The American film legend Burgess Meredith once made a metaphor of life, saying it's like the seasons of the year. "Life changes frequently and drastically. You enjoy it or endure it as it comes and goes, as it ebbs and flows." As a matter of fact, how we live our lives are a choice of our own.
Mama Serene Liew, also known as Rin, went back to her childhood hobby - manga and anime - after years of experience working as a linguistic teacher. She wasn't shy away from admitting "this was a hobby that was frowned upon on". However, becoming a mother led her reconsider about life priorities - she became a full-time artist and started a creative brand “Mofuseasons”!
Hello! I’m Serene Liew, or better known as Rin, the artist behind “Mofuseasons”. In 2018, I became a mother to my lovely twins. Prior to motherhood, I was a primary school teacher who enjoyed working with young children and was always looking for ways to make learning Chinese Language enjoyable. With the birth of my premature twins, I had a new outlook towards life and I made the decision to stay home to care for my children. It was during this time, I started my artistic journey as a creator and illustrator.
Since young, I loved reading manga and watching anime and I was obsessed with drawing anime girls. It was a hobby that occupied most of my days when I was not studying. This was a hobby that was frowned upon on, so I had to focus on my core subjects in school.
Eventually, I progressed towards a linguistic profession and earned myself a degree in languages and I became a teacher after graduation. In school, though I spend most of my time teaching languages, I am glad I was also given the opportunity at times to teach Art, even though I wasn’t art trained. I remembered purchasing a lot of self-help art-teaching books to compensate for my lack of knowledge in Art. I learned a lot of theories of art through these books.
Days and nights beside the nursery bed...Art becomes my outlet to unwind
With the birth of my newborn twins, I found myself confined beside the nursery bed of my babies most of the time and I needed an outlet to unwind. One night, I decided to pick up my iPad and Apple Pencil and I tried digital illustration for the first time. With the help of Udemy’s online courses, I learned how to draw digitally on the Procreate App. This was one of the ways you can draw when you were in a dimly lit room with no formal workspace.
Digital drawing on iPad by Serene
During the day, I dedicated my time to care for the babies; at night, I practiced making digital illustrations and posted them on Instagram with my art account, “mofuseasons”. Over time, my art account gained traction and brought me a lot of opportunities to collaborate with various artists and even helped me to start my own small business of illustrated seasonal merchandises.
Making art and creating new merchandises to bring in income for my family helped made me feel so much better as a homebound mother. I felt more confident and positive of myself and these made me a better and stronger mother to my children too.
Proud as a multi-hypenate mum
My proudest accomplishment is to be able to create an artist name for myself when I am homebound as a mother to my young children. A few years ago, I would never have imagined that I would be making an income out of my illustrations.
Today, I have gained the skills of multi-tasking as a stay-home-mother to my twins and as a creator who sells various merchandises of my art, such as enamel pins, keychains, stickers, bags and pouches, and also as an illustrator who designs logos and mascots for Singapore companies such as “Simi App”, “Sendjoy” and “Best Value Mart”. I have also grown a portfolio of making pet portraits for pets from all around the world.
With the founder of Best Value Mart
Draw what you love, and there will always be people who love what you draw.
As a budding artist, I have struggled with many art styles and finding a style that I could call my own. When I first started out, there wasn’t any stress to create an art piece as I was just purely thankful that I got time to unwind and draw. As time passes, with a growing base of people “liking” your art, I had found myself at times doubting my own drawings, especially when a certain merchandise did not sell well, or when a post did not garner more “likes”. This led to stress and occasional art blocks that many artists also tend to face.
Being a mother, I do not want to dwell on more negativity and stress than I need that will affect my mental wellbeing and hence my mood with my family and children. I always remind myself that I would just need to focus on what I love to draw. It’s important that we do what makes us happy. It’s more meaningful to have a smaller base who genuinely supports what you love to do.
One of my favourite art piece is the illustration, “Penguins Hug” from my winter seasonal series, “Winter Babies”. The source of my inspirations come mainly from the love of my children, the love of animals and Japanese culture, and hence, many of my illustrations capture the moments I had with my children, or when I was holidaying in Japan.
The “Winter Babies” collection is a series capturing the love and warmth of parenthood, family ties and companionships. My one-year-old daughter was interested in penguins and she would call them “Puru-puru”. She also love hugs a lot. The “Penguins Hug” is an illustration of a Mother Penguin hugging a Baby Penguin and sharing the warmth of a lovely scarf.
This design was later made into enamel pins and keychains and was one of the bestsellers to date. Many buyers gifted them to their partners or friends as a gift of love.
Follow Serene on Instagram (@mofuseasons) and check out all her cute merchandises via http://www.mofuseasons.com. Join her and over 1000 mothers in Singapore and around the world to pursue a happier parenting life with art.
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