arts and craft

Host Spotlight - The Science Behind an Art Studio

Mimi Liu


"Passion takes dedication. Dedication takes commitment. Commitment is an attitude. You need to have the right attitude to continue in the act of accomplishing your goal. Which is to give purpose in passion and exert what I’m capable of."

 

1. Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?

I graduated from art college and have always been interested in art. Since young, I enjoyed art and developed a passion for it. I thought, if I enjoyed doing what I love doing I should share this with those who want to try and get into the act of art making. Verlocal has given me this opportunity to connect with the public and become a teacher in the process. I started Magicten Art Studio to offer an experience on the use of resin and its possibilities; creating your own home décor, craft items, jewelry and more. It is for those who are looking for a new hobby, or want to exercise the creative mind. This experience allows you to apply imagination to creation.

Resin Products including Plates, Bowls, etc

Resin Products including Plates, Bowls, etc


2. Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

Resin Boards

Resin Boards

I was working on a craft project for myself early this year, and I needed to decide on a material to complete the piece. In research, I chanced upon resin. I did not know much about resin then so I had to start from the beginning. After much research and exploration, I realized that resin very versatile and adaptable to other types of materials. I embarked on this as a hobby and created many items. The possibilities are endless. I realized that Singapore does not offer such workshops with the opportunity to learn about this specific material, nor the space to develop artistry for resin. I have the knowledge in hand, and wanted to teach what I know. Thus came to birth of my workshop, Magicten Art Studio. Magicten - represents your ten fingers, you create magic and anything with your imaginative mind with the extensions of your hands.

 

3. What does your passion mean to you?

I couldn’t have done this without the support of my family to pursue my passion. They understand my attachment to art and how much enjoyment it gives me. It keeps my drive going and helps me continue doing what I’m good at. The motivation is to become better at what I am good at and develop it further. Setting goals are easy, but accomplishing them is an uphill task, though not impossible. This became the main driving force of my work; regret not your passions, reap satisfaction and happiness in turn. Why choose to wake up to something you can’t find fulfillment in?

 

4. How has Magicten impacted your community and the people who support it?

Different Resin Designs on Stools

Different Resin Designs on Stools

Magicten has been running for a little over 2 months, and I have been receiving positive feedback from the students. Some find the experience relaxing, not thinking of work or feeling pressures from life. This comes as a surprise to them as their hands are always moving to match up to the ideas coming from the creative mind. Resin is a unique material and it seems to open up doors to a new artistic path. It is something they have never experimented on before, yet this allows them to loosen up, creating a relaxing and therapeutic experience. Some return for second workshop and bring their friends, this makes me happy as it is an indication that I am doing something right.

 

5. Tell us about your biggest achievement since you started Magicten?

Mimi working on a Resin Canvas

Mimi working on a Resin Canvas

Since opening the doors of Magicten, the awareness for this material has begun and word is spreading. This is the whole purpose isn’t it, to have people know what Magicten is about. I don’t expect it to spread like a wild-fire, but I’m definitely making an impact on the community! Not everyone will know about your business or what you’re about, not everyone will be interested. You can only reach so far as much as you can. My achievement is that I have students coming back for seconds and wanting more. They bring their friends because they as well want to share what they’ve enjoyed.
 

 

 

6. What was your biggest challenge when you first started your business?


Having a vision is not enough, to construct your vision was my challenge. Vision is just the start of an idea. Nonetheless as it comes along you progress and it eventually builds. Building an architect (brand) you need a strong foundation, it is the ground base which your vision lies upon and where your business will grow.
 

7. What inspires you to continue building and improving your business? 

Resin Design Tools

Resin Design Tools

There is always something new that can be done, this is to keep the business going and keep it interesting. Coming up with new ideas so consumers can return for more or finding ways to appeal to those who have yet to try their hands at the craft of resin. I hope this shows the community the joy it brings to me and they can enjoy it too. It purely is fun!
 

8.What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?


Passion takes dedication. Dedication takes commitment. Commitment is an attitude. You need to have the right attitude to continue in the act of accomplishing your goal. Which is to give purpose in passion and exert what I’m capable of.

This is teaching, although not just an art form, but anything is achievable when you have the right attitude. So teaching others is what inspires me; to teach the things I love doing, I truly do enjoy in what I’m doing. My purpose is to share with others with what you can create and it's not that hard! With this direction, you give your best service to your students and convince them that they can do it too, maybe creating better than me. 

Collection of small ornaments and accessories made of Resin

Collection of small ornaments and accessories made of Resin

9.What are your goals for the future?


At the moment I’m starting small and still learning, gradually to grow my own business and understand customer’s needs, coming to know how much more I still need to do, and how to progress. It is like having an option to order either a whole cake or just a slice of it; you don’t want to have a whole cake you can’t finish, so just take a slice for now. Eventually when I’ve got a clearer perspective of my brand, I’d like to move to a bigger space and cater to more people. When that happens, include materials in the workshops, alongside resin art so there will be a bigger market for different audiences. Everybody gets a chance!

10.What advice can you give to people who want create a business from doing what they love?


You need to have the knowledge first. You have to believe first. Have the right attitude first. Know your skills first. Know what is possible first, and what is not. Be ready to accept you don’t always get what you want, but welcome what you don’t understand. You don’t always want to meet the people you want to meet, but you will. You eventually will have to find answers to your questions because no one is going to do it for you. There is always a solution – to everything! You have choices to make your decisions, your opportunity. It is whether you want to or not. When you are ready to test your capability, do it, when you have so much ready, when you know so much by now, what do you have to lose? Don’t be scared, it is your quest and you are already half way through it with this attitude. Most of all, have fun!

Hand-made Resin Cup 

Hand-made Resin Cup 

Join Mimi as she spreads the joy and love of resin to everyone in Singapore and the world! She's holding classes for you to teach you how to create your very own products!

Photo Credits : Olivia Kwok

LOS ANGELES: BANTER & BLISS CANDLE CO. WITH VERLOCAL

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BANTER & BLISS CANDLE CO. Experience with Verlocal

 

This past weekend I drove down to San Pedro for a Verlocal Experience with Banter & Bliss Candle Co.

Banter & Bliss is located in the year round market place called Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles.

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Sheena greeted us with a friendly smile and told us to take off any nice jackets or purses we had and place them to the side, as the oils and wax can get a bit messy.

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You start by picking out what scent or scents (you can mix a few) you want your candle to smell like. Ranging from traditional scents of vanilla and fresh cut grass, to fun ones like sparkling mojito and champagne kisses (smells like mimosas!), all the way to seasonal scents such as Fraser fir, cranberry marmalade and mistletoe. I chose to mix vanilla and Fraser fir.

There were 7 other people in the group with me. Two of whom were a young couple there to learn how to make candles and decide on scents so that they could make their own as upcoming wedding favors. She chose to mix a lilac and hyacinth combination that smelled like sweet summertime. Another two was a set of girlfriends just looking for something fun to do on the weekend, one chose a rose scent that smelled heavenly. There were also two women there with their mother who chose to make a candle that smelled like cranberry marmalade. Perfect for Thanksgiving that's coming up. Its such a fun activity to do whether you're alone or in a group and I can see doing this with friends often as everyone gets to go home happily with whatever scent they choose.

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You start by tacking the wick to the bottom of the glass jar. Sheena took this time to explain to us all about the differences in wicks and why certain ones should be used over others and how to know if you should be using a thicker or thinner wick.

Then we took the time to measure out 8 ounces of the scented oils. Up to 10 ounces is ideal for the candle but initially measuring to 8 ounces gives you wiggle room to adjust however you see fit. This was the fun part - getting to decide if you wanted your combination to smell more like one of the multiple scents or if you wanted it to just have a hint of a scent. To do this, you divide the 8 ounces into whatever ratio you think you'll like. I wanted there to be a hint of vanilla but mainly Fraser fir (like when you walk into a home at Christmas time and can smell the tree but a hint of fresh baked cookies in the background too) so I put 5 ounces of Fraser fir with 3 ounces of vanilla. After stirring it the vanilla was stronger than I had anticipated so I added another 2 ounces of the Fraser fir. So perfect!

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Sheena comes over to pour your wax for you. Then you can choose whatever color you want your candle to be and stir that and your oil mix into the wax. There are so many options for colors such as teal, pink, orange, red, green, light blue, dark blue, purple and grey. I went with grey - which initially looked black when she dripped it in. The colors definitely lighten up as the wax cools down which was also cool to see because it was kind of a surprise as to what exactly they would look like when they've cooled.

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Once we had stirred the color and oil into the wax we slowly poured them into the glass jars. Sheena had a cool little trick of threading the wick through a clothes pin to hold it straight up while the wax cooled around it.

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The candle takes about an hour to cool and be ready to take home. This is so nice because there is so much to do at Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles and this wait gives you the time to do it. I grabbed a nice, warm coffee from a nearby booth, Drunken Cake Pops and browsed the booths. There are so many different things to look at and other fun crafts booths to stop at and check out. After browsing a bit I went back to Banter & Bliss' booth and made a label for my candle. It wasn't cooled yet so I went out had a delicious chicken sandwich from the food booth where people were picnicking and kids were playing soccer. There is also a craft brewery out there! What a cool place to spend a Sunday.

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It was such a pleasant way to spend a Sunday and I got to take home my own candle. Overall, I spent about 3 hours attending the class and dilly-dallying around. I would highly recommend attending a Verlocal Class at Banter & Bliss!

Thank you Sheena and Banter & Bliss! Thank you Verlocal for letting me know about this class! Hope everyone reading this can go check it out soon too and take home your own treasure :)

 

<3

 

 

 

P.S. Did I mention that Banter & Bliss partners with AbilityFirst as a production partner? The matchstick bottles sold by Banter & Bliss are filled by the AbilityFirst team at the Pasadena Work Center. All of the Banter & Bliss matchstick bottle purchases support AbilityFirst and its mission to provide a variety of programs designed to help people with disabilities achieve their personal best throughout their lives. How cool is that? They're so cute too. Click here to check them out!

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Make your personalized candle, with Banter & Bliss Candle CO.