Kintry founder Michelle Chai Li-Shen started her artisanal snack company with health in mind. Her delicious products include salted egg yolk potato chips, macadamia cookies, pandan gula melaka granola, salted butter caramel granola, honey quinoa granola and oat cookies.
To celebrate Merdeka with the gift of delicious treats, Kintry has collaborated with local artist Fazarizan Mukhtar to come up with a jovial design for two gift boxes. “Michelle had seen my art for Hari Raya, for which I drew many people in colourful baju raya. She was interested to do a collaboration, but one that included the different races of Malaysia. I was very excited,” she tells Options.
Fazarizan, a self-taught artist who quit banking for motherhood, picked up her old hobby of art in her spare time, and it slowly developed into something more. “I used to do traditional art, but my children were growing up and I didn’t have time to focus on it. So, I decided to learn something new, and started to draw on my phone. Slowly, I got more requests for commissions and I did a few. It was trial and error. As my customers grew, I changed to an iPad. I learnt a lot from YouTube,” Fazarizan says. Although she has been a freelance artist for almost seven years, it was during last year’s first lockdown that she started to do digital art.
While this is Fazarizan’s first collaboration, she has previously been part of other commercial projects, including designing a billboard for Kraftangan Malaysia and illustrating money packets for businesses.
For the Kintry collaboration, Fazarizan says it took about a month to bring her designs to fruition — including the time spent brainstorming ideas with Chai. “We wanted to include different elements of Malaysian people, like the traditional clothes. I wanted to create something that makes people happy. Nowadays, everyone’s mood is up and down, and the gift box’s function is to make people happy. So, I wanted to do an illustration that is uplifting,” she explains.
There are two types of gift boxes for this collaboration, both of which offer a selection of Kintry goodies, a personalisable card and Fazarizan’s colourful designs. The first is the Anak Malaysia box, available in three sizes: Mini (RM40.99), Midi (RM66.99) and Maxi (RM77.99). “An important part of Malaysian culture is food. So, I explored our food by asking my followers on Instagram what their favourite food was, especially kuih. Even Michelle wanted to include food that Malaysians really eat,” Fazarizan says. The design on this box features Malaysian faces sharing our favourite food and drink, including teh tarik, bubble tea, kuih, bao, curry puff and, of course, Kintry’s snacks.
The second design is the Bangkit Malaysia gift box, which comes in three larger variations: Mini (RM102.99), Maxi (RM109.99) and a Mix box (RM99.99), for which you can choose which Kintry snacks you want to include. The design for the Bangkit Malaysia box, while just as colourful as the first, shows another side of local culture. “For the second box, we have people dancing. To do this, I learnt a lot about everyone’s different dances. I had fun creating something happy with dancing,” she says.
With this collaboration, the artist stepped out of her comfort zone, doing a lot of research and expending a lot of time. “I like using pastel colours, but this was so special because I learnt to play with bright colours. It was new for me. I also learnt that people really love colours like these, that are bright. Pastels bring calmness, but bright colours really bring sunshine,” Fazarizan says.
This special collaboration shows the impressive ability and talent of local creators, be it through making healthy and delicious treats or designing Malaysian inspired art. The main aim of this project was to create a sense of happiness and community by sharing good food. What could be more Malaysian?
This article first appeared on Aug 30, 2021 in The Edge Malaysia.