"The more people talk about menstruation, the less embarrassed people will be around the topic" - Charlene Man, Hong Kong based artist

Born in Hong Kong, Charlene Man is our featured artist in our newly-launched plastic-free period set that includes our new cardboard applicator tampons!

Find out more about Charlene's background, the inspiration behind the collaboration, and her experience with our favourite topic, periods!  

Can you share with us your artistic journey/background? 

I studied illustration in the UK, University of the Arts London, Camberwell College of Arts. Upon graduation, I worked in London for a few years before deciding to move back to Hong Kong in 2015. I started working on freelance illustration projects but got frustrated when my first freelance project (a children's book) took a year to complete.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

When I got back to Hong Kong, my mother was constantly asking me to find a full-time job and I spent a lot of nights ideating. This inspired my first exhibition idea based on downtime and laziness. This was a travelling exhibition and it greatly inspired a lot of my works. It travelled through Osaka, Hong Kong, and other countries in Asia, this was how I started out as a freelance artist. One of my favourite artworks from this trip was a piece that shreds to-do lists!

After this exhibition, I got my live-in studio in Hong Kong. Creating works for exhibitions and book fairs is something I really enjoy. I love travelling for work and getting inspired on these travels.

How much do you identify your own personal character with your artwork? 

My own works are more a representation of myself, but with commissioned work, I stay true to my style but am open to tweaking it based on the brand’s preferences. It works differently depending on the client.

Why did you want to collaborate with LUÜNA?

I met Olivia at a party where a mutual friend introduced us. We were both based in the UK and that was something we had in common to kick off our conversation. We discussed the period cup and how I was eager to try it out too! I prefer to work with local brands and support their growing communities especially when a brand does something amazing for the community that I’d love to support.

Can you tell us about your design process for the packaging and zine?

Ideation usually takes about 2 weeks. I sat with the idea for about 2 weeks and once I had the idea it was pretty quick. I usually draw a lot then work with the negative space by removing items from my illustrations. 

How does your period affect your creations?

I usually take my downtime during my periods and make the effort to do so. I usually create less during that time.

How is your period care routine like? 

I use pads primarily but am exploring other period care options. 

Are there any personal experiences you would love to share about your period that can break taboos?

I’m super open about my period with my family and friends. I got my first period wearing all white during a physical education class. I had to change and was mocked for it. When I got home, I took the pads from my mum’s storage and she didn’t know I had my period till months after due to her busy schedule. 

What do you think society needs to do around the subject of menstruation? 

Talking openly about menstruation. The more people talk about it, the less embarrassed people will be around the topic. People would openly carry period care around and know it is nothing to be ashamed of and rather something to be proud of. 

Is there anything you wanna share with other aspiring creatives out there?

You don’t get what you don’t ask for. You need to go out and get what you want and find opportunities. Meet people and find interesting work to do. 

Shop the Plastic-Free Period Set

Charlene's photos credit: @jerryhahaa & @j.s.thom
Product Photos: @innerpeaceof_marcus

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