A shoot growing out on the beach. Pangkor Island. Photo © Zarina Holmes


In the beginning of my higher arts education, I was often asked to quit by my mother. Don’t get me wrong, my mother had been supportive throughout my life and was the one that introduced me to drawings when I was a child.

But back then in the early 90s, she didn’t think there was a bright future in the arts. My parents came from post-war farming families, so the only financial stability they could experience was in the public service sector. I was the first in the family that chose to pursue a creative career and it freaked everyone out. It’s a typical Asian family story I guess.

Sometimes we are the only ones that could see the vision we laid out for ourselves

However, I stuck to my guns, and by the third year she stopped persuading me to switch to accountancy. My father even bought me a Yashica film camera for my final year project presentation. They had faith me I guess.

As a creative person, you’ll probably reach a point in your life when you feel alone in pursuing of your dreams. Please don’t get disheartened, because sometimes we are the only ones that could see the vision we laid out for ourselves.

Surround yourself with like-minded positive people for encouragement. Go attend creative networking events. Seek advice and inspirations from other creatives. Take care of yourself and take full responsibility of your decisions. Instil a productive workflow because art is a discipline. Maybe you need to take a part-time job to fund your creative endeavour in the beginning. Eventually, you’ll get to sell your art services. It’s important to enjoy the adventure.

I went back to the beach recently after a spate of monsoon rain. I saw that a few seeds from the nearby trees started to take roots on the pristine sands. They look fragile and exposed, but ready for everything that the elements could give them.

Fallen seeds after an overnight storm. Photo © Zarina Holmes.


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