Ouch! Why is your finger all bandaged up?
I’ve been trying to cook more often as a form of self-care. I was way too excited to eat after cooking one day and accidentally spilled hot soup onto my finger (laughs).
Share with us more about what you do as a designer.
I mainly do branding and previously worked at a design studio called Parable after graduating from Lasalle College of the Arts.
Why did you decide to step away from work?
To focus on my mental health and self-improvement.
Many of us young people are in such a hurry to earn money and make a name for ourselves, but after experiencing multiple cycles of burnout and even witnessing my friends’ mental health go on a decline, I decided that it was no longer sustainable for me to keep going.
Since I went straight to work after university, I thought now would be a good chance to take a break and figure out what I really want, before stepping back into the workforce again.
What have you been up to in this time?
I’m still working on my creative pursuits and diving more into my interest in typography. I participated in the Singapore Art Book Fair back in April where I sold art prints and a zine about self-care.
I’ve also been exploring Singapore culture in my works, specifically looking at linguistic insecurities. I find that many Gen Z’s like myself are very self-conscious about their local identity because we’ve been Westernised and cannot speak our own dialects or even mother tongue. But for me, being Singaporean is just being able to carve out a space that we belong to right here.
Besides that, I started going for therapy in the last month after another burnout to really get to the root of my struggles. It’s been a rewarding experience as I’ve learnt to reconnect with my inner child—getting in touch with her wants and needs.
Do you feel that there’s a negative stigma towards mental health in Singapore?
Many people feel that going for therapy means that they’re broken, but mental wellbeing is also a part of our health. You don’t actually need to be battling any mental health issues to seek help. If you’re experiencing a little bit of anxiety or stress, I think it’s really worth a try to explore yourself and heal.
How else do you practise self-care?
I go to the gym when I’m upset, like those gym bro memes (laughs).
Recently, I’ve been reading a lot of self-help books too. I highly recommend the book Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg; it’s a great read about how to communicate authentically and kindly.