Interview With Dina Aldrin, Malaysian Jewelry Maker

Penang Island, the lovely state in Malaysia does not just allow the beauty of the nature there to be enjoyed by others, it is also a place where the talented jewelry maker, Dina Aldrin is based. Studio Pandan had a lovely time chatting with her talking about so much, especially the creative sides, let’s see what she has to say!

#1. What was your first job ever?

I didn’t have permanent work nor did I ever apply for one yet. However, I did make a business out of my makeup service. I did freelancing for a while because again, this is also something I enjoy doing. I love making people feel the best and most confident. I did not charge too much as I was still learning and it was self-taught. I learned to do makeup through youtube videos when I was 9 and now I’m 22. I did makeup services for events like prom, weddings, graduation, and so on. I’m still currently doing it.

#2 Tell us about your journey into the art industry; when did you realize that you could turn your love for art into a career?

My journey starts off natural as I have always been surrounded by people that love art. I myself love art. It empowers me. It makes me feel the most confidence whenever I wear a piece of jewelry that is handmade. I would always stop by at the booths by the road or even in stores. I grew up in Penang Island and every weekend there are always pop-up markets I would attend to. I find myself so excited and intrigued when I see all the details on handmade products. Be it, shirts, pants, purses, and so on. I would always buy with no hesitation. I continued my studies in Melaka and then again, I would be so excited to go to Jonker street every now and then to go for trinkets shopping. I knew it is something I love and will forever be passionate about hence I started to learn how to make my own and turn it into a business for fun. Turns out a lot of people love the things I made which fueled me to keep doing what I love. Even if I didn’t do a business out of my passion I would still love doing it. I never cared about the money or how much I make. I just love doing what I’m doing. I love giving handmade things or to be specific pieces of jewelry to my close family and friends. I appreciate handmade products from the locals even more now because I know how much time and effort is being put into one single product. Hence why I would always support local products. They put a lot of care and thoughts into everything they do.

#3 If you could go back in time and give your young artist self-one piece of advice, what would it be?

If I could give my young artist self one piece of advice, I would say to don’t worry about what the result is going to turn like. Just do it, if you lose, just remember you had learned the most valuable lesson.

#4 Where do you find the most inspiration for your work?

I think I’m a sentimental person and I take the most inspiration for my work from my childhood memories apart from of course the current trends and contents from Pinterest. However, I would always stick true to my identity and always create things that resemble me. I love producing something genuine and new. Aside from that I am most influenced by my dad in terms of creativity because he is a very creative person and I’ve been exposed to his color palettes a lot when he is doing interior design. I think that also helps in my creative process.

#5 What does your creative process look like?

My creative process depends on my mood of the day. If I’m feeling happy, I would definitely put on some high-beat music and start creating based on what I’m feeling on that day and slowly start from there. Sometimes my creative process is not all rainbows and butterflies, I get blank too but I will never force myself because then, the result won’t turn out the way I want it to be. So, I’ll just go with the flow and create whenever I come out with great ideas.

#6 What was the most significant design or business challenge that you have encountered and grown from?

I encounter some challenges and I have to admit that I would always think too much to be perfect which disrupts my workflow. I’m still working on this one but I’m slowly accepting to allow myself to make mistakes too.

#7 What has been your biggest achievement? When was the last time you thought, “wow, I can’t believe I just accomplished that!”

My biggest achievement is actually people loving my handmade trinkets and coming back to repurchase them. I am also over the roof whenever people ask me to create whatever trinkets are personalized for them without showing the process. I sometimes question myself “how could a stranger totally trust my work and want me to create something for them”. I’m very honored and humbled that people want me to create a surprise trinket for them. I believe myself even more after that. The surprise trinket actually sells better than the others.

#8 Which upcoming project or endeavour are you most excited for?

I’m most excited to collaborate with other artists and create something really nice in the upcoming future!
Studio Pandan is so excited to see more people starting to love handmade local products and always trying to support each other. We had a great time, and we cannot wait for you to meet the next talented person in our next interview! Don’t forget to share this blog with your friends and family, we are pretty sure they will love it!.

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