When I became a freelance artist…. my studio setup.
It was March 6, 1999, I just got married to my wife Katherine, aka Poh Poh, that’s what I used to call her, in an endearing manner of course. Almost 20 years ago, I decided to quit my engineering job to become a freelance illustrator full time. Otherwise I would be holding 3 jobs all at the same time. I worked 8 hours or more as an engineer in a wafer fabrication plant, came back home to work on my freelance and personal projects. Eventually, I became sleep depraved and not wanting to spend the rest of my life like this, I decided to make a change. My greatest worry was salary. My wife told me, just go ahead and not worry too much financially since she was still working. Despite the reassurance, I remained skeptical. After the wedding, I got a loan from my dad to set up my office (above) in one of the bedroom of our 3-room apartment (state housing). I bought a G3 Power Mac, an Epson scanner, a Canon colour printer, a fax machine and a CD writer, among many other things. The entire setup cost was roughly equal or less than SGD4000. I was quite sure I did not spend everything I borrowed from my dad. Before I got my computer, I used to go to a friend’s office to use his when he is out of the office, working from 8pm to 6am in the morning. This has lasted for a couple of months. Most of my jobs didn’t require a computer. Many friends were surprised to see me quit a well paying job to pursue a passion that did not promise a return, but they were too polite to say how silly I was. My parents were furious and I have to repeatedly reassure them that I knew what I was doing, though I didn’t. They were just worried that I couldn’t give them any allowance since I wasn’t working a steady job. The rest was history. I was happy that I made the decision to do something different. I did not remain a freelance artist for long. After completing a degree in Multimedia Design (BA), I was roped in to join a small startup as an Art Director and web designer for 2 years. After which I was employed by my church to be a full time staff as a Print Designer, responsible for all church collaterals and monthly magazine publications. I stayed for 3 years before I went for further study in the US, completing a Master in Fine Art majoring in animation. This was followed by a one year stint with Disney. I came back to Singapore after 3.5 years and got a job in an animation company as a Production Head. I left the company after 8 months to teach as an adjunct instructor for some local art schools until now. Since then my studio has gone through many changes because we moved to a bigger house and there were many configurations that I couldn’t remember already.
I love my current one most, but I do not have a picture of it yet.
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