MaryAnn Loo


Hi, I’m MaryAnn!

(also known as PenguinGirl)

I’m on a quest to discover who I truly am, and seeking answers to what life is really all about.

Art is a significant part of this personal journey, and also how I share my insights and experiences with seekers like myself.

In our daily struggles, it’s easy to lose sight of who we are, and what truly matters to us.

Through characters, symbols, and colourful whimsical scenes in my paintings and illustrations, I remind you that you’re not alone on this journey of seeking our truth and becoming the best possible version of ourselves.

How I Fulfilled My Artist Dream

I’ve loved drawing since I was a young child. Then at the age of 8 I was told: “Artists don’t make money.” So I stopped drawing and completely forgot about my artist dream.

For the next 20 years I continued to express myself through writing stories, singing, dancing, songwriting, acting… but I always felt I was missing something.

In 2011, at the age of 28 and in my final semester as a Songwriting major in the U.S., I enrolled in “Introduction to Drawing”. In the middle of an assignment, I had a flashback to when I was 8 and told not to be an artist, and I wondered: What if being an artist was my purpose all along?

I spent the next year in New York trying to be an artist, but I hadn’t drawn in over 20 years. I felt lost, confused and completely resigned about ever being able to make this dream come true.

Then I returned to Singapore in 2012, and through life coaching, resolved some of the internal barriers that were really stopping me from going after my dreams. Within 2 months, in early 2013, I organized my first solo exhibition, including making 30 new paintings and raising $2,000 to rent a venue, all with no formal training in art or prior experience in organizing events. That week, I sold 17 paintings, and was commissioned to illustrate a series of three children’s books.

My exhibition was the most challenging thing I had ever done, but it was the first time in my life that I had created something I could truly call my own. It wasn’t about gaining someone’s approval or to prove my worth to others… it was simply the fulfillment of my lifelong artist dream.

I realized then that anything is possible, and I’ve always had the power to make my dreams come true. And if I can do it, you can, too. 

Read more about my artist journey and story here.

My Art Stories: The Journey of Living My Wildest Dreams

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” – Oprah Winfrey

With my art I create and express a world where anything is possible, and where all our dreams come true.

These artworks are inspired by the experiences, realizations, people, places, anything really!… as I live the life of my dreams. 

Right now, I’m in the midst of installing 100 Dream Tree murals in 100 different locations around the world. This is a collaborative community art series where each Dream Tree is inspired by local landmarks, customs and stories, PLUS the local community participates by painting a symbol of their dreams to be incorporated into the mural itself.

This crazy big project is my way of fulfilling my dream of exploring and experiencing the world, being a street mural artist, and inspiring others to connect to their dreams again.

Group photo in front of No. 4: “The Kintai Dream Tree”, June 2019

As the predominant character in my drawings, the Dreamer Penguins symbolize our best self, especially the part of us which continues to believe in our dreams and aspirations, even when they seem impossible.

I believe that every single person has a very unique dream, a most authentic expression of ourselves that we are called to BE as we live our life.

When we were children, we dreamed that we could fly, we dreamed of magical places and adventures, we dreamed of who we will someday become. 

Our belief in these dreams and our possibilities came naturally, almost as if we were born with it.

But as we grew up, we slowly write these off as childish whims, and we forget that we once were dreamers and adventurers and explorers and artists and singers and everything we could possibly imagine.

When you experience my art, you may find it evokes a deep feeling within, perhaps a sense of nostalgia of something you’ve forgotten, and at the same time an inkling of hope and inspiration that fills your heart with love and joy.

Each viewing is a chance for you to connect more deeply with your inner dreamer, and to return once again to that part of yourself who still believes in magic and the adventure of making your dreams come true.

Get my monthly art letter in your email inbox!

Once a month, I’ll write you a letter sharing what I’ve been up to (in art and in life), and some behind-the-scenes stuff that you won’t see on my social media.



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