I am Timmy Tham Yun Ling, from Shah Alam, Malaysia. I studied at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and graduated in Spring 2016. Prior to studying at the Academy of Art University, I studied language and animation in Japan for two years before deciding to pursue my dream of working in the fashion industry in the United States. I discovered my passion for textiles, which is rooted in my love for colors and texture. I believe that textiles are the fundamental foundation of fashion.
I originally come from Malaysia, which is a country of diversity, and my cultural heritage made me find inspiration in my surroundings, every shape and form. Growing up in a big family of different personalities helped to shape my attitude towards art as a whole. My thirst for knowledge added to my creativity and imagination. I am blessed to have been able to travel to different countries at a young age due to my dad’s occupation, which required him to meet with business partners from all over the world. This allowed my imagination and creativity to expand further and helped to solidify my own sense of design style.
I remember drawing a lot of fashion croquettes as a nine-year-old child on the couch in my living room. My mom came over and expressed her admiration and then showed my sketches to my aunt who said, "You'll be a great artist one day." I didn't think much of her statement at the time. However, my aunt’s words stayed with me all through high school and even college. Subconsciously, I guess I already knew what I wanted at a young age.
I find art to provide a sense of exploration and an outlet for me to release my creativity and imagination onto paper or fabric. I can visualize intricate designs in my mind and turn them into reality. I've always believed that art has the ability to make people happy and that it is able to make a strong personal statement. I chose to be a textile designer because I want to see my art on a functional item like clothing or furniture. I would love for my art to be both used and admired, and have my prints influence the mood of those who come in contact with them.
Academy of Art University
San Francisco, CA · 2011 – 2016
I learned a lot during my five years as a student at the Academy of Art University. My instructors constantly pushed me to do better and made me believe in my talents as a textile designer. My collaboration with famed drag queen Juanita More on a bags project made me expand my horizons in terms of not only thinking about my own personal viewpoint as an artist but also considering the customer’s point of view. Even towards the end of my final semester, when I saw my senior collaboration work in the fashion show, I couldn’t help but express my satisfaction at knowing that prints I created added significant depth to the fashion silhouettes. When I collaborated with seven other fashion designers, I learned that teamwork produces wonderful fashion and as each and every fashion designer has his or her own distinctive style, my own distinct style as expressed in my textile prints bound their styles together into one cohesive collection, bringing harmony to our collaboration.