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Things to note if you want to take up art and design professionally

Art is an important aspect of lifestyle and society. It is also an increasingly sought after field of education. Whilst it was looked down upon a few decades back, the view on pursuing academic degrees related to art is increasingly positive.

Singaporean universities such as NUS and NTU have renowned art and design related degrees that are seeing increasing intakes every year. This shows that not just students, but also parents in Singapore have had a change in perception towards art and design. This can only bode well for children and teenagers that have a creative side to them  that needs nurturing.

Singapore has its own share of artists and designers that are receiving national and global acclaim. Public institutions are turning more and more to freelance designers and boutique art studios for contracts. A great example of this was the now iconic SG50 logo that was on display during Singapore’s hallmark 50th national day celebrations.

The SG50 logo was designed by an art studio founder called Jackson tan. His name should by now be synonymous to many Singaporeans. Jackson Tan is the partner founder of Phunk studio, a contemporary art collective. He is also the creative director of the creative agency BLACK. An acclaimed artist and designer, he is one of Singapore’s biggest recent success stories.

Well, if you are a young Singaporean you would be familiar with the themed nights at Zouk. Tan and PHUNK were the inspiration behind that. These records puts an impressive gloss on Tan’s resume. And yet he is a reserved man and simply desires to follow and fulfil his creative instincts.

Tan should be an example for any art or design student who is wondering what their profession looks like. Most artists and designers are creative by nature, and hence don’t prefer to work for Ad agencies or other companies today. They prefer to start their own studio or consulting business and produce unique pieces of work.

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, that is a great path to follow. Like every other business, you will need to struggle at the start. You will need to learn the tricks and trade of digital marketing and SEO. Learn as much as possible tools like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, CodePen and Azure. They help bring your vision to reality.

Another recommendation for budding designers in Singapore especially is to explore the ecommerce sector. With very high penetration of online shopping in Singapore, designers and artists can list some of their works online to get early adopters and initial sales. It can also serve as a supplemental revenue stream in addition to your core consulting business.

In fact this is something that has been tried and tested, especially by popular Singaporean photojournalist and artist Tay Kay Chin. Check out more about Tay Kay Chin at

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