Singaporean illustrator Teresa Lim (aka Teeteeheehee) on art, meditation and her collab with Sunglass Hut

Singaporean illustrator Teresa Lim (aka Teeteeheehee) on art, meditation and her collab with Sunglass Hut

Special feature

Text: Andrea Sim

Image: Images of totes by Ashley Mak

The local artist chats life beyond stitches and illustrations, and the calming effect of repetition

It is not often one comes across a person who professes love for repetition. Chances are slim to none either, of meeting an individual who can attest to having ever cross-stitched in the guard tower of the Great Wall of China. And those are just some of the things we find intriguing about local illustrator and embroidery artist, Teresa Lim (above).

Better known as Teeteeheehee, she is amongst the coterie of artists under the commission of Gucci's Alessandro Michele. Her myriad of muses — she names people, scenery and experiences as constant inspirations — wheedled Singapore Airlines onboard for art and travel collaborations. Just recently, a colleague proclaimed an illustration by Lim the most meaningful gift she could present her soon-to-be married sister with.

Her latest enthusiast? Eyewear retailer Sunglass Hut. "Lim is drawn to colours, textures, lines, and patterns — all the things that make up the perfect pair of sunglasses," explained Wedaad Lima, Regional Marketing Manager of Sunglass Hut. "Her designs for us encapsulate the transition a perfect pair of sunglasses can make for one's mood." In occassion of Lim's latest work which embody Sunglass Hut's holiday campaign 'Find Your Shine' — fronting their festive totes and complimentary with in-store purchases* — she shares the story behind her designs, how words fragment snapshots in her mind, and that one time cross-stitching on one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World.

Sunglass Hut teresa lim find your shine campaign

What are your favourite subjects?
People and scenery. I find people interesting because they have so many stories to tell, hidden under the facade of what they choose to express. On par with that, scenery. It is absolutely the most tranquil thing for me.

Do you use your work to express yourself?
I'm not very good with words, so sometimes what I try to convey comes out best in visuals. With embroidery, it is a time consuming process but I love the medium because it is very repetitive — almost like meditation. It is through this I feel most connected with my thoughts and the subject I am working on.

A memory or image you're itching to illustrate?
I have many! But putting them down in words kind of spoils the visual in my head...  

What is the story behind your illustrations for Sunglass Hut?
I imagined an outing with friends where everyone dresses up, looks fab, and feel great. Like it's us against the world.

In spirit of their 'Find Your Shine' campaign, how do you stand out?
That to me means discovering what you're good at, which brings joy and happiness. I think I do exactly that!

When you're not cross-stitching or illustrating, you... 
Read or play the violin.

The most unlikely place you've found yourself working?
The guard post of the Great Wall of China, baking under the sun. 

And the craziest thought you've had while illustrating?
I've contemplated if the moral of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is that no one likes you unless you're useful. And then, what if Rudolph was already as useful as the other reindeers? Does that mean deviation from the norm will be punished unless its exploitable? Hmmmm.

What is your favourite part of Christmas?
The sweaters!

Round, aviator, or rectangular sunglasses?
Round. But if I have to be specific, cat eye.

*Receive Sunglass Hut's complimentary canvas tote featuring illustrations by Lim with any sunglass purchase made in-store. Available for a limited time only.