Drawing on new source of income

Fatmawati spends up to five hours a day painting at her home in Kota Baru. — Bernama

WHEN the government announced the first movement control order last year, a food trader in Kota Baru, Kelantan saw her business slowing down as she could take only online orders.

With more time to spend at home, Fatmawati Yaacob, 58, began dabbling in art with her grandson Adam Wafi Mohd Salahudin, five.

Little did she know then that the 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.

She never imagined that her social media friends would start leaving positive comments.

Some even expressed an interest in buying the paintings.

“From there, I got the idea of making this activity my new source of income.

“Clearly, it has not been a wasted effort,” she said.

Fatmawati spends up to five hours a day painting.

She also receives orders from customers outside Kelantan.

“Each painting is priced around RM40 but prices can reach up to RM400,” she said.

“Most times, I refuse to charge a high price because my intention is to give alms while doing business,” she said.

“I have produced 100 paintings on various themes.

“The most popular with my customers are the landscape paintings.”

Fatmawati, who has 10 grandchildren, is usually able to produce two paintings daily but this depends on the difficulty and size of the artwork.

“I use acrylic to ensure that my paintings look realistic, and it is also not that expensive.

“I usually paint on canvas or plywood.

“Plywood is cheaper and environmentally friendly.

“It also provides a better surface for blending of colours,” she explained.

Her interest in art was kindled as she observed her father Yaacob Awang Mat, a khat calligrapher, doing his artwork when she was still in school. — Bernama

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