INSIDE THE FASCINATING WORLD OF NINI MARINI
Tatler Malaysia|March 2021
ARTIST, CONTENT DESIGNER AND CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR
ELIZABETH SOONG

A popular figure in the arts scene, Nini Marini has a way of making art approachable and fun. “I want people to know that art isn’t a serious thing,” says the warm-hearted Nini who strongly believes in the power of imagination. Last year she conducted a workshop on how to weave using old t-shirts through Airbnb’s Online Experience, becoming the first Malaysia-based Online Experience Host. She loves to share her knowledge, therefore it isn’t surprising that education is a big aspect she wants to venture into. Once she is able to, she will conduct more workshops in the studio, calling them play-and-make sessions designed for both children and adults alike.

Nini recalls her mother, Fatimah Ismail, coming back from her art lectures, giving her paints and brushes and allowing her free rein to do whatever she wanted. “Because I grew up learning how to make art on my own, it was really fun for me and I wanted to create that with play-and-make sessions,” she says. “I think that you should learn how to make art or build a foundation for art from between the ages of three and five. This is an age group where the kids are so imaginative, and I love seeing that energy. From 8 years old onwards, they would have a lot of programming in by that time, either from their parents or school.” She says that she’s had a lot of adults who have come to her saying that they have forgotten how to make art or they stopped doing art because it wasn’t enjoyable for them when they were learning it in school. Or parents imprinting their own tastes and preferences into the artwork or critiquing it—it’s not motivating. “That’s bad, you shouldn’t imprint such fear or such things into your child who is trying to learn to be expressive. Art education is about encouraging them to be creative and you play along with them, nurturing younger kids that way through play-and-make sessions.”

She also plans to create a professional series aimed at helping young entrepreneurs who want to learn more about design. “I notice that there’s a lot of girls who are going into this line without knowing the basics like colour theory or without knowing how to do pattern design. I’m working with my mother on this module. In order for me to do that, I need to get some funding and get the studio ready. That’s my big goal at the moment—education.”

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