Picture of Ohn Mar Win, Food Illustrator

Ohn Mar Win is a full-time freelance food illustrator who began her journey on Skillshare as a student three years ago.

Ohn Mar Win is a full-time freelance food illustrator who began her journey on Skillshare as a student three years ago. Now, she’s sharing her creative process with others as a teacher and has published three classes to date, with many more in the works. Ohn Mar has always had an interest in art since she was a kid, and tried her hand at advertising, design, and printmaking in college. “Half of my portfolio when I graduated from college was printmaking based. However I realised after 6 months that my printmaking was not going to pay the rent. Looking through magazines of the time it occurred to me that I could draw people pretty well and that’s when my first magazine commissions came in.”

She spent a number of years creating illustrations for health and beauty magazines, but she began to feel unfulfilled in this type of work. Ohn Mar took a break while taking care of her kids and, after a seven year hiatus, was itching to get back into illustration. “I decided if I returned to illustration it would be on my terms. After meditating on this I decided on food and travel.” This is when she found Skillshare. Ohn Mar began taking classes and they helped her shape her own unique style. “Mary Kate McDevitt’s class was one of the first that I took and also one about character design. What I learned from those two classes in particular became some of the building blocks for developing my style that i’m well known for.”

Picture of Ohn Mar Win's Food Ilustration Class

While she has become extremely successful in her freelance career, Ohn Mar continues to pursue new creative interests and has taken on a 365 day painting project, which she showcases on her Instagram. “For me I see this as a 20-30 minute break to have some fun and experiment. I feel it keeps my work (and brain) fresh and exciting. Also it has made me less precious about making mistakes because after all, we do have Photoshop. The process will not produce perfect results every time, it’s the act of painting that helps me to learn and trust the process.”

Ohn Mar’s work as a creative and freelancer inspired her to become a teacher on Skillshare. “Through my experience, I have a lot that I want to share and I hope that what I share people will find interesting and it will help them on their creative journey.” Beyond supporting others in their creative pursuits, the passive income opportunities on Skillshare stood out to Ohn Mar in particular. “I’ve always been a freelancer. Anyone who’s done that will know that income is tough. You don’t know what you’re going to get from month to month and I liked the idea of the passive income aspect from Skillshare.”

Ohn Mar has reached 3K students and earned $1,245 in her first month on Skillshare. She was amazed by the results of her first payment from Skillshare. “I literally fell off my chair. I had to email in to check that it was the correct amount that had come through!”

By marketing her class to her Instagram community, she was able to boost her success on Skillshare through enrollments and referrals, allowing her class to Trend right away. “What i’m asked a lot, often from complete strangers, is how did I grow such a following? Bottom line is consistent considered efforts…a little step every day to grow my career and get my name out there.”

Picture of Ohn Mar Win drawing a food illustration

She is planning to teach at least one new class a month and is excited to continue sharing her process in hopes that it will resonate with others. “I’m now thinking along the lines – how can I make this easy, how can I make this quick but still be effective. It’s not like i’m reinventing the wheel, just reminding people to disengage your brain, don’t over think and have fun! For me, I think that fun aspect that comes through in my classes and also if I can help students connect and keep on creating good art, that’s always a plus.”

Ohn Mar’s advice for those thinking about teaching on Skillshare? “You should just do it, completely! I know it may seem daunting at first but it’s going to be so worth it. I wouldn’t hesitate, i’m trying to tell as many friends as I can to teach a Skillshare class because the world needs your knowledge!”

Written by:

Mary Findley