1Please give us a brief bio of yourself, your company, job profile, etc.
After graduating with a BFA in Animation, I worked as a producer in the animation, VFX, and gaming industry for a decade. Started up as a concept artist in the gaming industry to eventually managing projects. In 2015, I had an opportunity to join a friend who owned a goldsmith workshop. I was tasked to modernise the factory, explore 3D printing technology, and also touch on artistic works as I build samples to test the pipeline. When the process improved, I devoted more time in designing so I ended up as a jewelry designer. With background in gaming and animation, that explains my unique design style for conventional jewelry.
2Tell us a bit about your business and what you do.
We craft our own unique jewelry, sell it online as well as through distribution partners.
3Congratulations! As the winner of the 2019 Muse Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
2019 is the first time we participated in the Muse competition. We have never thought that we should participate as we felt that our style did not fit the mainstream jewelry design, where it should focus more on the stones. We focus more on forms and it's usually based on characters, creatures or stories and myths. This year, a close partner in the industry encouraged us and here we are. We have not only won two awards from Muse this year, we have also won two awards from A’Design (Italy/Milan). We have participated in more competitions this year and is looking forward to more wins.
4Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2019 Muse Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
For the American Native Red Indian Chief Ring design, it is mainly a challenge for myself. I happened to look at some old moulds in my previous workshop and accidentally came across a Red Indian Chief ring. It reminded me of a few attempts created by different craftsmen and it resembled the symbols/statue of a Red Indian Chief. From there, I proceeded to attempt my interpretation.
For the Balinese Barong Ring design, it is yet another challenge for myself. I always like to attempt something that is already familiar and give it a different touch. Balinese Culture is not unfamiliar to a South East Asian person like me. The iconic creature has an insane amount of details which I would like to attempt.
5What was the biggest challenge with this project?
For Red Indian Chief Ring, as mentioned, similar attempts usually looks more like the American Native totem. I attempted a more realistic concept which I believe can draw more visual interest.
For Barong Ring, I believe it is not a common subject in jewelry design. If there is any, usually it's the age silver finishing so that it were look like an old, traditional object. I decided to introduce a mix of gold plating to bring out a refreshing design by enhancing the details. This is one of the key factors that draws its audience.
6How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
It gave us more confidence that our design is recognised. It gave us assurance that we are on the right track.
7What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?
Singapore is not a well-known country for design, especially for jewelry. In fact, it is a small circle and industry. But I feel that it is a good thing as it forces us to look out - be it on concept/design, manufacturing or even selling/marketing. We are not restricted; the whole world is our playground.
8Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?
Designs will become more intricate with the increase use of technology like designing softwares and 3D printing.
9If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring Muse Award submitter, what advice would you give them?
Exposure is important, even if your work not honour. Check out the winners and any potential competitors to find out what the judges/industry think is considered a good design. Be inspired and learn - that is where you get better. I believe that improving is much more important than winning.
10What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?
I think hands-on skill is very important. I have encountered professional designers that are unable to craft. They can only do rough sketches on the design without the consideration of detailing and solving technical problems such as hinges. As a designer, I believe that you should have the ability to hands-on control as much as possible. That is your value and then that will truly be your design.
11What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Have confidence, believe in yourself, and improve constantly.