It would be apt if this semester was described as a fleeting dream, suffice to say, my thoughts and inclinations were split between two equally weighty options – the prospect of dealing with five modules (a considerably different workload from usual, for me at least) and this tiny, persistent idea in the corner of my mind that I could begin freelancing as an artist and illustrator. This August, in a matter of weeks, I designed my namecards, launched my website and took every opportunity I could get to showcase my art – pop-up booths at Artists’ Day Out and Vivace, the Voice IV exhibition and a whole slew of commissions that far exceeded my previous ‘leisure drawing’ explorations.
It was hectic, to say the least, and many times I found myself mechanically carrying out actions while my mind wandered and settled on nothing. I focused on completing the task at hand and moved on. It took a Straits Times reporter’s request for a list of my achievements thus far to make me take a step back and consider what I had done in the mad rush of four months and I realized that at no point in time had I reflected. I had not felt helpless at missed opportunities, nor did I revel in successes – there was just a silent acquiescence that I had completed something new and every challenge had been slightly more demanding. Another thing I didn’t foresee that has not been acknowledged enough, is the waves of support from a bevy of friends, family and even good-natured strangers from whom I’ve had the honor of receiving compliments, hugs and praise. It astounds me that people notice my art and is an unutterably beautiful experience to share that love of art with others.
At this point, I can say for sure that I would not take any experiences back. I know my happiness lies with pursuing art and the intense time spent drawing for hours on end results in a satisfaction which I’m unlikely to find elsewhere. Forward options? More digital art, a corporate clientele target and designer cupcakes.
Creating and marketing the very skill closest to your heart is the scariest thing one can do, but also the most rewarding. For me, it’s the reactions of people that count and if I can bring a smile or delight to someone else by virtue of my art, I’d take that chance anytime.
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