Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi! I am Loray, and I live in Hong Kong. I worked as a graphic designer for 3 years before deciding to quit my job and spend a month backpacking in Eastern Europe with my friends. I gave my life afterward deep thought; it’s really hard to find balance between living and dreaming in Hong Kong.
Back during the time when I was struggling with balance, I walked around and took photos a lot. Carrying my camera was a must for my daily life, and I noticed how important a comfortable camera strap was. I love the texture and smell of leather, so I tried to make myself a custom leather strap. I received a lot of appreciation and compliments for my very first handmade leather piece, which encouraged me.
Handmade, analog photography and leather craft led me in the direction of LORAY:N, which is my line of photography-related leather products. I’m so thankful that I can live the lifestyle I love.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Besides photography, I spend most of my time with my family and play with my sister’s lovely kid, Tanya, who is just so adorable! I spend my holidays scuba diving, relaxing on the beach, or sitting on the grass.
I also love the old Hong Kong, because traditional things are full of human touch.
What would be the title of your memoir?
“It is never too late to be who you might have been.” – George Eliot. I used to make a lot of excuses for myself, sometimes because I was lazy. I used to get trapped in traditional ways of thinking about discipline and struggle, but now I believe where there’s a will, there’s a way. It’s never too late to learn and it’s never too late to scale a dream and make headway.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from my daily life – observations and personal experiences — and from materials. Conversations with photographers also bring me tons of ideas for improving my designs.
What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade always means love and care. Handmade means one of a kind, quality and attention to detail. Buying handmade means supporting someone who enjoys working with her own hands, and it means supporting an independent artist, fighting against monopolization.
Who has been most influential in your craft?
My boyfriend is the one who has always encouraged me. LORAY:N would not exist if Ryan didn’t push me. Also, my family – I’ve been very lucky to have a great family who supports and never pressures me.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I have loved art since I was a child. I spent my time drawing and folding origami while others were running around the playground.
How would you describe your creative process?
I generate ideas through observation, go treasure hunting in traditional leather shops, spend sunny afternoons photographing my products, have nice chats with people I meet, and work hard with my hands at home.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
Krzysztof Kieslowski. I love the way he recorded ordinary people under Communist rule without including any commentary – allowing images and conversations to express reality instead.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
Every night I sleep with dolls that are handmade by two talented friends of mine. It’s just full of love to share your work.
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
I take one step backwards. With my photography, I question why we always have endless themes we want to shoot when travel, but never take a good look at in our hometowns. I try to step back; shoot with objective eye; feel everything happening around us, even things which I am long accustomed to. Walking down the street holding the camera gives me a deeper understanding of ordinary people’s daily lives, which reminds me to treasure what I have.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
Doing exactly what I’m doing now, but hopefully with a larger workspace. I want to keep myself creative and open to new ideas. I want to feel happy, healthy and loved.