Entrepreneurial Artist Emilia

Emilia Tan

Emilia Tan


In this era, we see many creative and intelligent minds striving to do their best in promoting Malaysia to the world at large. As for me, it is important that people see Malaysia as a successful country in every area possible. I strive to encourage and educate both Malaysians and non-Malaysians to discover the art of Batik, which is part of the Malaysian culture. I created TMS Art as a stepping-stone to gradually uphold my aim. TMS is actually an abbreviation of my name, Tan Mei Shia that was given by my most loving parents. Working in TMS ART is one of the most exciting moments of my life. We as a team in TMS Art, work together and grow together each day. The quick results of our achievements and efforts were truly amazing. This was shared with everyone especially the media, public etc. Our motto is “Live and learn Art Everyday”. This encourages us to learn from our mistakes and move on to achieve our daily goals.

Why Batik?

Even though there are many mediums available around the world, I chose Batik mainly to promote the Malaysian culture and it was love at first sight for me. When I was exposed to Batik during my early years, the fine beauty and the process of how Batik art actually worked fascinated me. Batik belongs to us, Malaysians. Just like in China , the Chinese own Chinese ink painting whereas in Malaysia we own BATIK. I was fortunate to be involved in Batik at the right time because at the time TMS ART was created, the late Datin Endon was promoting Batik. That indirectly promoted my work.


Born in Banting, in 1981, Emilia Tan has lived and worked in Kuala Lumpur since 2004, and began painting batik during her college days at the Malaysian Institute of Art. Inspired by creative thought and action, Emilia’s business grounding came through her little batik workshop, aptly named TMS ART where she paints and sells batik and conducts batik workshops daily. Her kaleidoscopic, abstract impressionist art embraces painting and installation – but batik is her usual starting point. Today, this genre is a thriving and legitimate art form, with many artists making a living selling their creations both individually and through formal groups. TMSART provides batik artists with an opportunity to support themselves financially while nurturing their own cultural traditions. The artists learn to apply their artistic skills to create products that appeal to international and domestic markets.

Emilia has taken the lessons learned in building TMS ART and through developing a market-driven network model, applied it at an industry-wide level. The company’s handmade batik products –clothing, fashion accessories, home furnishings and traditional Malaysian crafts – are marketed locally and globally and sold to customers and retailers. Each year, TMS ART introduces new product lines at local trade shows and reaches customers worldwide via its gallery and website. Clients include Oil & Gas companies like HESS & PETRONAS and renowned property developer, Cahaya SPK as well as world-renowned pewter brand, Royal Selangor.

Focused on driving creative development through demand, TMS ART is a “proof of concept” creative enterprise, an art project, a job creation programme and cooperative management system that initially brought together two distinct fields – fashion and art. TMSART has not only revolutionized the batik industry in Malaysia, but also grown the business of its artists and lifted the status of these crafts into art forms assigning proper aesthetic and economic value. By creating innovative and formal systems of craft development, team cooperative manufacturing, quality control and marketing to local and international audiences, TMSART ensures the producers a fair price for their art, making it the first batik organization in Malaysia to engage and connect all batik stakeholders together through a magazine called myBatik.

The primary aim of TMS ART is to be an innovative leader in the batik field, creating sustainable, meaningful long-term employment opportunities and supporting batik artists, writers and suppliers. This aim is realized through the creation of an organization that is driven by marketing through myBatik magazine and other batik events. Building on the power of community, myBatik distils the success of TMS ART to create an organization that, through building a network with a core of project management and marketing excellence, will have an impact on an industry-wide scale. myBatik sets the company’s broader social and community development goals in terms of skills training, individual artist development and a series of outreach initiatives in non-profit organizations, schools and impoverished communities.

In August 2011, Emilia decided to experiment with a new concept in selling batik art by opening an art cafe in National Textile Museum Malaysia. A cafe that shows art by artists is nothing new; a museum space that has a cafe on one side and a full-service art gallery on the other, is definitely something new. Inspired by this experiment in art retailing, she plans to attract a number of people who do not ordinarily visit art galleries, but once at her gallery, find themselves in a comfortable and non-intimidating space full of art while enjoying traditional Malaysian delicacies like nasi lemak and multi-ethnic pastries. This creates an atmosphere conducive to selling art to people who have never before been in art-buying situations. A strong believer in creative entrepreneurship, Emilia Tan has worked hard to ensure that TMSART is a true hybrid creative/business enterprise


Batik was love at first sight for me. The distinctiveness of Malaysian Art is beyond words to express. I believe deep down in my heart that Malaysia can shine in the world of Batik.


TMS Art mainly promotes Malaysian Batik. It also hopes to create a Batik evolution. Our team is very open-minded and accept people from all walks of life and work together hand in hand in promoting Malaysian Batik to the world at large. If you are interested or know people who are interested and want to work with us or know more about Batik we can meet up and come up with designs to make batik industry a bigger industry. I want to carry out this mission so that other countries can see Malaysia in a different light. Thus, our own Batik culture can grow tremendously in not only art/ textile but in its application in daily lifestyles of Malaysians.


The TMS Art companies consists of Artists, Art Gallery, Art & Craft Workshop, and Art Magazine Publication namely MyBatik, The Art Cafe & myBatik Tour. However, we have a long way to go without the support of others. Therefore, I personally cry out to all Malaysians to give their support to us, come forward and join us uphold this mission together. Together as a team, we can come up with a Batik evolution and thus, make our country stand out in the eyes of the world.

My Batik Charity Workshop

Our latest Charity Batik programme is the Batik-coloring workshop, which is not only for those who are from the unfortunate family, & orphanage, but also aborigines. Education is the future of the batik business. Educate our audients, and looking forward of the one in future, some one will take up Batik as the career.

We also bring Batik to suburban areas so everyone has a chance to know about our Batik. Moreover, we have resident artists who display their artwork in our Gallery to educate the public how to value a piece of good and quality batik.

There are many other charity batik program running throughout the year. If you are interested, kindly check out at our website, www.tmsart.com.my

A Note of Thanks

1. My beloved Parents and siblings, for the encouragement and support

2. late Tun Endon, for bringing batik to the world stage through the events like KLIB, Piala Seri Endon, and so on.

3. The Batik Guild, for the world batik platform and contacts & database.

4. Ms. Farah Emkay from MKland for being my first customer

5. Datin Paduka Chen Mun Kuan from Royal Selangor for

6. Fashion designers like Daniel Cho, Scott, Cheong Peh, Eric Choong, Melinda Looi, and many others for choosing the TMS Art services.

7. Eric Leong, the celebrities interior designer for the advice and consultancy

8. Mr. Chris Ng for making my solo batik showcase in Suria KLCC, 2004 a successful story and an unforgettable event,

9. Graphic designer, Mr. Luk Chee Chiew for creating TMS ART’s logo,

10. Photographers, like Mr. Lucien De Prycker, Mr. Jacky Lin, James Wong & Danny Lee, for their kind contribution throughout the myBatik journey.

11. Ms. Jeannie Cotter & Jonathan S.Evans the editors to myBatik Magazine, www.myBatik.org.my, for the hard work and to make sure the success of myBatik is there.

12. Art Director Mr. Ben Chin, plus my team members Umair, Cha, JC, Suen, Je Yeng, Catherin, Eka, Cecilia, and many more always there to help me out.

13. Madam Wairah Marzuki, Ex- General Director from National Art Gallery Malaysia,

14. Raja Fuziah, Founder and President of Craft Council Malaysia

15. writer Mr. Leong Tuck Yee from Soga Gakkai Malaysia , Ms. MaryBeth from The Expat Magazine, Ms. Gine from Sin Chiew Guang Meng Daily and many more.

16. Ms. Liz Harvey, from Garden International School and Ms. Chong the Head of HR Department of Cempaka International School. Miss Elizabeth Wedge & Miss Ashley Click from the International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL), for the various batik workshops have been held in the school compus.

17. My art teachers, Mr. Tiew Nai Tong, Mr. Tan Tong and Ms. Fatimah Chik who were my excellent advisors from day one.

18. Legal Advisor, Miss Cecilia Tan, for her assistant to all the legal matters.

19. Model friends like Amber Chair, Tengku Azura, Cassandra Lim, John Oh, Fazlun, and many others.

20. Excellent tailoring services provided by Melvin Chau, the director of the FOX custom tailor

21. The opportunities given by Dato’ Ibrahim, Director General of National Museum Malaysia, Miss Janet Tee, Director of  National Textile Museum Malaysia & Dato’ Yusof Ahmad, Director General from National Art Gallery. Your advise to me, will never forget.

22. myBatik Magazine Advisor, Yang Mulia Dato’ Paduka Datin Seri Sharifah Hismmah.

23. Council Members & members of Malaysian Retailers Chain Association (MRCA)

24. Mr.Lim Jen Yow, from Jenyow Enterprise, for the website & social media Consultancy.

To those names who were not mentioned, I would like to apologize but do remember each and everyone who has done something, even though so small, I also wish to extend my thank you to you.

Just to end this message, ‘Art is an expression of your own vision and eventually you will make up your own rules. Inspiration is everywhere. My journey through the world of batik is a continuing adventure and I still find myself learning and discovering everyday. ‘ said this young Batik artist, Emilia.

Founder / President, TMS ART Marketing Ltd. Co.

Ms. Emilia Tan, 15 December 2011

2 Responses to “Entrepreneurial Artist Emilia”

  1. Jamar Fierro says:

    Thank you for another fantastic blog. Where else could I get this kind of information written in such an incite full way? I have a project that I am just now working on, and I have been looking for such information… Regards…

  2. jack says:

    yes ,i agree with you.

    Online oil painting studios

RSS feed for comments on this post. And trackBack URL.

Leave a Reply