Hello, I’m Melinda.

Writer, artist, dreamer. Creator of the HopeMail newsletter, The Porcupine Lab newsletter, lover of life and beautiful things.

My story

I’m a self-taught artist, both in drawing and writing. Born and raised in Penang, Malaysia. As the only child in the family with no siblings to play with, my late mother would buy me books to read and art books to keep me occupied.

Coming from the maternal side of the family where different ones would paint, draw, play the guitar, sew, do arts & crafts—I didn’t realise I was being nurtured by this creative environment. 

In my adult life, I often have visuals, words, and ideas in my head that I yearn to draw or write them out.

Always drawn to art and beauty, I ignored pursuing this artistic path; choosing to stick to “safe and known” careers for over 20 years.

It is only in 2018, I tip-toed into full-time writing after years of doing other types of work. And in 2021, I followed the instinct in my heart to draw. 

March 2021 was a milestone for me. I finally accepted that the artistic path—is the path for me. 

It was a breakthrough of smashing my brutal inner-critic of “don’t do it, who do you think you are, people are gonna laugh behind your back!”, “do something more practical; this is so self-indulgent!”, and “what if you fail?”

I’m now combining my two loves—drawing and writing, as my vocation, career and business. The journey is new, yes, but it has been many years in the making—starting from the years as a seven-year-old, sitting cross-legged on the floor, learning to draw from the many art books my late mother has bought me, to the I’ve-lost-count-of-words I’ve penned and typed. 

Where will you find my work?

Publications | newsletters

HopeMail | essays/quotes/links/poems

In 2017, I started a newsletter called HopeMail—honest writings about life and whatever that comes with it: losses, frustrations, questions about life, happiness, etc. I moved the publication in 2021 to Substack (a publication platform for independent writers).

HopeMail is published twice a month. Subscribe to receive the newsletter.

The Porcupine Lab | drawings/prose/poems

On a whim, I created a new newsletter The Porcupine Lab in March 2021. 

My why was to have a place for me to freely create with drawings and words. To not have a defined niche or topic to box me in.

The Porcupine Lab has since been the place where I share my random thoughts (sometimes humorous, sometimes deep) through drawings, sketches, prose and poems. Subscribe

Buy artwork online

You’ll find my artwork on Saatchi Art—the world’s leading online art gallery. 

“I’m Made For A Purpose” is the first drawing I’ve put out to the world, to offer for purchase. I’ll be adding new artworks to the gallery when I have them.