A career in providing content for broadcasting didn’t stop Nini Ramlan from pursuing art. Instead, it encouraged her to Go Forth and push her love for her passion further. Now, she balances her time between broadcasting, art and her new forays in fashion design.
Tell us a little bit about where you come from.
Professionally I am content developer for a local media house. I've been doing this for the last 13 years or so. I am also an artist who likes play and paint colorful things; patterns, mostly.
What do you usually dress up for?
I dress for myself! Every day is an occasion, although here in Kuala Lumpur, I dress up for events as it’s a great time to get pretty and have fun!
How does dressing up play a part in what you do?
It helps create an impression. It can be a conversation starter, for example. It's also helped me do interesting things like photo shoots, or even projects such as DRESSED WITH INTENT! I treat it all like a creative exploration and an experience. Life's just a little bit more interesting when you can play with fashion!
What did you originally envision yourself to be doing before this?
I wanted to be an astronaut apparently, at a bright young age of four. Then it changed to being a cashier at a supermarket, then for the longest time I wanted to be a 2D animator for Disney, and eventually have my own theme park with a Marini roller-coaster. This changed in university when I realised how mundane the actual process of creating the animation was!
I then came up with an idea to combine my illustrative skills with my inner geek in editing, and specialise in videographics. My dream was to do ID work for people like MTV. I guess this all led me to television, where I'm now essentially someone who thinks about content. It all kind of makes sense to me now. A vivid imagination will lead you to imaginative work!
Can you tell us more about that one moment in time that inspired you to pursue your passion?
My passion is art. I love to draw or make things, and have always have been doing this ever since childhood. I've also been able to do both work on television and art throughout my career. The latter is done via small projects or collaborations with friends or brands.
But I started to really take my painting more seriously a few years ago when I did a small painting for a friend. I sent it to the framers, and the people there,
who happened to also be gallery owners, told me to really start thinking about painting as they thought my work was pretty interesting. I suppose having someone other than my family say that to me gave me my first dose of inspiration to do more. I always personally didn't think my art was much to rave about, since I'm not classically trained or anything like that. But seeing people relating to my random pattern or images just makes me happy, and that's a super inspiration for me to keep on sharing.
What were the difficulties that you faced when you first started out?
I suppose the things I've needed to learn about making passion your "work" is to not make it feel like work. Passion becomes work when you take on too much, or when you take on projects that don't resonate within. Then it becomes forced. I suppose many will say “Do it for the money!” and that's where it becomes tricky. I've learnt that I'm not a full-on artist, and I think for now I want to keep it that way. There's still so much to explore, and I suppose I'm in incubation for now.
Another thing I needed to come to terms with was that I couldn’t force paintings to come out of me on a whim. I've come to respect my creative process. It will come when the time is right, in the meantime, I just need to feed myself with whatever that I'm curious with!
What do you feel sets you apart from everyone else?
I have my own way at looking at things, which sometimes, when verbalised or painted, makes people think I'm pretty nutty!
What's your proudest moment thus far?
Having my first solo exhibition early this year was pretty amazing. Not only that, I also did a painting there over two days which was pretty special. I got to share my art with my friends on a very personal level. I’m very proud of that.
What're your upcoming projects for the future?
I've got a small T-shirt collaboration coming out next year with my new friends KUKUBESI! I'm looking forward to it, although I haven't started designing yet!
I’m envisioning another exhibition, but a little more paintings. I think it'll be sometime next year.
I'm also keeping one tab on art education, and I'm still trying to figure out the best route to take to get that going. For example, I’d love to host more art parties for kids and adults.
Meantime, I'm also working on some new TV shows: one of them is called Dream Sisters, which is coming out in January on TV9.
What do you want the world to remember you for?
It would really be nice to be remembered for my love for art. ‘Art for life’ is my mantra for living - to see art, to hear art, to do more art! Your art, no matter what form it takes - it could be science, it could be sport, it could be food - is what makes you who you are. It’s your natural self. Live it, and use it to make you shine. Love and good vibes, everyone!