In the midst of daunting projects and pressing deadlines at school last year, Elizabeth Goh (CS’18), then a first-year student at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, needed an outlet to relieve her stress.
Passionate about painting and drawing since she was a toddler, she began to turn to art again. Like Goh, many WKWSCI students are involved in creative freelance work. From making hand lettering cards to doing professional makeup for local lifestyle magazines, these students see their art projects as a way to balance out their lives.
Art is a good way to “feel more positive about myself,” Goh said.
Two years back, Goh began making handmade goods such as phone cases, T-shirts and paintings as gifts for her loved ones just for fun.
However, when the 21-year-old started posting photos of her items onto her Instagram account a year ago, the positive responses from her followers were overwhelming — prompting her to set up to a side business.
“In order to get ahead, or achieve more than just grades at university, pursuing your passion, side projects and hobbies are just as vital.”
Yeo Tze Hern
Similarly, Yeo Tze Hern (CS’18) yearned for something beyond his academics during his first year. Inspired by creative projects he stumbled upon on the Internet, he began experimenting with typography using different brushes and markers.
“In order to get ahead, or achieve more than just grades at university, pursuing your passion, side projects and hobbies are just as vital,” he said.
Also fond of photography, Yeo’s custom designed cards, notebooks and bookmarks are made with original snapshots from his travels and often carry inspirational words.
The 22-year-old shares his work regularly on his Facebook and Instagram page. His handmade paper goods are also available for purchase on his website.
“The words I write are positive, which I hope inspire people.”
Meanwhile, for Tan Yang Er (CS’16), nothing makes her happier than being around brushes and makeup. She also believes that having creative side projects offer a good break from school.
“I like it that I am completely comfortable whenever I am doing the makeup. I am able to really tune out because the focus is intense,” said Tan.
Three years ago, she started her own makeup business. To date, she has done makeup for film productions, televison shows and magazine shots such as commercials and advertisements for clients like FedEx. She was also involved in a music video for the local band The Sam Willows.
“I have a lot of hobbies, but this one turned kind of into a money-making one,” she said.
Tan was first inspired by her aunt, who is a makeup artist as well.
“I started doing a lot of pro-bono stuff spending hours just going out there, meeting people. It was a great time because it was kind of an investment: getting to know people, developing my skills and learning about myself,” she explained.
Things started to get more serious when Tan was approached by school seniors to do makeup for their theatre productions. Her professional skills were recognized and gradually turned into a source of income during her four-year education at WKWSCI.