From Idea to Reality: What Starting Utter Studio Taught Me

Utter Studio @ Jalan Kelulut

The idea of starting a studio did not start in 2013, in fact it started 7 years earlier. But I convinced myself that I was not good, rich, smart and qualified enough to start a studio. I was always not ready and never good enough. I thought what I needed was an investor, business partner, a teacher course, or even a business course. It took 7 years to start.

I thrived for 9 years in Utter Studio. My clients still refer other clients to me 7 years after their child has learnt from me. I have clients who followed me 7-8 years. I have clients who signs up for every single holiday workshops I do. I have clients who send in their child every holiday. I have clients who send in their child and tells me, do whatever. I have children who tells me today is the best day of their life every time they come into the studio.

So, am I good enough?

Utter Studio Online Academy

In 2020, the pandemic hit. I refused to go online. However, when the lock down happened, I knew I had to step up for my students who are trapped at home with working parents, and nowhere to “play”. I hosted a 30 day online drawing and painting challenge. I got really positive feedback for the online challenge. I wanted to continue doing this online, but I was convinced once again by “how I wasn’t good enough, nobody knows me and no one wants to learn online.” Utter Studio Online Academy finally started in 2023, 3 years later.

I have clients who signed up with me despite while I am still building up the academy and recording the videos. I have students who submits artwork on a Monday school day night. I have students creating art while he is running a fever.

So, does anyone want to learn online?

The Greatest Lesson

What did I learn?

I don’t need to be good to start,

but I have to start to be good.

START! To be good.

False Beliefs and Fake Criteria

Art has a way of bringing up our deepest fears and beliefs about ourselves. We somehow believe that we can’t draw if we are not good at it…

Babies don’t stop walking because they are not good at walking. They keep trying to walk. We don’t ask our children to stop learning English because they are not good at English. We ask them to keep trying! We don’t tell our children “ You need to be good in Math before going for Math class.”

So why do we believe otherwise about Art?

The Truth

The truth is we will never know what we are capable of until we START. The truth is, starting is the key to greatness, more so than we know.

In a society that rewards results, we are hardwired to praise great outcomes and neglect that “All outcomes are only possible because we start!”, even the great ones!

How can we Practise Starting?

I often see children in the art studio, afraid to put a mark on their paper. They tell me “I am not good at drawing”. They look at me and tell me they can’t draw, believing the fake voices they hear in their heads.

In Utter Studio I never draw guidelines on children’s artwork for them to trace. I abhor holding their hands to draw. I stay away from copying and introducing anime drawings formulas for young children. That is because I want to allow every child to learn how to start.

"Start even when they don’t know. Start even when it is scary. Start even they are not talented. Start even when they believe they are not good enough."

Art allows our children to Start over and over again. Each new artwork presents the same fear of “not being good enough” to a child over and over again. Practising these small starts in Art- making gives children a chance to check-in whether these voices are true. I took 7 years to start my dream. How long would you want your child to ruminate in their fears before starting? Start even when we don’t know if we can succeed.


In a society that rewards results, we are hardwired to praise great outcomes and neglect that “All outcomes are only possible because we start!”, even the great ones! Don’t wait for greatness, START, to be great!

In Utter Studio Online Academy, I emphasize on training children on such mindsets. I guide children how to tune in to the art work process and tune out of fear. Children can practise learning HOW and WHERE to focus their attention through daily art-making.

Children who flex this muscles often enough build resilience and strength into their lives. Look at how the many starts students are creating from their home.

I believe in using Art as a tool for personal development. If you want to build mental resilience through Art in your children., then come join me in Utter Studio Online Academy where I have two different memberships (Curious Creator Club and Budding Artist Membership) to support your children’s development from your home!

Categories: : Personal Stories