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Slowfire Spotlight: Ms. Maliya

December 5, 2023

By: Josslyn Baron

“My name is Maliya Badruddin (she/hers), and I am an Indonesian-American raised in Queens, NYC. I moved to Chicago to pursue my master's in Art Therapy and Counseling. At the start of my art career in 2019, I mainly specialized in digital illustration. I loved portraying my creativity using a tool that required a sense of control and flat colors. However, my art career took a new route when I discovered Ceramics during my second semester of community college. I fell in love with the sensory experience and the ability to narrate my emotions and stories in a 3D form. After taking ceramics for three semesters, I was able to advance my skills in both hand-building and throwing on the wheel! This discipline taught me patience and to embrace happy mistakes. If someone were to ask me today what kind of artist I was, I would identify as a multi-disciplinary artist. My work in Illustrations and ceramics cannot be compared because both mediums help me uniquely express different parts of myself and my emotional healing.” (Maliya Badruddin, 2023)


I met Maliya at the beginning of the year at our Admitted Students Day at Adler University. We are both in the same Art Therapy Masters program. When we met, we experienced an instant connection and established a strong friendship! I feel honored to introduce Maliya to Slowfire and see her beautiful contributions to the community.

Maliya teaches hand-building to grade school ages on Fridays at Hatch Elementary School. Her favorite part about teaching ceramics to children is encouraging them to let go and feel free with the sense of unpredictable and accessible form that clay provides. She wants to inspire children to express their personalities and stories creatively using clay because sometimes, using words is hard! Maliya likes to work collaboratively in the classroom with my students as equals, providing plenty of play choices and taking breaks. Laughing and humor are also essential to all her lessons because being silly helps her students feel comfortable and seen!


Although Maliya started only recently at Slowfire in September of this year, she has grown such love and attention to the community in Oak Park. Her favorite part about teaching at Slowfire is building relationships in a tight-knit, creative community. Art holds an incredible power when it is shared in numbers, and her goal with each lesson and school is to foster creative relationships and inspiration among the molding minds of the neighborhood.


Lastly, her favorite artist these days is an illustrator on Instagram; her handle is @cogum3li. Her illustrations convey powerful storytelling using the tasteful blending of reality and gore. Maliya followed her at the early start of her career, and @cogum3li helped her embrace the power behind the intricacy of small details and the choice of colors when portraying caricatures.


We are so excited to have Maliya join our team!

Some of Maliya's beautiful art!

Far left and right: digital illustrations. Center: acrylic painting.


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