“Don’t mind my confetti hands as I get messy making these happy things for you!” – Rachel Divya
Whimsical Wonderland Art Market celebrates creatives for their innovation and determination to pursue their artistic passion in a collective space. In collaboration with the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisation, Whimsical Wonderland Spotlight gets up close and personal to uncover the inspiring stories and creative minds behind female artisans in the local arts and culture scene Let us delve deeper into the creative mind behind The Confetti Hands!
The Confetti Hands is an art label by Rachel Divya who simply wishes to add more fun, colour and a bit of whimsy into the life of others through accessories like enamel pins and homeware.
How did you get into the craft?
I have always loved working with my hands. I went to art school so I think I have been drawn to the creative field for a long time. From there, I branched out and tried various things. I still do that if I feel that one craft isn’t working for me anymore.
What does a day in your life look like?
The Confetti Hands is a side business. I do freelance as a graphic designer/illustrator but I consider both as equally balanced in my work. My day usually involves checking orders and fulfilling them while working on any client work. I also try to dedicate a part of my day to thinking of new products/series of items and research. Sometimes just one task can occupy my whole day too!
How are you involved in the art community in Singapore?
By joining art markets, one gets to see what other like-minded people are up to. I would like to be more involved if and when time permits.
What is your source of inspiration?
For my illustration and enamel pins, I look to animated movies. I love Disney and Pixar as well as Studio Ghibli.
What is your favourite aspect of your craft?
(My favourite aspect is) coming up with new items, especially if they are well received. When you try something that you’ve been thinking about, and it works out, it feels like a small success.
What has been the best experience/opportunity your art has given you?
I used to only sell online because of the lack of opportunities in Singapore. In recent years that has changed and though it can be tiring, seeing customers get excited and buy from you in person feels great! Having small conversations with them motivates me.
What challenges do you face in the local arts scene as a female artisan and/or in a more traditionally ‘pragmatic’ society such as Singapore?
The lack of appreciation and understanding of what a small creative business does. I think there could be more awareness made through information about the concept of a small business whether it is creative or not. Surprisingly, there still are people who do not realise that we make and illustrate our products ourselves.
What is your definition of equal space, equal voice and equal worth?
To disregard a person’s gender and look first at whether their work attracts you. If you connect with what they do, say or how they express themselves, how does their gender matter?
How do you support gender equality?
As a female myself, I love supporting small female businesses. I get lots of opportunities at Pop Up Markets and I find myself buying lots of things from the various booths by the end of the event. It helps that there is usually an atmosphere of kindness and support, knowing how they too worked hard on their business.
What is your hope for women in the future?
I hope that the small female business movement grows bigger. I also hope that female-led businesses are able to target a bigger male audience. Currently, I find mostly females supporting females mainly because of the type of products they sell – catered for women – which is great but getting guys to buy more for themselves from female businesses would be a great next step!
Do you have any advice to share with younger girls or other women who might be interested in learning a new craft, starting a side business, or just getting more involved in the local arts scene in Singapore?
Just give it a go. Everyone has a unique style. You can’t be like anyone else no matter what so might as well try. One needs dedication and passion so don’t give up easily. Lots of pain and losses are unavoidable, but you won’t grow without them. I am still learning, growing and doing my best to evolve. It is also important to embrace the journey as a female small business owner no matter what.