Drool Stamps

stamp artist & illustrator 

Tucked away on the second floor of a shophouse along Haji Lane, Rachel Ma, also known as Drool Stamps, held her first solo exhibition for 2 days in March earlier this year. A solo exhibition always felt like a distant dream, but the pandemic was what gave her courage: “I don’t have to wait for something to happen, I can just begin.”
Titled “24 Seasons”, Rachel’s exhibition draws from the 24 solar terms that farmers in ancient China developed through their observations of the sun’s annual orbit. According to Rachel, the theme came from a place of struggling for a healthy rhythm, something many small business owners, artists and freelancers would find relatable.

From her exhibition description:
Behind 24 seasons lies a deep wisdom for living
in a rhythm of creation, restoration and rest.

“There is wisdom in how people used to live. There are different seasons in life and in nature, for good reason. If you are constantly striving for productivity and performance, then you are most likely to be heading for a burn out.”

The exhibition of 24 unique pieces, were hand carved by Rachel, who specializes in designing and carving customised rubber stamps. Each piece took 1 to 2 hours to carve, stamp and tweak, and they each capture a defining moment of each season, with an emphasis on the transitory and liminal.  
The framed pieces are one-of-a-kind, including both the final artwork and the handmade rubber stamps that formed them. For Rachel, this was intentional, to show the intricacies of how the whole piece came together.


Further along in our conversation, I am pleasantly surprised to hear how long Rachel has been carving stamps. She started at 12 years old, when she watched a video of someone carving and decided to try, using her own erasers. And just like that, Drool Stamps was born.

Despite experimenting with various mediums over the years, rubber stamp carving is what has endured. Even after school and graphic design jobs, she has remained eager to commit to this as a full-time endeavour.
One thing I truly admire is Rachel’s persistence in showing how rubber stamps can be more than just a “kid’s craft”. While it is true that this medium is very accessible – something even kids can do, her art attempts to push the boundaries of what stamps could be, to create artwork that speaks to the soul, no matter the age.

Drool Stamps
Visited March 2022, published May 2022.