WHEN the Government announced the first movement control order (MCO) last year, a food trader in Kota Baru, Kelantan, saw her business slowing down as she could take only online orders.
As she had more time to spend at home, Fatmawati Yaacob, 58, decided to conduct art activities with her grandson Adam Wafi Mohd Salahudin, five.
Little did she know that her paintings which she produced just for fun would become a new source of income for her family.
“I used to sell food such as kuih apam and nasi berlauk in a shed in Kampung Sireh but my business was affected by the MCO.
“So in June last year, I started drawing and painting with my grandson using art tools that I bought from a RM2 shop,” she said when met at her house in Kampung Bunut Payong.
As a proud grandmother, Fatmawati would upload photos of the finished artwork on her Facebook account but she never thought that her social media friends would leave positive comments.
Some of them even expressed their intention to purchase the paintings.
“From there, I had the idea of making this activity my new source of income. Clearly, it is not a wasted effort.
“So far, I have produced 100 paintings of various themes.
“The most popular ones among my customers are landscape paintings.
“My interest in art came from observing my father Yaacob Awang Mat, a khat calligrapher, doing his artwork when I was still in school.
“I believe this interest should be fully utilised,” she said.
Fatmawati, who has 10 grand- children, is able to produce two paintings almost every day,
depending on the difficulty of the work and size of the artworks.
“In terms of colouring, I use acrylic paint in order to ensure that my paintings will look realistic, and the paint is also not that expensive.
“I usually paint on a canvas or plywood.
“However, plywood is cheaper and environmentally friendly.
“It also provides a better surface to blend the colours well,” she explained.
Fatmawati spends up to five hours per day painting.
She also receives orders from customers outside Kelantan.
“Each painting is priced around RM40 but prices can reach up to RM400.
“Most of the time, I refuse to charge a high price because my intention is to give alms while doing business,” she said. — Bernama