Ohn Mar Win

Designer Spotlight: Ohn Mar Win


Hi Ohn Mar, please introduce yourself:

Hi folks, I’m a UK based illustrator who’s rather obsessed with food. I have worked in the industry for 20 years starting with editorial illustration and greetings cards. These days I’m best known for my foodie images which have appeared in magazines, books, at food festivals, packaging and branding. I’m also attempting 365 days of paint and am on my 8th Moleskine sketchbook.

If you could give your 10 years younger self one key piece of advice or an insight, what would it be?

Take the time to write down a vision of how you want your life to look in the perfect world and take tiny steps each day to steer yourself in that direction. Listen to what your gut is telling you and always, always dream BIG

When you feel stuck or in a design rut, how do you get yourself out of it and back on track?

I physically leave my art space for a few hours or days, go for a wander down the river, do yoga or do some window shopping. It often means I need to clear space mentally, getting rid of any issues cluttering my brain and come back with a clearer head with room for art

How would you describe your design process?

Before I start any job, whether it's for a pattern, packaging or a recipe I always research either on Pinterest or a stock library if I’m needing a specific pose like someone holding a spoon. Then I draw draw draw a lot on A4 printer paper, using a variety of black pens or nibs. I then scan in the images and add colour in PS and Ai depending on the project. I will most likely take a screenshot of work in progress and post it to Instagram. I love Instagram.

Who are your dream clients or what is your dream project?

A dream project would be illustrating packaging for M&S food - I would most likely cry when that happens. I’d also love to illustrate a cookbook for a famous chef, tying in with their TV series of Asian cooking, and they’d pay me to go along and sketch the local food markets ;)

What has been/have been some of your favourite design projects to date?

I was amazed at how well my images came out for this year's Front Street Foods banners. I also really loved the brief from the Sunday Times as there was a foodie/travel theme.

Ohn Mar's illustrations for Front Street Foods banner

Ohn Mar's illustrations for Front Street Foods banner

There has been an art supply sanction imposed and designers are only allowed to possess 3 items/tools, what do you choose?

Oh my gosh this is too tricky - a Pentel brush pen, white Posca pen and my Moleskine sketchbook 

Where do you find inspiration?

A lot of inspiration for my watercolours comes from stuff I see in normal day to day life or my garden. Since I ‘pin’ almost daily I often see an image that sparks off an idea for a illustrated recipe or watercolour.I also love to visit large department stores like Selfridges where there is a wealth of inspiration 

Who would you say is the greatest designer to have lived is? 

Saul Bass - I’m an avid film fan/ nerd and I simply love his iconic film posters like Vertigo and film title sequences for so many great films during the 20th century. They are so effective yet so simple.

Finish the following sentence: When I'm long gone, I hope people remember me as:

Passionate, mindful, nourishing


Thanks so much for taking part, great responses!

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