Bertha Sun

Self Portrait

Bertha Sun – one for colour and exploration in her designs. We find out a little more about Bertha, including her inspirations, combinations and working practice…

What initially attracted you to textiles as a medium and how was your imagination captured by the patterns you design? I love that textile is basically art you can not only look at, but also touch, feel, wear and live in. It’s not too precious and it’s meant for experiencing. There’s so much room for creativity when you’re designing. Of course there’s the basic stage of designing the pattern, but you also get to decide what fabric or material you want your pattern on. Then there’s different finishing, embroidery, embellishments…. The combinations seem endless.

Soapbox-Press-Interview-Bertha-Sun-2-My desktop scene
My desktop scene

What or who were your early influences and how has your life influenced your work? I think I’m influenced by the creative people around me. When I was a kid, it was my parents. In college it was all my beyond talented classmates. They’re constantly exploring, pushing themselves, and questioning how things are done. When I see that, it makes me excited, and makes me want to push myself harder.

I’m also inspired by the little things I see every day. It could be a pattern I see on my travels, a new bloom in the garden, or a weird colour combination on the streets of Hong Kong.

Soapbox-Press-Interview-Bertha-Sun-3-Embellishment Design
Embellishment Design

What was your route to becoming an artist? It happened organically. I knew since a young age I wanted to do something creative for a living. After college I landed a job as a textile designer for a corporate fashion company. It was almost a 180 from art school but I was able to work with some amazing brands such as J.Crew, Boden, Michael Kors, Karl by Karl Lagerfeld to name a few. I loved my job and was good at it! Last year, I decided it was time to take this experience and go freelance. I have since worked with a broad range of clients for textile collections, custom illustration work, logo design and visual branding.


Explain your work in five words…Weird and not too serious.

Soapbox-Press-Interview-Bertha-Sun-4-Tools and print
Tools and print

How would you describe your work and where do you think it fits within the sphere of contemporary art? For me, there’s nothing more important in life than relationships. So I try to design textiles that engage and inspire people. I hope that my illustrations and sketches bring a feeling of rawness that encourages dialogue and consideration between a person and the piece.


So talk us through your process right from concept to final piece. I usually follow a plan, with room for happy accidents. I start with an idea, whether it’s a style for a print, or a subject matter for an illustration. Then I go crazy and try different ways to execute the idea. I try not to hold back- using different mediums, playing with scale and colour, wherever the process takes me. From there I step back and critique my work. I select what I like most from the drafts I’ve made and finish off the work on the computer because you know, repeats need to be perfect or else it can’t be produced.



Pick three things from your working studio at random and explain to us why you chose these items…

My fresh flowers: Brightens up my room and my mood. Picks me up and calms me down at the same time.

My water beaker: Because hydrating is important. 

Gauche: My current favourite medium


Quick round questions! 

Animals or humans? Both

Painting or drawing? Drawing

Making or concepts? Making!

Pen or pencil? Pencil.

Permanent or temporary? Temporary 🙂

Like it and want to explore more into Bertha’s work? We highly recommend following her website, Tumblr account, Instagram and Society6. Enjoy!!

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