If you dropped everything and spent an entire year focused on what you are ACTUALLY passionate about, how far do you think you could go?

25 year old Johor-based artist has shown us that you can, indeed, go very far!


Just a year ago, business graduate, Lavannia Kumar, was working hard as a sales coordinator. Something felt off when she would return home from work everyday, feeling completely drained and depressed. She knew that she was in the wrong career and industry but she had no idea of what to do next.

Lavannia took a leap of faith and tendered in her resignation. As she continued to discover herself and contemplated on which career path to walk down, she started painting to pass her time. Painting was her hobby till she was 11 years old and it was the first time she picked up some paint and brush ever since. Lavannia started sharing her work on social media and was shocked to see her followers requesting to buy her artwork, especially her signature black and gold oil painting. She started creating commissioned artwork and just like that, her hobby turned into a profitable business.

In August last year, Lavannia went on to create an artwork of koi fishes in a pond using coloured beads that look like ‘diamonds’. The artwork consisted consisted of 98,000 coloured ‘diamonds’ and was created over the span of 744 hours!

Just 4 months later, Lavannia was given the opportunity to paint for Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, the Sultan of Johor. She created a black and gold oil painting that perfectly captures the movements of traditional dancers painted around a Johor map and flag. The painting was presented to the Sultan of Johor by YB Dr S Ramakrishnan.

Lavannia is a self-taught artist who believes in working with different mediums and continuously grow and evolve around the art she creates. She picked up quilling and sketching in one such pursuits. When Lavannia recreated popular singer, Sid Sriram’s Entropy album cover in sketches and quilling, Sid showed his appreciation by sharing her work on his social media platform.

Besides her incredible work of art, Lavannia also actively conducts workshops for children and adults in quilling, painting and making dreamcatchers. At times, she conducts mini 10-minute Painting and Quilling workshops at local bazaars.

Lavannia hopes to run her own art gallery that would exhibit and sell the work of local and international artists in the future. When asked about which artist she looks up to, Lavannia said that she draws inspiration from local artist, Mona KV.

As the Editor of Varnam MY, Shangkharee thinks it is important that a site represents the Tamil diaspora in Malaysia and across the globe. Between scouring for current stories, spilling unpleasant views and sipping on endless cups of coffee, she aims to deliver stories and shape a more inquisitive and critical community.

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