“When we do art, it’s to feel good and escape from reality. I think all artists share the same thinking.”
FillGud Art is the brainchild of bank tellers Fauziana Seron, 27, and Rohana Rashid, 26. Like the breathtaking superhero landscapes that they design, this duo also leads a double life of sorts on top of their full-time jobs; as mural artists.
“Working in the banking industry can get really stressful and draining sometimes,” admitted Rohana, “so being able to create art is really therapeutic for us.”
Whether it is empty walls or spaces, this talented tag-team can turn any ordinary canvas into a gorgeous work of art.
“It’s spelled as ‘F-I-L-L’ because we always want to fill in empty spaces to make it more lively. So it’s a play on that,” explained Fauziana on the origin of their company name.
“Painting and mural art came about when I painted my room and posted it on Instagram – people saw it and asked me to come over to paint their rooms as well.”
While she first started doing it for free, Fauziana’s family and close friends recognised her talents and were fully supportive of her starting a business based off of it. That led her to approach Rohana, who was a Fine Arts student at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, majoring in Western Painting.
Different Styles, Greater Chemistry
“We happened to do a canvas collaboration together!” Rohana enthused, “So I do commissioned portraits, that’s my thing. But as we started painting together, we realised that we have an unspoken chemistry.”
Rohana excels in realism and potraits, while Fauziana’s strength lies in landscapes and freehand drawings.
“I love to just freehand anything that comes to my mind. I can do it as long as it is not restricted to a certain image,” mused Fauziana.
When a mutual friend of theirs approached the two of them to create a Spider-Man mural for their child’s room, Fauziana was worried initially because facial features were not her forte but luckily for her, it was Rohana’s specialty.
“We may have two different styles but they mesh really well together. Our strengths complement one another.”
As a self-taught artist, Fauziana enjoys the medium of mural painting as the details are so much bigger when it’s blown up on the wall.
“For me, I visualise things better when it’s on a bigger scale, since I can emphasise the details more on bigger canvasses.”
Turning Passion Into A Business
It never crossed their minds that they would be good enough to get paid for their creative work. While their exposure is still limited, FillGud Art’s name has grown steadily thanks to the groundswell of support from word of mouth and social media, where the ladies get most of their prospective projects.
For them, it’s heartening to know that people are actually willing to pay for their services. But there are still some who gawk at that notion.
“People will usually enquire or ask but some will stop when we tell them the price. They can be very ambitious but they realise that it exceeds their budget,” Rohana lamented.
Fauziana added, “The thing is, people don’t understand that they won’t get these kinds of services for a low price because it is so customised. It’s not like wallpaper where we can just print and paste it on the wall. Every time we paint, it’s unique. So that’s where I think people lack that appreciation.
Filling In All Kinds Of Spaces
With FillGud Art, Fauziana and Rohana have had the opportunity to share their murals not only in homes but in cafes as well.
“It’s a dream for me to paint in cafes as that’s where people come in and eat and it creates that ambience for them. The murals give the cafe character,” said Fauziana.
For the FillGud Art duo, the Spider-Man mural remains their proudest endeavour.
“It’s 3D, it comes to life and it spans almost the entire wall, but with a lot of details. We did it freehand. But it was certainly a lot of fun!” Fauziana exclaimed.
Rohana chimed in, “We tried to create cracks to give this illusion that Spider-Man is coming out of the wall, but it solves the problem of us having to paint the whole wall. It makes it pop, almost like the mural is coming to life.”
Will Singaporeans Pay For Art?
The topic of putting a value on art is something the pair feels passionately about.
“A lot of people in Singapore are still against the idea of paying a premium value for the artwork.”
“Once we’re talking about painting facial features and expressions, it’s probably going to be of a higher pricing. The more detailed it is, the more it costs.” Rohana said.
“To some people, it is not worth it to pay a high price when wallpaper, for example, is of a similar costing. Also, while the younger generation is more receptive to art, they may not necessarily be able to afford it. On the other hand, the older generation can afford it but won’t pay for art,” Fauziana observed.
While the pair does not have a set price grid, they work closely together with their customers to come up with the best solution and most reasonable price.
While price seemed to be a big factor and almost a deterrent even, the pair believes attitudes will change eventually. In the meantime, FillGud Art is targeting another market to grow their brand.
“We’re now opening our mural services to businesses as well because companies would definitely pay to beautify their offices, cafes and restaurants. They’re more willing to fork out the money for their interior designs,” said Fauziana.
What the duo lack in business acumen and marketing know-how, they more than make up for it in drive and passion.
“We’re just normal people. We’re not celebrities or social media influencers with a big audience. For them to kickstart a business, that have that advantage compared to us. So that’s where the challenge comes in. But we press on because we love what we do.”
FillGud Art is setting their sights on bigger projects that will allow them to showcase their work in more public offices.
The pair is excited to announce their next big mural artwork; a huge wall painting on the side of the *SCAPE building featuring iconic comic book characters such as Joker, Batman and Harley Quinn. Work on the mural will start from March 26th to 30th, and it is open to the public.
Fauziana and Rohana have also reached out to Esplanade and other associations and public agencies for the opportunity to display their craft.
In the future, Fauziana wants to open a class or school where she can teach people to do mural art.
“Nowadays people hold classes for normal painting on canvasses but I want to do classes for mural painting. In general, I just want to open an art class to make it easily accessible. Art schools are expensive to enter so I want to make it affordable for people to just do art because they love art.,” Fauziana remarked.
“The dream is to do this full time. I see myself as someone who does this for a living. And nothing would make me happier than being able to do this every single day.”
The duo did admit that the bigger market for mural painting, at the end of the day, is still overseas – where people will readily pay high prices for art. Other dream projects include creating 3D mural art on the floor and also producing murals that take up the whole side of a building.
Ultimately, passion is what drives these two ladies. Starting a business is never easy especially when they do not have anybody to guide them.
“After all these years I’m still trying to make this work, but because of the passion, we’re still here,” Fauziana reflected.
“There’s so many tools you can use with brushes to achieve a certain look. There’s so many different mediums like oil and acrylic painting. Mural art takes technique, effort and skill so it’s something that I hope more people can be appreciative of.”
Check out @fillgud.art on Instagram and direct message them for enquiries.
The FillGud Art team will be doing a mural painting at *SCAPE from 26-30 March. It is open to the public and free for viewing.