The Forest Mori
All works by Claudia Lam


The Beginning

If I can do it, then you can too. This is the story of a girl who never saw art as her niche until she was past her teenage years. I'm not saying I never liked art, but I was so consumed by other responsibilities I never thought I could make something meaningful out of a hobby I seldom commit to. Anyway, here is how it all began.

I have been an athlete my whole life. I used to train 5 days a week with every school holiday spent on more training or competitions. Sports was all I knew and all I had time for - I was told this was my ticket to a good university and what I’ll most likely be doing as my major or even my career. As a teenager who was still struggling to pass the next Maths test, I didn’t think much of what I wanted to do at uni. By the time I finished my finals, my grades were better than expected and I didn’t need to depend on sports for a uni offer. I was ready to let go of my life as an athlete and to try something new - I decided to major in Communications and Media Studies and Korean Studies. First semester as a student who had free time after class felt absolutely liberating. Back in high school, I had never had a school day where I could just finish school and do nothing, so being given that opportunity as a uni student was a real treat and I felt like I could so anything in the world. However, by the time it was second semester, I felt like a stranger to myself. It felt awkward to still introduce myself to people as an athlete but then it was also the only thing I identified myself as for over 15 years. It was a weird and confusing phase for me until one day, I saw an ad online.


It was an ad for an upcoming market calling for emerging Perth artists who were interested in selling anything handmade or hand drawn. Without thinking too much about it, I applied and sent through scanned copies of my pencil drawings because why not? In three months, I received an email saying I was selected to sell at the market.O-M-G’ was my first reaction because WHAT WAS I GOING TO SELL!? I had two months to come up with enough things to make and fill a 3mx3m table. I mean I drew in my spare time and I made accessories for friends but nothing I made was ever presentable enough to be sold to the public. Thankfully, the panicking only lasted a week and after that I was ready to roll up my sleeves and try everything. In two months time, I managed to produce 50 handmade pins made from shrink plastic and polymer clay, and had just enough greeting cards and art prints done to fill up the massive table. PHEW.


The market went very well and I felt a sense of accomplishment afterwards no medal I had won has ever given me. Looking back at the things I sold that day I’d cringe and scream ‘WHY’ in my head but it was that specific market that gave me a direction to work towards. It also gave me the confidence to build an online presence which led to different job opportunities including graphic design and custom orders. What I am trying to say is, you never know what an opportunity can do for you. I still have so much to learn when it comes to running my own business but I am now learning something new everyday because of that opportunity I took to sell at the market. So here I am, Claudia who is not an athlete, but an artist. ヘ(= ̄∇ ̄)ノ

Claudia LamComment