Getting my cherry popped


“Maybe I shouldn’t have signed up for this. What if NO ONE visits my stall?”

“Think of how embarrassing that would be!”

“The table is free…”

“It’ll still be embarrassing”.

~Visual of me sitting at a lonely table surrounded by a multitude of people crowding all other tables~

Someone whimpers.

“The bag’s terribly heavy, I think I should repack it”

“But..but..what if…”

“The bag’s heavy!”

~More debate while bag is sorted out~

“That’s not too bad now”.

“I wish you had someone to keep you company, you’ll be all alone…”

~Visual of me sitting alone at a lonely table surrounded by a multitude of people crowding all other tables~

“Sometimes, it is better to do things by yourself for yourself”

“She’s going to be all alone, poor thing…”

Getting my cherry popped

Arriving at the venue, I think I was in a daze. The good news was that I found the organiser, found my table and set it up. Of course, there was more debate on how I should set it up, but it got done.

Mandala colouring workshop- day 1 set up
The set up for the first day

And so started the first day of participating at a weekend bazaar.

The weekend event was organised by Makers & Co, an event company in Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with International Women’s Day.

A snippet of what they are about:

Makers & Co is a team of dedicated entrepreneurs creating a platform for home grown products, local crafters, unique items and budding artisans.

Through all the commotion within my mind, though I wasn’t sure of exactly what I was doing – I did it.

I learned a few things and I am grateful for a lot. Just to make sure that I don’t ramble off into the sunset, I’m just going to list it down. Lists don’t let you ramble…much.

  • I am grateful for having met some of the loveliest fellow “workshoppers”. Me being me, I just smiled – people don’t believe I am innately an introvert, but I really am. They on the other hand, came over to talk to me. I talked to them. I asked questions, I answered questions and I made friends! I’m thinking this means that I actually networked.
  • I am grateful for my friends who dropped by my table and kept me company while colouring the mandalas!
  • I am grateful for all those who stopped by my table, those who took part in the little workshop, those who bought my colouring book (sold 5 through the 2 days), my prints (!!) and for those who just wanted to know what it was all about!
  • I really enjoyed the experience! I enjoyed sitting at my table, sometimes alone just watching people pass by or answering questions about mandalas.
  • I learned that it is not a good idea to place your merchandise at the back, but place it all out in the front, where people can actually see them.
  • I learned that I had to display ALL of my books if I wanted to sell any, not just one!
Mandala colouring workshop - Day 2
Day 2 set up – learning to display
  • I also learned (from Pam, one of the organisers) that it is better to have a larger poster with a lot less text, to attract customers.

I met a lovely lady named Shyam, founder of Unseen Tours in Kuala Lumpur, that works with street people in the city. She’s “into” mandalas and when I told her about what I do, she asked if I’d be interested in conducting workshops and of course I said yes!

Here’s a little something from their website:

The core mission of The Unseen Tours Kuala Lumpur is to increase the employability of the homeless people of Malaysia through capacity building. At Yellow House KL, we achieve this by training them to become effective tourist guides. As the old Chinese proverb would say, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

I met, Yatie (@ yatiejoy_art) who does amazingly beautiful and colourful rock painting and batik printing. She shared her experiences doing these sorts of events and I learned a bunch from her as well!

Then, there was Fuza (@ hands_of_eva) who creates lovely, intricate mandalas using paper quilling.

Renuka (@renuka_ravindran) is a Mary Kay representative and conducted a makeover workshop. Her mum and son dropped by my table to colour the mandalas and went away with one print and a book too 🙂

Finally, a fellow medical profession, a dentist, who loves to paint (@rubycanvas). She taught me a few tricks too and that’s going to get me try popping another of my cherries soon, hehe.

Life lesson

I guess what this whole experience has taught me (though I am still grappling with it) is that it is true that “doing a Nike” opens up new opportunities for us.

It’s also taught me that I can and am fully capable of immersing myself into something new and coming away with good things.

I keep wondering if my work, my art, these mandalas are “good enough” and each time I do so, I know that I am driving away the energies that are meant to bring what I love out to the world. That I should instead learn to be grateful that people have and do enjoy these mandalas, that they do like the work I’ve done and I really should stop being too harsh on myself.

I’m a work in progress, my hope is that said progress doesn’t stall…much 😉

Mandala colouring with water colours!

So, talking about cherry’s popping, mine in particular, I experimented with water colours this week. I’ve always shied away from this medium as I didn’t know how to ‘control’ it. What I did learn though is that with water colours, the idea is not to control but more of patience. I’m not too happy with the piece, but what I am happy about is that I have learned to be a little better using it than before – sploshing and splashing stuff around.

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