I’m a full-time illustrator and animator currently based in Singapore, bringing together my background in cartoons, character and commercial animation.
Three cities helped shape who I am and what I make today – Kuching, Melbourne and Singapore. Singapore is where I’m based at right now and also the freshest in my mind today, so I will answer these questions with it in mind.
Three cities helped shape who I am and what I make today – Kuching, Melbourne and Singapore.
Best: It’s a meeting of so many worlds. Depending on who you spend time with, Singapore can feel like a different place every time.
Worst: It’s pretty small. I love taking long walks where my mind can wander and appreciate unpremeditated nature. While I’ve learnt to appreciate pockets of space, I do miss the vastness.
I’d actually been in the science field from school days to university, but always held an interest in drawing, thanks to cartoons, comics and video games. After deciding to pivot to animation, I started out in the cartoons industry before my interest shifted towards motion graphics, illustration and commercial animation. It has taken me a long roundabout while to arrive at what I enjoy making today but my big love has always been creating characters and I’m always looking for ways to bridge all my interests.
It has taken me a long roundabout while to arrive at what I enjoy making today but my big love has always been creating characters and I’m always looking for ways to bridge all my interests.
No, so if I wanted to be a creative, it was a decision I had to be stubborn for. And sometimes, when I’m among more supportive people, it feels strange not having to put up a fight!
I’d like to spend more time capturing our simple ordinaries from our part of the world, with a twist, and compiling them as a series. ‘The Ladies of Laichee Lane’ is one such series, or at least an exploration of. Eventually, getting them published or displayed in an exhibition would be wonderful. Creating only animations can feel isolating sometimes so part of this ambition is to work more with others. And of course, learning to balance all this with parenthood.
I’d like to spend more time capturing our simple ordinaries from our part of the world, with a twist, and compiling them as a series.
Hard to pinpoint a person. Like many artists, I create work inspired by music so, I would love to collaborate with musicians/writers who for instance, draw inspiration from Singapore or Malaysia. In the meantime, I’m always eager to collaborate with people within my circle. For example, the IssaVibe gif was a collaboration with Kuching creatives. Taking a project like into a larger narrative piece – that’s something I’d get behind.
In all honesty, a recurring one would be finding purpose in my work. Another would be balancing the ideal and the practical.
Varied, inspiring, and always learning
Varied, inspiring, and always learning
Actually, no. I naively consumed whatever fell most easily into my lap at the time, and most of these creative works (comics, animations, games) happened to be credited to male creators or studios. Why might this be the case? I can only guess. Maybe the achievements or efforts of local female creatives weren’t championed as much or instead, the ladies might have been praised for something else such as being a great wife, mother, aunt, etc. as well-intentioned as that may be.
There’re lots of advice about how to be a technically advanced artist or how to hustle. But I like to remind myself that “you are more than what you make”.
There’re lots of advice about how to be a technically advanced artist or how to hustle. But I like to remind myself that “you are more than what you make”. Keep a healthy interest in the social and practical aspects of being an artist/illustrator – How you hope to stay relevant and still a part of the industry wherever you are, well into your years, if that’s your plan. Be as much a fan of neat finances and sharing knowledge as you would be of another artist’s beautiful work. These things don’t get taught enough in institutions or classes so please seek them out and be unafraid to share what you find. Help a junior out.
This changes all the time, and right now, I’m thinking of some laksa from Sarawak Delicacy Laksa & Kolo Mee – yum.
I like to turn on some music, pick up colour pencils or pastels – tools that are quick to reach for with zero preparatory/clean-up time, unlike paint – and just fill up blank pages. Basically, allowing myself to let go and experiment with colours and shapes.
I feel as makers, AI will always be learning from us, or creating relative to us. We will still be part of the equation.
Why do you create?
Photos courtesy of Vann Law
January 15, 2021