As a woman, we are often sidelined and forgotten. Nonetheless, our voices have grown stronger as we have proved how capable we can be.
Art that speaks of female empowerment
Women, regardless of background, should commit to lifting one another up. By encouraging and motivating one another, we can build a strong and positive community.
Sharing further, artist Noor Sarah Reza said that a healthy and supportive environment for women allows them to be the best versions of themselves.
Sarah is one of seven Malaysian artists chosen for the clothing brand Monki’s ‘Seven Sisters Salute Sisterhood’ campaign.
The campaign provides a safe space for female artists to express themselves without fear of being judged.
The clothing brand will also collaborate with women-led businesses for their Pavilion store, which opened yesterday, providing opportunities for women in the industry to establish their names.
“Women are strong when they have each other!” exclaimed the 32-year-old.
Asked how we, as women, can support one another, Sarah responded that the level of support varies.
“In general, support to me means being there for someone when they are in need, offering kind words and encouragement, even constructive criticism is a form of support, and basically anything that contributes to a person’s growth/betterment.”
As a woman working in the field, Sarah has encountered many heart-warming experiences received from other women.
Of the many times, she recalled being handpicked to illustrate for a female author — Sabrinah Morad — for her children’s book series.
“She was the reason I began my art journey.
“Another memorable moment was my first collaboration with another female entrepreneur and crafter, Atthirah MJ, the owner of Arthirah MJ, which sells hand-crafted artisanal jewellery. We collaborated to design a line of handmade batik jewellery,” Sarah said.
Sarah, who was born and raised in Sarawak but now lives in Kuala Lumpur, recently participated in Monki’s ‘Seven Sisters Salute Sisterhood’ campaign.
The endeavour is another significant memory in her artistic journey for her.
“I don’t just feel supported by one woman, but by many who have participated in this campaign.”
Sarah created a piece for the campaign that incorporated elements of ‘sisterhood’ and how we are stronger together.
“My piece was inspired by a group of girls who engaged in fun and challenging sports. This, to me, is what life and sisterhood are all about. Along with the ups and downs, it was fun and challenging.
“Aside from that, I was inspired by roller skating and Monki. This collaboration provided me with an opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and try out new things.
Being a mum
Sarah, a full-time artist who regularly posts on Instagram @senisara.my, is also a mother to her 10-year-old son.
“My son’s current hobby is creating his own comic book series. It’s called ‘Life in KL,’ and he hopes to have it published soon. The comic series will depict his life as a Kuala Lumpur-born and raised boy. Despite the fact that he is still in school, he learns to balance work and passion.”
Sarah believes it is important as a mother to encourage her son to pursue his passion.
“This is especially true given my own artistic journey. But he is still young and has many other options, which I am happy to encourage and support.”
She also believes that the notion of art, not being a sustainable income, is irrelevant in today’s world.
“Today, there are so many ways to monetise your artwork. It is no longer limited to selling only original artworks.”
Sarah’s current work schedule revolves around her motherhood responsibilities in order to maintain her work-life balance.
Aside from being a mother to her 10-year-old, the artist will be working on her next best piece behind the canvas.
Sarah continues to improve her existing skills and learns to draw subjects other than girls. She takes inspiration from everywhere, everything, and everyone.