Passion can start anyhow, anytime and anywhere. As it was for Mawar Yudiana binti Mohamad, a 25-year-old graphic designer who started her love for design through cartoons and anime. Mawar has always been entranced by the graphics, the ideas, and the storyline of it since she was a child.
While pursuing a Mass Communication degree, she was introduced to Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop which further grew her interest in it. The promise of direct engagement between freelancers and clients, and the ability to prioritise one's own mental health eventually attracted Mawar to start her career in the gig economy.
“The most challenging part is to step out of my comfort zone because I know staying in it won’t get me anywhere.” Mawar’s grit led her to join the Digital Entrepreneurship Programme at Me.reka.
She was impressed by the ‘Intro to Gig Platform’ and ‘Managing Your First Clients’ modules which were very different from what she is familiar with. Not only did the programme teach participants how to engage with clients, but it also highlighted how important contracts are for both freelancers and clients.
Through the 4-week journey, Mawar’s determination to excel in her field burned bright. Her goal as a graphic designer is to deliver positive messages to society and provide more opportunities for marginalised people. People with disabilities and the local orang asli who have little access to knowledge and economic awareness are exactly who Mawar hopes to help.
Currently, Mawar is helping the Disability Services Unit in IIUM in visual design and social management. Through her network of friends and family, she continues to promote her graphic design skills and aims to find a full-time role by next year.
When asked for advice to share with potential participants who remain unsure about signing up, Mawar opines, “It’s now or never!”
“It’s okay to be afraid to do something new but it’s not okay to stay afraid. You are amazing and you should always remember that no one can replace you, so step out of your comfort zone, join this programme and improve. You got this!”