PETALING JAYA : Amirul Ariffi Hamzah’s paint brushes, like the orders for his work, have all but dried up now.
But the mural artist who has been struggling during the pandemic, refuses to call it quits.
Kedah-born Amirul, 26, came to the city to realise his dreams of becoming a mural artist but Covid-19 and measures to curb the virus have affected his business as his customers have postponed or cancelled their orders.
“There are no jobs to paint murals in restaurants because the restaurants cannot accept dine-in customers. So, why would they need a mural.”
Amirul said before the pandemic, restaurants, pre-schools, companies and even homeowners would seek out his services to beautify their premises. His rates depend on the size of the walls and complexity of design.
He said when MCO 2.0 was announced, more than 10 customers cancelled their orders. He tried offering his services at a discount, even looking for customers in his hometown, but to no avail.
“Many of those who cancelled their orders had already paid deposits but because of the MCO, they chose to save their money.”
The Universiti Teknologi Mara art and design graduate however does not want to give up on mural paintings as he does not want his talents and ideas to go to waste.
To him, all that he is going through is a test like what others are facing. What matters is how a person faces that test.
“This is the reality of being an artist and businessman. When we get more (business), we need to be thankful; when we get less we still need to be thankful.
“It reminds me that in the future, if I get more business, I must not forget to save.”
He said it had been almost a month since he last landed a job. In the meantime, he has been doing freelance graphic design jobs and any other jobs so long as it pays the bills.
“The MCO is the new norm; we have to accept it. This is for our health, too,” he said, adding the silver lining was that the MCO allowed him to get more rest.
“Otherwise, every day I would be working from 8am and only stop at 1am or 2am.
“Every day, I would just be painting because of the high demand. So I see my present situation in a positive light.”
By : Adam Abu Bakar – FMT