Avoir Young designs and produces unique, vibrant hand-painted hats that are sure to catch the eye and the imagination. Avoir takes pride in the individuality of his designs – everyone is unique, so his hats are too.
What do you make?
I make funky, artistic and unique hand painted hats, caps, fedoras and clothing.
How did you get into your craft?
My background is in graphic design – I used to work for a press company for many years doing all of the prints, logos, brochures etc. I felt that my routine was becoming the same every day and I really wanted a change. I was watching a documentary about hand-painting on television and that’s how I started. I did some research and found a course in Korea where I went on to study for about 1 year, then I came back to New Zealand in 2010 to start my own hand painting collection.
Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I have a Bachelor of Visual Communication Design which took me four years. I also have a Certificate of Hand Painting from Korea which took me about a year, where I started to refine my style.
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
My favourite materials and tools are fabric paint, glitter, pens, brushes, studs and of course hats and clothing. In terms of the process, after I pick the right garment for the right design it normally takes 1-2 days to complete. Since completing my design studies I know how to get the right ideas, research, and brainstorming and apply this into my style, after I have made a sketch, I start to paint.
What inspires you?
Mostly tattoos, cool artwork and illustrations.
Describe your workspace:
Messy! I definitely cleaned up for you. Hand painting isn’t exactly a glamorous craft. Usually, I am ending up with all of the clothes, paints and the tools everywhere.
Five words that describe your mind:
Unique, positive, happy, thankful and different!
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
My motto is ‘One of a kind’- everyone is different and nowadays the clothing is not, so I wanted to break that rule.
Your favourite feedback from a customer:
“This is probably my favourite hat to date! When I saw you had another Phoenix hat for sale, I had to purchase it. And my initials on it look AWESOME! Definitely love the stars and the cold blue colour goes really well with the dark red tone of the Phoenix. Thank you so much for all your help! Whenever people ask me where my hats are from I always tell them about your shop Thanks again!”
What are you currently listening to? French music. I don’t know the title of it!
Recommend an album: Hotel Costes, Etta James, Sam Smith and Louis Armstrong.
What’s your favourite childhood book? Peter Pan. I don’t want to get old!
What are you reading now?
I used to read, but nowadays I only read the articles or scribbles from internet. What a shame.
Who is your hero/heroine and why?
Superman… I guess he is the strongest! Art wise – probably Don Ed Hardy.
A favourite quote: “Here comes the sun…”
If you were a crafty superhero, what would your name and superpower be?
Multi-Taskeeeer! I do the buying, making, drawing, painting, marketing and selling all myself.
What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Be patient! Even if you do not sell anything. Don’t panic.
What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
I bought a few handmade soaps from the last market I attended. The smell and the packaging was irresistible, we are still using it at home and I have given some away as gifts.
What’s in store for the coming year?
I have a really exciting year ahead. I will be attending more markets and making more hand painted hats and clothing. I currently have a few custom orders to make but I will be focusing more on kids’ custom hats (which includes my three kids as well!).
Avoir has kindly offered this gorgeous prize for one lucky Felt blog reader: a hand painted snapback cap with an awesome unicorn motif worth $59 (pictured below). To win this great prize, leave a comment telling us what you like about Avoir’s philosophy and his creations. The draw will be made on Friday 17 July and is open to New Zealand residents only.