Freelance graphic designer Alexa Ong planted the seeds of Wood & Lead by presenting a small collection of items – drawstring bags, stickers and zine which features illustraton of plants – at the Tokyo Art Book Fair in 2012.

And since then, the 27-year-old continues to build her brand on top of her bread-and-butter projects.

“I’ve started to print my work on things that I use daily, as I think art should always be integrated into everyday life,” says Alexa, whose latest collection, Little Skogur (Icelandic for “little forest”), includes tea towels and handy pouches.

Inspired by scientific drawings and her recent trip to Iceland, all products have quaint, hand-drawn illustrations of animals, plants and mushrooms printed on them.

To young designers who are also thinking about starting their own line of products, she has this advice: “There is often an imbalance in returns, so you have to weigh your options. But you need to keep at it because, whatever happens, you always gain experience.”