Engineer’s First Love Is Batik
34-year-old gives up profession and turn the art into a lucrative business
He is a qualified engineer but Mohd Shuaimi Morkhtar gave it all up to turn his long time love for batik painting into a lucrative business.
The 34-year-old said he first learnt the art at a batik factory out of desperation at the age of 15, as he had to work to supplement his family’s meager income.
“I started work then as my father was a farmer and found it hard to provide for family of nine children with his in come,” Shuaimi said.
The father of two who hails from Pasir Mas in Kelantan said when he started he had to juggle his studies with painting and only got paid about RM8 for each finished price.
“Now, my pieces sell for between RM120 and RM300 each,” he said when met during the six-day National Craft Sale at the Festive Street Mall in Danga Bay, Johor Baru.
Shuaimi had reason enough to smile as he made RM35, 000 in sales and bookings from March 20 to 25.
He confessed though that this was not his highest takings as he had made RM48, 000 over four days during the UMNO convention at the Putra World Trade Centre last year.
Florence Skin Sujang, 41, from Kuching, was depending on foreigners, particularly Singaporeans, to make the bulk of her customers.
“I usually receive many booking for my rattan products that I bring in from Sarawak,” she said.
One of the youngest entrepreneurs there, Siti Hafidzah Md Arshad, 25, said she too, received good response from her customers despite starting her business only two months ago.
Kraftangan Malaysia promoter Hardiana Johar said the exhibition was to prove that Malaysian products from other countries.
The sale was held in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2007 and organized by the Kraftangan Malaysia Johor Branch, showcasing merchandise from 55 entrepreneurs nationwide.
The local artist and craftsmen displayed their skills and creativity with an interesting spread of products that included batik, woodcarvings, ceramics and fine glass carvings