The Small Traders / Pasar Malam
By Poodien
At what age did you realise your love for art and what inspired/sparked your interest?
I can't remember specifically at what age I started to have an interest in art, but from what I can recall, I liked drawing comics and cartoon characters when I was in primary school. At that time, local comic magazines and Japanese animation on TV were my main references or inspiration to draw and create my own narratives to my drawings. Then later my interest shifted to record cover art and how bands represent themselves.

When did you realise that art is what you wanted to do in your adult life?
When I decided to get into art school in 2001.

What did your family say to this? (our questions is becos local conventional families usually feel more secure when their children embark on more familiar path eg. further studies or career in business, finance, engineering, doctor etc)
My family did not really go against my decision to study and make art as my career, but at an earlier point (or perhaps partially up until now) my family doesn't really understand the whole prospect of being an artist and how I can survive by doing art, but slowly when I started to get into art exhibitions and won a few awards, they kind of get it.

Did you work on your art as a hobby or on part time basis, when you had studies or worked full time?
I'm a full time artist.

When did art become a full time career for you and how did this happen (your success story per se)?
When I finished my studies, I tried to spend most of my time doing art. But it was always harder at the beginning, so I had to do other generic jobs to support myself. Things were easier when I managed to get into a few important exhibitions and other people knew of me and recognised my work. If I can point a specific time when art become my full time career, maybe after I won the Malaysian Emerging Artist Award in 2009, initiated by two local private galleries. Of course prior to that I always had this target to be a full time visual artist, but by winning that award, it gave me more confidence and a foot in the local art scene.