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Welcome to Empath Designs®

Meet the artist

Germaine (also known as Zhu May) is a digital artist and graphic designer based in Melbourne, Australia.

Originating from Penang, Malaysia, Germaine is best known for her colourful digital artwork, blending geometric patterns with visionary symbolism. Her interpretations of daily life are often known to awaken feelings of happiness, gratitude, empathy and peace, deeply expressing her character and personality.

Germaine’s desire to create has flourished, first from a love of all types of creative arts during childhood, then drawing inspiration from a myriad of artists throughout the years.

Her adventures as a freelance multimedia designer have uncovered a deep love of self-expression, and an understanding of how it can connect with others. Exploring new project ideas draws her toward concepts that embody her personal values, in the hope this also inspires others.

Background

Born and raised on the tropical island of Penang in Malaysia, Zhu May was born to a Malaysian-Chinese background, specifically of Peranakan Nyonya heritage.

She got into the arts young. Starting with piano at four, Taekwondo at eight and was also in an instrumental rock band playing keyboards in her late teen years.

She was an active athlete throughout school and would never fail to find opportunities to express her creativity in different ways from painting to sculptures.

Exploring the digital world

Zhu May moved to Melbourne, Australia after finishing high school to further her studies. This was also when she chose Germaine as her English name.

Originally she’d wanted to study sound engineering because of her love of music.

However, plans changed that led her down the path of multimedia design. Little did she know that it'd open her up to a world of possibilities.

At Swinburne University, her world opened up to a variety of subjects including graphic design, vector art, film, video editing, 3D design, flash programming, augmented reality design and animation.

Learning a wide set of skills was fun which planted the seed for Germaine to start her own design/art brand, though she didn't know what yet. This thought stayed with her on and off for years.

After graduating from university, Germaine explored a variety of roles in the industry. From a Flash Development role to Digital Producer, Germaine also found herself freelancing for a variety of clients in various industries.

How Empath Designs began

One day in early 2014, Germaine was at her favourite bookstore in Singapore, she stumbled upon two books which inspired her to start creating her art - a book on mandalas, and a book on flower therapy.

Curious, she bought the book on Flower Therapy (written by Sydney author Robert Reeves) and was fascinated with the world of energetic healing. This was also the same time when she discovered what 'empaths' were and deeply resonated with what she learned.

She started to research more about mandalas, sacred geometry and meditation, and felt a huge urge to create something artistic.

This was how Empath Designs and the first collection, Perennial Harmony was born, as well as the beginning of her spiritual journey.

Influences and Inspiration

Germaine attributes her artistic development to many wonderful and varied life experiences.

Bliss and sadness, loss and true love, humility and self-confidence; each of these experiences and emotions finding their place within her artwork.

Travelling from a young age brought exposure to many world cultures and fostered a fascination with world artwork, mythology, history, religious architectures and social landscapes.

Her spiritual journey has also had a big impact on her artwork, incorporating sacred geometry, mandalas and other esoteric elements that flow with the subject of the piece.

Germaine enjoys developing her own interpretations of this ancient knowledge and symbolism. She is passionate about integrating her ideas into innovative artwork concepts that encourage empathy, awareness, and a deeper understanding of our own personal growth.

Sustainability Goals

Amidst these memories has grown a deep appreciation and awareness of our environment, which encourages Germaine to explore sustainability practises in life and in her artwork.

Increased longevity and quality of product materials are a big focus, such as the usage of sustainably sourced materials (eg: bamboo) and recycled fibres (eg: recycled polyester).

Recycled materials for the digital printwork and all commission pieces serve to reduce as much waste as possible. These choices lower the carbon footprint and impact of all artwork produced.

The value of each piece takes all these aspects into account, encouraging others to make environmentally conscious decisions with personal purchases.

Germaine is a huge advocate for bamboo and her long-term goal is for all merchandise by Empath Designs® to be sustainably made using 100% bamboo.

Present

It's been an incredible journey for Germaine, with huge shifts throughout the past few years while on her own personal journey of self-love and self-connection.

Surrendering to life, the lessons and experiences it offers and embracing her spiritual gifts, Germaine is now focusing her energy full-time into Empath Designs® while also integrating energetic healing into her artwork.

She hopes to be able to help others with their journey of self-discovery by sharing the benefits of art and mindfulness meditation.

Collaboration and connection

For all inquiries

Contact Germaine regarding any commission work, collaboration inquiries or if you have any questions about the artwork.

Follow Empath Designs® on social media (links in the footer).