The Forest Mori
All works by Claudia Lam
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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.
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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.

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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.

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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

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