Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hon) with a major in Japanese Studies from the National University of Singapore, my first responsibility was an English Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) under the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme in Japan. I was a representative for Singapore during my term of teaching and thoroughly enjoyed myself so much that even after my contract had settled, I continued to look for jobs that were Japan and Japanese related, striving to serve as a bridge between Japan and Singapore.
Ever since becoming a full time stay-home mother to my first-born, I found myself slowly losing a sense of self as I devoted all time and resources to my child and family. Not that there was anything wrong with that devotion but my lack of balance to make time for myself reached an unhealthy point where I knew I had to do something about it.
My supportive husband encouraged me to take the first step of finding a new interest, which led to my first encounter with pastel art. Subsequently, I discovered Flower of Crystal Art, a beautiful flower blooming pastel art from Japan. After going through an intensive course with the Japanese founder via online learning, I eventually flew to Japan in 2019 to learn the rest of the curriculum from her in person. By then, my passion to connect Japan and Singapore has rekindled, this time through my love for Flower of Crystal Art.
With the support of family and friends, I founded Heart In Hand Atelier to provide a creative outlet in pastel art for everyone regardless of art background.
In June 2021, two years since I started learning Flower of Crystal Art, I am proud to share that Heart In Hand Atelier has been awarded the highest honour of Premium Partner School status from Flower of Crystal Art Academy (Japan), the very first and only one in Singapore. Other than pastel art, I am also helping the Academy with translations and offering online English lessons to Japanese pastel art instructors who are keen to teach and connect with overseas students in English.
As I connect the dots in my life, it is really amazing to realise that life sometimes has its way of coming full circle. More often than not, you just need to make that one step to kick start a beautiful journey.
Have you taken your first step yet?