What’s the earliest memory you have of ‘art’?
My first proper interaction with art was when my random Pokémon drawings in class led to numerous requests from my classmates to draw them their favourite Pokémon. This was before my younger self could grasp the concept that we had different talents and skill sets individually. I remember genuinely being puzzled why my classmates wanted my Pikachu drawings and not just draw one themselves. Looking back, I didn’t realise it then, but that was my first brush (pun intended) with realising how people appreciate the arts.
Is there anything people often assume about being a freelancer?
In my experience, the assumptions I’ve faced as a freelancer are generally more on the subtle side. You get questions like “Oh, no plans to find a full-time job anytime soon?” or the occasional “Wah can survive freelance ah?” and the all-time crowd favourite “Wah so good no need go to work, I also want.”
Thankfully, I haven’t faced too many harsh negative assumptions as a freelancer. I’d like to think that Singapore is starting to embrace and acknowledge the freelance gig economy as a viable career.
Many people hesitate before pursuing arts full time—what’s a piece of advice you’d like to give to them?
In a results- and numbers-driven society like Singapore, it’s important to hear that it’s possible to pursue your passions. I personally had quite a late start in arts, having only started pursuing it in university at 22 after being a science student all the way. So, to anyone that needs to hear it: it’s not too late, please pursue your passions within your means, and trust that while hard work may not immediately show results, it always pays off.
When was the last time you felt inspired? What are some of your common sources of inspiration?
Being a relatively new creative in the scene, I’m constantly inspired by other more experienced local creatives around me. I see the amazing work that they have done and are doing, and it makes me motivated and inspired to continue to do better. I strongly believe that it is important to be inspired by each other so that the creative scene can rise and do better as a whole.
On a more personal note, I’m often inspired by things that people overlook or are oblivious to. Things like the origin of the names of Singapore’s neighbourhoods names, and traditional narratives that are at risk of fading and living permanently in our history books.
What’s a dream collaboration you hope to do in the future?
I try not to set too specific goals for myself if I can help it. I don’t want to find myself in a situation where I put all my effort into working towards a specific goal, achieving it and then feeling lost as to what’s next. Not having a specific goal also helps me enjoy the process more without thinking too much about chasing something specific and tangible.
In a broader sense, I do wanna be able to travel with my work sometime in the future. Be it an overseas exhibition or collaboration, it’d be nice to be able to present my work abroad and see the world at the same time.
If you had the chance to relive one day of your life, which would it be and why?
It wouldn’t be a specific day, but one of those rare days when my family gets together. For that brief moment in time, we enjoy each other’s company without worrying or thinking about anything else. I value family and the people around me, so I’m grateful for any chance I get to enjoy time with them without the weight of work on my mind.
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