Saturday, May 24, 2008

Confusing little pillow

The initial idea is to make this as a mobile phone screen cleaner... but now I'm thinking maybe it looks nice to be a brooch too...

sigh.... this little thingy very confusing...

......maybe to make another one as a brooch :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The young & artistic

Stories by Sharmila Nair, The Star Youth2, 7th May 2008

WHEN Chris Wong started losing her hair due to chemotherapy, she realised just how precious her tresses were. In bed and slowly recovering from treatments for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus), Chris wished for the day when her head would be covered once again with thick, black hair.

The day finally came, and with it came the inspiration to create the caricature of her alter ego, Chrisom.

Chris Wong proudly presenting the pencil box that her father made, on which she drew her alter ego, Chrisom.

“She is the persona of me on paper. I drew her with lots of hair, similar to my hairstyle before I fell sick,” says 25-year-old Chris.

Chrisom, “born” two years ago, still sports the same hairstyle and so does Chris now.

“My mother is a hairstylist. She gave me this cut long ago and I’ve been keeping it ever since,” she adds.

The art instructor from Johor Baru was in Kuala Lumpur last weekend to participate in the Art for Grabs sale and exhibition held in The Annexe in Central Market.

At the event, Chris was raring to introduce Chrisom – painted meticulously on small wooden boxes – to the public.

“I got the idea to put the caricature on boxes just last month. There was a sudden need for me to introduce Chrisom to the world and I thought what better way than by putting her on the wooden boxes that my father is good at making,” says Chris.

Her father lovingly makes the boxes – from pencil cases to jewellery holders – for Chris to paint on, and she is selling them for the first time at the Art for Grabs bazaar.

“The reception has been quite good. Many visitors like the design and I’m having fun meeting people here,” says Chris.

Phang Chin Ling, 22, also had fun mingling with “artsy” people of her kind and those interested in art at the bazaar.

Shazleen Md Affandi (left) and Azizah Osman have always wanted to start a business together and their dream came true at the Art for Grabs bazaar.

A member of the Hugo Garden group from New Era College in Kajang, Selangor, Chin Ling and her friends were there to sell their collective works, ranging from decorative mugs and one-of-a-kind notebooks to key holders.

“The group was initiated by our part-time lecturer, who is now our branding consultant,” says Chin Ling.

The Hugo Garden members experiment with various designs and art forms and set up stalls at local exhibitions, harnessing and polishing their entrepreneurial skills.

Hugo Garden is the translation of the Mandarin words hua guo shan, which refers to the mountain abode of Monkey King, a pivotal figure in the classical Chinese folklore, Journey to the West.

In the tale, the mountain is a haven to Monkey King and his followers, just like how Hugo Garden is a “refuge” to Chin Ling and her 11 other team members.

“Being in this group allows us to be creative and put our talents to good use,” says Chin Ling, who excels at perking up plain and boring notebooks with her quirky designs.

Chin Ling is quick to add that they did not form the group with the sole purpose of making money, but rather to get more acquainted with people from different races and share ideas.

Cassie Wong putting the final touches to her T-shirt.

“Most of us are from Chinese schools and even our college is a community institute founded by the Chinese education movement, Dong Jiao Zhong. Our lecturer thought that we were too shy and conservative, so he got us to do this to build our confidence. We’re glad that we got together to form Hugo Garden because we are having a good time now,” she says.

Another young artist who is not too bothered by the amount of money she makes from her works is 25-year-old Cassie Wong. The advertising and promotional executive took her passion for decorating T-shirts and shoes up another level, and started selling them at bazaars actively.

“I’m really doing this for pleasure’s sake and not depending on it as a source of income,” says Cassie. Her brand, Cassettee, offers items such as T-shirts and brooches, mostly adorned with two of her favourite decorative items – buttons and beads.

She’s contemplating adding accessories design to her resume.

Cassie admits that her parents think that she is wasting her time concentrating on such labour intensive tasks, but it is something that she wants to do.

“My production is slow because I do everything by myself and I cannot just concentrate on this project alone as I have a full-time job as well,” says Cassie, who sees Cassettee more as a hobby than as a secondary career.

A veteran at bazaar scenes, Cassie is happy to note that her items do catch people’s attention and that she does get orders from her pals.

“My friends have been very supportive of Cassettee and encourage me to move forward with the brand,” says Cassie.

Best friends Azizah Osman and Shazleen Md Affandi have always toyed with the idea of starting a business together.

Visitors to the Art for Grabs bazaar were an enthusiastic lot, stopping at almost every booth and buying the items they liked.

When they were roommates back in their college days at Universiti Institut Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Shah Alam, Shazleen and Azizah did discuss whether they should put their talents to good use and earn some extra income while at it.

Shazleen is known for her artistic flair in designing bags while Azizah is good at bakiing cookies and cakes which have been a hit among their friends.

“I’ve been interested in baking since I was young but had only seriously started baking for the purpose of selling a couple of months ago,” says 22-year-old Azizah.

Her mother, an avid baker, is her inspiration and partner when it comes to the work.

“My mother and I stayed up till very late just to finish baking these cookies for the bazaar. I stayed up for another couple of hours, putting frosting on the cookies while my mum rested,” she adds.

Shazleen, on the other hand, recruited her boyfriend, Muhd Ikhwan Abdul Samad, and her younger sister, Elanni, to help with simple tasks like cutting the cloths or simple sewing.

“I make my bags from scratch, using materials that I buy on eBay. I usually draw out the design on paper before transferring it to the bag, but sometimes when inspiration hits me, I just do it directly, free hand,” says Shazleen, 22.

The girls hope to take their business a step further by becoming constant figures at local bazaars and exhibitions. Azizah says that she’s already getting orders from her friends and other customers, and if everything goes well, she and her mother plan to open a store next year.

“It all depends on the demand, though. We’re going to work from home and see if the business is worth expanding into a store,” she says.

“But for that to happen, we need people to support young entrepreneurs like us. They can do so by buying locally made products,” says Azizah.

Platform to showcase talents

Article from The Star Youth2, 7th May 2008

PEOPLE often refrain from buying art pieces because they are too expensive, said Pang Khee Teik. The Annexe Gallery Arts Programme director believes that some artists put high prices on their artworks simply because they think it is the only way for them to sustain their business.

However, such pricing also puts off potential art buyers who cannot afford the exorbitant prices. “That’s the main reason why Art for Grabs was set up,” said Pang.

Over the last weekend, all kinds of artists congregated in The Annexe, Central Market in Kuala Lumpur, selling their works at prices that are less than RM100. That’s the rule if you want to sell your stuff at Art for Grabs – the items must be priced at less than RM100, and the items must be original – that is, you created the art piece yourself.

The first bazaar was held six months ago, and was such a success that Pang decided the event is worth repeating. Now, he plans to organise Art for Grabs every six months, so that young artists have a place to sell their items and people can purchase art works at affordable prices.

“This type of events benefits both the artists who want to sell their art works and people who wish to go home with something beautiful, and yet don’t have to pay too much for it,” said Pang.

At the recent two-day bazaar, around 80 lots were taken up by artists selling all types of things – from paintings and hand-painted T-shirts to mugs and cupcakes.

“I had also allocated six free lots for NGOs to advocate their causes here,” Pang said.

Local musicians were also given a chance to show off their talents. They were given a stage to perform and allowed to charge the audience a minimal fee.

The crowd was definitely enthusiastic.

Shazrin Ahmad Zani who was there with his mother said that he came to support the artists, whom he feels don’t get much recognition from Malaysians.

“We have many talented people here but, unfortunately, it’s difficult for them to break into the Malaysian scene. Sometimes, we are too brand conscious and don’t know the local talents that we’re pushing aside,” said the 20-year-old Information Technology student.

His mother, Wan Zainab Abu Karim, 49, said that it was her first time visiting such a bazaar and she was amazed by some of the works displayed there.

“They are indeed a talented lot and I do agree that art works such as these should not be priced too expensively,” she said.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Last weekend @ Annexe Central Market

cassettee & rasa sayang's messy stall, hehehe... but I like it~!
We did it on the floor this time! It's a ReAL bazaar eh...
Thank u all who drop by our stall and of course for those who grabs a tee, a brooch, or a plush!
The cute little plushes are made by Ms So. If you are interested, she can be contacted at

FNBKL... cool stuff!

Hugo Garden, many different variety! They are a group of young and lovely creative people.
Thanks Sachi for the buttons!

errr... forgot their name... but nice lights made with recycle materials.

They believe art will save the world. Burst a bubble and donate please.

Cass with her Long-time-no-see friend...

Cass with newly met D May.
She's wearing an "on-the-spot" custom made cassettee, just for her!

Bollabely Tree

My 2nd piece of hand painted tee...
It is really the stroke effect which make this tee so unique.
And also it looks a bit like children painting, hahaha...
Hope you all will like it too!

Code: HCT220
Colour: Black tee, white paint
Size: M/L

Eye of Eva

My 1st tee with hand painting...
The tee turns out quite nice with the unexpected stroke effect.
It is painted using fabric dye, a type of water base dye, completely safe!
So no need to worry about the colour fast.
Sorry for the washing machine fans, this piece really need hand wash because of the beads.

Code: HCT219
Colour: Black tee, white painting
Size: M/ L