Art and SMA

12 artworks in 7 months.

In Nelson Mandela's words, “It always seems impossible until it’s done”.

Who would’ve thought I managed to paint these? I make art for a living but I never really go deep into painting.

All this while I have been struggling to find my niche. I know it is a long journey. I have been exploring different mediums of art, lots of experimenting but I still couldn’t find the right template.

Art for Rare

I was offered by Friendenart to join an art class guided by an art teacher. I have always wanted to learn more than just painting. It is something that I have always been looking for.

After 7 months of joining art classes, I have been able to build my confidence.

Art for Rare, a program for artistic people living with rare diseases like spinal muscular atrophy, has created a safe space for us to share, build connections, and showcase artwork in galleries. Okay, although I have been involved in art exhibitions a few times, every exhibition is different.

Looking at art in a different way

I used to have this problem of captioning and describing my artworks. I can paint my emotions and what is in my mind but I cannot describe it through words.

There’s a saying that says a picture is worth a thousand words, and to me, art is how you look and feel at it.

However, I realised that it is important to explain my artwork through words. I cannot expect people to understand my artwork just by seeing it. Not everyone could understand what I painted. Well, at least a rough explanation of what I painted will give a picture to the audience.

By being able to do this, it helps to market myself to the potential buyer. If I cannot tell people what I paint and am just hoping for them to get it by themselves, they will not likely buy my painting. Or even be interested in it.

I was told, some art collectors buy the artwork because of title and description. While others were attracted by the artwork itself.

I guess it takes two to tango right? I finally found a way to describe my artwork.

After discovering my niche, I found that I love to create something that looks like a 3D effect. Something that people can touch and feel.

I remember learning quilling with my art teacher, Teacher Lim during high school, and thought of giving it a try to spice up this painting.

SMA doesn’t define me

I have faced a lot of struggle in the initial days. With experience, I have been able to get better, but like any other things in life, it requires dedication and hard work.

Quilling is bound to improve fine motor skills and can be used to improve concentration. No doubt, it is challenging to control the teeny tiny strips of paper with my tremor hands (I almost give up with these pieces). But I pulled it off!

I proved to people I can still create art with SMA. I would not let SMA affect my passion. Art has always been my life. And I am making a living through art.

Me, going through these whole 7 months of art classes taught me a lot. It is not just about the mechanics of painting but also how to look at pictures and see things differently which is still a skill that I’m working on. I guess it’s a practice. It takes time and courage. I’ve gone from a nervous novice to a confident painter.

Ohh and guess what? I managed to sell 7 out of the 12 pieces I painted. Biggest achievement ever. And I'm gonna say I am proud of myself.

To the little me, you have gone through a lot to come to this and there is more to come. Let's not give up on this passion.

To more new painting,


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