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The awareness level in appreciating original artworks among Malaysians is not high. Therefore, getting scouted as an artist is no simple task. While there is an appreciator for every kind of artwork, there are not a lot of platforms out there that let you connect the artist with the appreciator immediately.

Social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram could be places that get an artist’s workaround. However, the clout they get from shares and retweets can only last so long after the sharing momentum dies down.

Noticing there was a gap in showcasing and finding local artists online, Yi Hui started to research platforms where Malaysians could easily and quickly find local artists to their liking. Through her research, she found that there were platforms for artists to showcase their work online, but it covered artists worldwide and didn’t do much to narrow the gap.

Therefore, she decided to build a platform to showcase and discover Malaysian artists. In October 2020, Yi Hui launched Buttermilk.

Before we drill further into the platform, let’s have a closer look at the creator, Yi Hui. She isn’t an artist herself, instead, she works as a product manager at a SaaS startup. She finds herself was drawn to artists not only because of their talent but because she understands that their art usually comes from a place of hard work and tenacity.

Due to her admiration towards the arts and the artists, she created Buttermilk as a way to give back to the community for the art they’re creating, whether it’s artists who are just starting out or are experienced.

Her decision to name the platform “Buttermilk” was not for any particularly profound reason, but simply because she felt that name was approachable and memorable for the brand.

Buttermilk was made on a no-code platform called Webflow, which required little to no coding on her end.

Once Buttermilk was up, Yi Hui scouted some artists, who are her friends, to start off the platform with. They also helped her in promoting the platform and referring more artists for her.

Most of the traction she’s gotten initially was from the #ArtistOfMalaysia hashtag (created by @sueannajoe_) on Twitter. After tweeting her launch with the hashtag, more artists started pouring in and joined the platform. The platform is almost 9 months old now, with over 400 artists on it so far.

The platform is completely free for both artists and those looking to work with them, and Yi -Hui doesn’t earn a single dime from Buttermilk as of now.

While she doesn’t have any instances of how Buttermilk has helped artists to share yet, she brought up some problems Buttermilk could help with what users have suggested.

These suggestions include being the directory for people to properly credit artists for their work as well as being a potential marketplace for local artwork.

Moving forward, Yi Hui wishes that Buttermilk can become the go-to platform to find artists and hopes the platform can help more artists to gain support and recognition for their works. She also looks to grow Buttermilk’s job board to allow people to post jobs for artists or hire them for work.

Buttermilk has joined ZOM-IN.com to collaborate in efforts to empower aspiring youths. Join us now at www.zom-in.com to participate in exciting events coming soon!


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