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Drawing on her dreams | The Star

Drawing on her dreams | The Star

PETALING JAYA: Her parents wanted her to focus on her studies and pursue a degree in medical science.

Khairunisa Mohd Izham, 23, obediently followed her parents’ wishes, but in her second year of university, when she had the space to experiment with new things, she started to dabble in art for the first time.

“At the time, I had trouble sleeping and was advised to do something to relax my mind, so I started drawing and doing it as a hobby – for my mental health and to change my sleeping pattern,” said Khairunisa, who is fondly known as Khai.

“However, I could only allocate 30 minutes a day to draw,” she told mStar.

She then broke the news to her parents that she wanted to become an artist after finishing her studies. They were not too pleased.

“They did not agree with my decision because I had no formal education or experience in the field,” she said.

After she graduated, and while trying to get a job, she finally had the time to focus on her interest in painting.

“My parents were really against it, but they gave me a trial period of one year to prove myself as an artist.

“In that one year, my eyes were opened to the challenges of being an artist with no experience.

“But thankfully, I became better in business, improved my skills as an artist, and got on social media,” she said.

Khai shared that she set up a TikTok account after not making much of an impact on Instagram.

Despite putting herself on social media, Khai said she found it hard to interact with other users, especially since she did not have a “persona” as an artist.

She also admitted that she was not good at video editing.

But she continued to improve as an artist, created art prints and used her social media account to look for potential clients.

Ultimately, the Ipoh native’s TikTok gamble paid off as she gained recognition for her drawings of buildings and landscapes.

After successfully creating a name for herself on social media, Khai started promoting her work and sharing her knowledge while making tutorials for art enthusiasts, especially students.

It also paid off as she managed to finally get her parents on board.

There are no hard feelings, Khai said, adding that she was grateful her parents approved her dream of becoming an artist after the trial period.

In fact, she said, despite facing the “ups and downs” of business, her parents were always supportive and positive.



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