After moving to Singapore on a whim, it’s safe to say things are panning out for Katrina Cruz—Yna, for short. Beyond her work in the office, the associate design director and nonstop maker opened a shop for her artwork. We sat down to talk inspiration, illustrations and the art of unwinding.
When did you start at LPK Singapore?
I used to work in the advertising industry in Manila. It was late hours and long days—and I just wasn’t happy. So I dropped everything, packed my bags and flew to Singapore to couch crash and find a job. On the last day my tourist visa was valid, LPK called me back. So this year marks three years at LPK Singapore—and three years on taking a chance.
What projects are you working on right now that you’re really excited about?
We just traveled to Kuala Lumpur to conduct research and develop innovative food concepts for a client using local ingredients. Being able to experience another culture and dive deep into a specific category is incredibly inspiring.
What about side projects?
I love to draw. So right now, I’m drawing and making lapel pins and hand-drawn beads. I’m drawing on furniture and I’m also making kumihimo bracelets. I have an online store where I sell my illustrations, too. My husband even has a tattoo I designed.
Singapore is known for its pretty awesome food scene. What’s your go-to?
Nasi Padang (Malay food) near the office. They serve a very yummy Dry Mee Siam there. I get it for breakfast or lunch—or both.
If you could take anyone to dinner there, who would it be?
I’m really inspired by BROSMIND, a brother duo in Barcelona that creates really playful and quirky illustrations. I’d love to pick their brains and soak up some of their creativity.
What else can you not live without—besides, you know, sticky date pudding?
My husband. He was an art director at my last job in the Philippines. He dropped everything so we could move to Singapore together. We got married in Manila last year.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?
Well, the gift of life. (I’m due in October!)
Seems like you’re creating, traveling and inspiring all the time. How do you unwind?
Netflix, YouTube and HGTV. I love watching Ghost Adventures. It’s creepy and entertaining at the same time. My current binge is Master of None, but my favorite is Stranger Things. For days when I just want mindless entertainment, I put on House Hunters.
Any advice for those aspiring to do the work you do?
Don’t let fear be a barrier to your creativity—do what you feel like doing. Without this in mind, I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now—and I’m really proud of where I am at right now.
Talk maker culture, Singapore food secrets and groundbreaking design with Yna at email@example.com.