Sabrina binti Mohamad Daud, a graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, has been passionate about art since she was in middle school.
She started out sketching and drawing cartoons with her friends for fun.
As a science student, she did not get the opportunity to do art subjects as she had to focus on nine other subjects at the time.
“I had been offered to do art as my 10th subject for my ‘O’ Level, but it required me to attend the class during my break and lunch times. Hence, I declined,” she said.
She enrolled at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) through the GenNEXT Degree Programme which allows students to take other modules in other faculties. During this time, she took the opportunity to learn art, where her first module was Painting (Level 1).
“I started to learn many things related with art. My passion grew and blossomed for acrylic paintings. I even managed to score an A for the module,” she said.
Expanding her skills and knowledge, she took another art module, Painting (Level 2), where she learnt how to draw portraits, do synthetic paintings by applying motives of symbolism and transformation, and was also taught how to use painting as an expression.
Despite working as a full-time tutor after graduating, she continued her artistic aspirations by opening an online-based business called ScarletCJnA.bn, which focusses on acrylic painting and polymer handmade jewellery.
Highlighting the beauty of acrylic painting, Sabrina said, “Acrylic is special because it is stress relieving. It also helps me to express my passion and is easier to do than oil paints”.
“Acrylic is water based, hence you can add water to thin it out,” she continued. “Acrylic is faster when it comes to drying. You can even use your hairdryer to quickly dry it while oil-based paints take a long time. Although oil-based paints have the advantage in creating more realistic paintings, acrylic still has other benefits as well.”
Apart from acrylic, Sabrina also creates handmade jewellery, charms and accessories which are made of polymer clay – also known as plastic clay among artists.
Different from plasticine, modelling clay, airdry clay or even cement, she explained that it is a type of clay that, once sculpted, is put inside the oven to be baked until it hardens.
After learning from YouTube, doing research and practising, she can now produce beads, buttons, charms, jewellery, accessories, dolls and miniatures using the polymer clay.
“This polymer clay is hardly sold anywhere in Brunei. I have to buy it online or from other nearby countries. I always buy the high quality brand so my creations can last longer and be more durable,” she said.
Sabrina shared that one of the challenges she faces is that “sometimes the painting doesn’t work with you and it doesn’t usually go towards your expectations. But then, that’s the beauty of it – you always create the unexpected!” As an artist, she said that people have different views and value things differently especially when it comes to painting, and for her, everything that she creates is part of herself and her passion.
Sharing advice in starting a business among youth, she said, “You need to always have a lot of patience. Always do what you can and do your best at it. Never forget to pray for your success and seek blessings from Allah the Almighty and never lose hope because dreams can begin small too.”