Work With Meaning: Anis Khairina Finds Love In Art, Colour and Mess!

Interview Jess Nair | Photography Courtesy Of Anis

The idea that art is prescriptive, stiff, need to follow the rules or needs to be or look a certain way is too rigid a notion. If you’ve ever had an art class or created art before, it’s mostly when you’re not forcing yourself for ideas that the best things come and happen during the flow. And it’s not true that art only means that you need to be able to draw ultra realism, or have the talent with brushstrokes. Sometimes, even the simplest idea that’s been brought to life can still be considered art.

It could be a colour combination that you never thought could happen, and it can occur when you’re least expecting it.


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Messy Pouring Art on wood : just look at these beautiful colours! SO IN LOVE 🎨 #messyartcamp #themessygang

A post shared by of messy & karer-ful! (@ohlittlemess) on

For Anis Khairina, her journey to exploring art and teaching art began when she started out as a playschool teacher for six years (but she never imagined being a teacher!), then leaving to pursue teaching art full time. She started Oh Little Mess which now brings the joy of messy art, play and using and stretching your imagination to no limits. Everyone, of any talent level, and any age range can join and bring their creations to life!

We wanted to know more about what it means to bring meaning to people’s lives (and healthy, messy explosions of colour!) from Anis herself, and what about messy art that makes her happy.

Anis loves creating art and running workshops — it’s her main passion

What is it about your work that you truly appreciate?

For my work now, I appreciate everything. The new people that I met every classes, the opportunity that I get since I started my workshops, basically everything.

You mentioned that you quit being a playschool teacher – was it a tough decision to make? 

It was a tough decision to make, but I believe that life is more than just staying at one place. There are no hesitations as I’ve been planning to leave for quite some time. It was nice working there since its the place that helped me grow as a person but I think its time for me to start focusing on doing the things that I love — creating art, running art workshops and soon. At the end of the day, you just got to start somewhere and make it happen.

Was teaching just something you had always aspired to go into?

Teaching was never on the list. I’ve wanted to do photography or being an artist, but it all started when I worked part time as an English teacher at Kumon right after SPM. I find teaching is quite fun so I decided to give it a try. Plus, teaching runs in the blood since most of my family members are educators as well.

Art has no rules, so when you go messy, the best things can happen!

What is it about teaching art to kids and adults that makes you happy?

The moment when I get to share most of my messy silly ideas with them and seeing them having fun getting messy without any rules – thats the thing that makes me happy and the purpose is all about being happy.

Do you think in our culture, art is something that’s overlooked?

Back then? Yes, but, to compare to now, I think people starting to appreciate art better. With so many exhibitions going on every week & month, and with the help of social media – I think, art in Malaysia is starting to find its place.

Anis used to be a schoolteacher which most likely lends her the patience to be fully present with her students!

Find out more about Oh Little Mess at their Instagram profile or Facebook page.