A few months ago, I had this crazy idea of starting a magazine for women such as myself. By some miracle, I bumped into this ahmaayzing person called Lyana, who is part of a team that started an amaayyzing magazine called Musotrees. As soon as I contacted her, I told her of my intentions and you know what, she basically shared with me eeevvvveeerrryyyttthhhiiinnnggg!!!!

I am so freaking inspired by their work, but most importantly I am inspired by Lyana's amazing character of being super generous with the knowledge and contacts that she has. This is what Islam is all about. Sharing and learning from each other. There is still a long way to go for us Muslims so slowly, bit by bit, we will improve ourselves and build a better community. But for now, let's get to know who Lyana is!


Tell me a bit about yourself. 

I spent most of childhood right in the middle of KL, and later my next 5 years in a boarding school. I guess living in a very structured way somehow mould me into who I am today, but I try to loosen up as I grow older. I graduated in 2008 with a Biotechnology degree from UIA and now I am a full time R&D researcher in one of the conglomerates in Malaysia. In short, I’m 32 years old, the elder out of two, soon-to-be aunt (can’t wait for the born of my first nephew) and a scientist.


What kind of things inspire you?

Traveling and being in an unknown place. For me to be able to transport myself to somewhere unfamiliar and foreign brings me to my zen. Learning and experiencing new stuff such as culture and language, always give me inspiration. I always find new ideas and highly inspired after talking to the locals. Owh and good books definitely boost my spirit as well. And more recently, I learned that meeting new people (like people behind LtD) inspires me to do new things and keep doing what I’m doing.


What made you start Musotree magazine?

Well, the idea started off by Kerol Izwan (our Editor in Chief) together with two of our friends Afdzal Ahmad (our Art Director) and Nita Katcharath (fellow Editor) on our  way back from a cafe. All of us a big fan of Offscreen, Monocle and Kinfolk (to name a few), and we are always intrigued and fascinated by their design and how they present their content. I would like to say that we are avid travelers or at least we try to travel as much as we can and we always share our travel stories and photos on social media. We thought, why don’t we share our stories and print it. We promise that Musotrees will not be just another travel magazine, but more like a book that people will keep on their shelf as part of their collection. We’re still at our infancy stage and we’re hoping to grow over the time.


Give us a sneak peek on the second volume.

Volume 2 is totally a new experience for us. If you have read our first Volume, we share some of the best of personal journeys together with two stories from our contributors. The design and layout is minimal, therefore you will experience more white space as you flip over the pages. In our upcoming volume, we pick up a new twist and focus on ‘’inexperienced’’ places. We have 7 contributors, local and international sharing their personal journeys, and 4 interviews with the amazing people based in New York, Sao Paolo, Sydney and Chester. In terms of design, we believe that Afdzal definitely took it to the next level by incorporating fresh layout and design.


What's your take on the future of creative industry in Malaysia?

For a person coming from a technical industry and a newbie, I want more appreciation given to the people in the industry. Not in terms of monetary or award, but more in terms of acknowledgement. I can see that more people are jumping into the industry doing different things but share the same essence and aesthetic values. We don’t have to compromise by going in the direction of what is commonly/ normally acceptable, but what we can do is to try and change how they see and perceive our creative industry. We don’t have to come out with another copy of what’s already on the shelf or rack, but do it from the another perspective where we can present and convey our idea instead. Be unique. Importantly, know your objectives and navigate the direction throughout the process. We believe it is a continuous constant of learning process. Musotrees is now available in 10 countries. We hope to grow more and get connected with a lot magazine makers. Independent print industry in Malaysia is growing and we are thrilled and happy to be part of it.


What's your message to women who would like to pursue their passion?

Do it and get it done. What scares you may be good for you. It requires hard work and patience, and  there will be times that you will almost give up. But keep going, I promise you that the satisfaction and success are so sweet. My advice, always stay true and believe in yourself.

You could basically drown yourselves in their awesome visuals and travelling stories. Definitely the perfect coffee table read for inspiring spaces. Go get your latest copy/ their second volume here!

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