in a chocolate-y snap!
Behind the Raya Gift Box...
We had the opportunity to get to know Dania a little better - from how she started her journey as an illustrator to her inspiration for the Raya Gift Box. Read on!
AG: Hi Dania! Thank you for working with us to design this beautiful Raya Gift Box. Tell us a bit more about yourself, how long have you been an illustrator?
Dania: Thank you! I've been commercially illustrating for two and half years since I joined StudioBehind 90, an illustration studio based in Kuala Lumpur.
AG: What would you say inspired you and made you decide to become an illustrator?
Dania: I started drawing at a very young age. The white spaces on my homework pages were either filled with comics, cartoons, or doodles. However, this habit concerned my parents about my future as it grew into me only focusing on art subjects at school. To prove that art/illustration could be a career, I started a small business where I doodled on calculator covers. Although it did not last long or convince my parents, it showed me I could achieve a career in illustration/design as long as I put my mind to it. So, ironically, my parent's concern about my future was what kept my spark going to achieving the creative dream I'm living today.
AG: Do you have a signature illustration style and would you be able to describe it for us?
Dania: A tricky question! My illustration style is still developing and ever-changing. Regardless of the stage, my work aims to capture the colourful and humorous moments that I want to cherish. In other words, my work will rarely be black.
AG: We definitely see that with the Raya Gift Box! Could you share with us the inspiration behind the cheerful illustrations?
Dania: My Eid/Raya traditions have been slightly different in recent years. Both my grandparents passed away not too long ago, and with the pandemic going, the usual Raya festivities can't happen. Despite all this, I felt it would be a missed out year if my family and I didn't try to recreate some Raya memories. Therefore, my inspiration for this box was 'cherishing the precious memories made with your loved ones,' derived from my Raya recollections in particular. Even if our loved ones are far away and our memories wouldn't be as perfect as they would be this year, I hope that we would still carry on the Raya traditions that we can as it matters! That's something I hope the box emotes, so it sparks people's recollection of Raya to encourage them to do the same.
AG: That's a very beautiful message to send across with the Raya Gift Box. Do tell us more about these recollection of Raya memories you have!
Dania: On the first day, my family would go to the mosque for morning prayers with my cousins. Then we'd gather to set off on our road trip to Ipoh to see our relatives. We always have a good lunch catch-up while eating Mak Cik Mah's delicious Raya food and her sacred beef rendang. We'd stay for a few days in Ipoh playing games or visit a tourist spot we'd never been to in the town. Finally, we would end our Raya trip in Penang, where we would have the annual competitive 'Raya golf tournament.' In short, my Eid celebration expands into a family road-trip full of annual bonding, festivities, and fun.
AG: Do you have a favourite moment during Eid?
Dania: Reliving all the Raya traditions with the family, including posing for the numerous photos Aunty Nini takes. It sounds cliche, but it's a rare occasion I embrace as it's the only gathering everyone in my family commits to a festive’s theme and traditions.
AG: What is your favourite thing about the EidRight illustrations?
Dania: The mix of colors on the food, especially. I am proud of how I manage to use this limited color scheme to represent Raya. It's an artistic achievement, haha.
AG: Final question! If you could say one thing to young Malaysian artists, what would it be?
"Every line you draw makes you an artist."
It sounds silly. However, I think a large part of the journey to becoming an artist is to keep creating every day. No matter how chaotic your schedule maybe, you'll be surprised how far drawing one line on your page can take you over time.
AG: Thank you for your time, Dania!
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