By Melissa Chelsea Gomez

Growing up, it is only natural for your parents to send you to all kinds of extra-curricular classes to develop hobbies. When I was young I attended art and music classes, but art did not stick for long, and my music teacher told my mother that I was never going to be able to play the piano or any instrument well because I just “didn’t have it” in me. Nevertheless, my mother sent me for piano lessons every year until I finally met a teacher who believed in me and encouraged me till I decided to pursue music in my tertiary education. To this day, I’ll never be able to express how grateful I am that they kept going, even when I didn’t want to.

Today, I am a woman in arts. However, arts- in itself, is not subjected to a single definition. Sometimes, it reaches beyond the Arts industry itself. I’d like to think of myself as a woman in my own art. I love music. I also love the English language, and anyone who knows me knows that I love organising, but how do I express each artistic form in my own way? What do I bring to the table with my own kind of art?

I love music- yes, but I love using it to educate young children and explore my creativity and imagination, even with the English language. As a young girl, I used to participate in storytelling competitions, and in the impromptu speech section, I lived out the saying, “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” by Walt Disney, and created unimaginable imaginative stories that served to make people happy and laugh. That is my goal, to always help people- children especially, enjoy the process of learning something new, whether it is through music or English.

My arts is my way of spreading the happiness I find in it- to people, so that even if they are feeling down, or aren’t feeling happy with themselves, they find a moment of comfort and joy in my lessons, or even by watching, listening, and communicating with me. Our world today is filled with so many overwhelming issues that our children are easily swept up in all the chaos. My aim, especially when it comes to working with children, is to ignite that childlike light in them, so that they learn better, and become better people.

Somehow, with an out-of-the-box mind comes a mind that loves compartmentalising and organising. Most people would think that this is just an added quality or skill that advances my productivity. However, I consider this my own unique art because of how easily I apply it in different contexts and positions- be it as a secretary, treasurer, committee or team leader, and especially in event and production management. It’s safe to say that I have naturally carved out a reputation for being organised, and I happily consider a successful event one of my works of art. Though underestimated, in reality, a lot of thinking and generating new ideas goes into the act of organising different ideas, and situations.

Art is subjective. It means something different to each and every person and to me, my art is a balance of the creative and the structured. It means that I am able to pursue anything I want because my arts are adaptable and have a purpose, which is to always make a positive impact, whether it is by teaching music or English, or even by organising an event.  

MAHILA is about women through arts. It speaks of women finding themselves, owning it, and expressing their own art, and I aim to embody that spirit and strive. As a woman, there are days where even I struggle to find a sense of being and purpose. I have fears and insecurities about just how impactful or meaningful I am to others, and most importantly, to myself. On these days, I remind myself that I am beautifully gifted, that I am blessed to freely pursue any form of art I want, and to consistently work on harvesting my own art. Everyday, I take a small step towards whatever my path may be, but I do it believing in myself and in my arts, because it shouldn’t matter what people think or say about my art. What matters is how my art expresses me- how I am Melissa through my arts.