I Have A Passion – The Satsuma Orange
Munirah is an illustrator and the founder of The Satsuma Orange. She has a passion for illustration and she is on her journey to make it a full time job. Currently, she works part time while running The Satsuma Orange and participating in art markets.
Having an interest in drawing and creating things, Munirah started off by making her own greeting cards for friends and families. She has never went to an art school. Becoming an illustrator was only a recent thought when she started an Etsy shop for fun, in the hopes of offering services such as custom portraits and wedding invitations.
She constantly tries to create new things, such as art prints, greeting cards, t-shirts and tote bags, to include them in the shop. Since she enjoys reading books, her inspiration for illustrations often generate from there.
What keeps you going?
“The idea of doing what I enjoy the most is what keeps me going. Having the freedom to work as much or as little as I allow myself is also great. I think I am the sort of person who gets bored doing the same thing, day in day out and being on this journey towards my goal as a full time illustrator helps in that, it gives me the freedom to be flexible with my time.”
Support from her family and customers is also another reason that keeps her going. Their encouraging words have always helped her and lifted her spirits in times of uncertainty.
What frustrates you?
“I think what frustrates me the most is me not believing in myself. I constantly have to tell myself that I should not be so hard on myself. Sometimes I would question myself, why I am doing this, I’m not good at drawing, there’s many that are way better than you. Those kind of negative thoughts always brings me down. And I hope to be better at it someday.”
It is definitely not easy to overcome all the doubts Munirah has about herself. However, sometimes all you need to do is to just go ahead and try it. Have faith in yourself and maybe you will realise your talent and potential in something spectacular.
When Munirah first started, she was inexperienced in running a business and in the midst of finding her style, she was not sure of how to handle situations with her customers. There were many times where they do not understand or know her style of drawing and they keep asking for changes. Since she hand draws each and every portrait, it was challenging for her to meet the demands of her customers. It became rather stressful for her. However, as time passed, she has gotten a hang of it and learned how to handle these situations better.
Being extremely shy by nature, it is always hard for her to initiate conversations but often, she still tries her best to say hello to the people and vendors that she meets at art markets.
The best part of being an illustrator?
“Is definitely the experience. I started participating in art markets, a few months after I started my online shop. I thought it would be a great experience to be out there and letting people see some of my illustrations. And getting to hear the positive feedback and words of encouragement from people are also the best. It keeps me going.”
Being rather new to this whole illustration industry, Munirah is still venturing in her career as a part time illustrator. She has not much big achievements but it is the little things like having made a total of 400 sales on her Etsy shop recently, having her own range of t-shirts and totebags and customers remember her from art markets. So far, she has not participated in any art projects but hopes that she will be able to in the future.
Any advice that you have for people who are interested in illustration?
“Not good at giving advice because I am still learning and still experiencing things but if I could say something to someone who wants to try this out or anything at all in life, is that things don’t just happen. You have to make it happen. It’s like a favourite thing for me to remember is that ‘magic happens when you work hard’.”
Recently, she had collaborated with The Hive Singapore for a film screening. It was certainly an exciting experience since it was Wes Anderson themed and she was a big fan, with all her Wes Anderson themed art prints. Being invited to collaborate with them has been an amazing opportunity for Munirah.
Currently, she is busy getting ready for the art markets and draws during her free time. Munirah hopes that she will be able to call herself an illustrator and be comfortable with it in the future.
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