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Articles tagged “craft

Vertolk: Leather, business & challenging norms.

Posted on June 26, 2016

Hong Jiun, Entrepreneur (Singapore)

Hong Jiun, Entrepreneur (Singapore)


Entrepreneur, VERTOLK

Why leather?

It is probably one of the more organic and fascinating materials out there. To know that a piece of hide you’re touching comes directly from animals after being tanned is rather intriguing. In a way, it is reusing every good part of what occurs naturally, where the skin of an animal is reused to make functional products.

Durability of a well-tanned skin is another key factor. I would say that for makers, we are concerned with how well something we make works for the client. Not just being aesthetically pleasing but also that it can serve its function continually for years to come.

On a personal level, I have always liked leather goods and am always on a lookout for unique and well-made products. This might be why I went to leather and not wood or ceramics or textiles.

Making process 2 by Vertolk


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How a Creative Team Loses Steam

Posted on February 25, 2014

It seems like almost everyone today has a job that involves making content and attracting an audience.

The age of social media, brand journalism, content marketing, self-publishing, self-promotion, idea-preneurism, etc, has turned many of us into professional creators. Unlike the old days, you also have to be your own proofreader, photo editor, publisher, video producer, digital strategist, and more.

It’s just a matter of time before you hit a wall and feel overwhelmed. When an entire creative team experiences this, the situation can quickly evolve into a new level of hell for everyone.

While it’s a crazy way to make a living, I’ve managed to get by with a code of creative conduct. I call this The Way of The Writer, because that’s what I spend most of my time doing, but it could work in other creative fields. It’s just five simple ideas that help me keep a project from going off-track. Hopefully, the ideas below will resonate with you too.

1. The way is inside you, not anywhere else.

Creative teams lose steam when they get busy working on something they don’t really care about. They justify the reward and bully themselves to finish the work. That’s always when people start overdosing on coffee, cigarettes, junk food, etc, because their natural sense of motivation has shut down. Eventually, this may lead to a ‘shut down’ or burning out.

Creative teams can keep moving forward when they commit to something they feel is worth making, because they genuinely care about the outcome, and this gives them a quiet power to see things through. This is why creative teams should value honesty: it actually translates into real energy.


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Natalie Hiong — Right at home with music

Posted on February 21, 2014

Photo: Hoong Wei Long

Photo: Hoong Wei Long

Natalie Hiong, SINGAPORE

Independent Singer-Songwriter

Akin to starting a business, kickstarting a professional music career and building a name from scratch is by no means easy. Many would dream to bask in limelight with their favourite music idols, yet few would take a leap to pursue their passion relentlessly and eventually play alongside their idols. Not Natalie Hiong, she traded the bullion for the piano and has never looked back since. Her latest EP, Beautiful Mess, pens a heartfelt rendition of love and ambiguity. Inspired by experiences true to life, nothing is quite perfect. Yet in music, she finds comfort knowing everything can end (or begin) on a good note while she sings.

What inspires you to keep writing and singing songs?

Love and personal experiences in life.

What has been some of your most interesting experiences to date as a singer-songwriter?

Opening for Marie Digby’s concert here in Singapore, writing lyrics for the magic extravaganza show, Incanto, previously shown at Resorts World Sentosa and performing at the MEOW Con Showcase in Austin, Texas.

Who are your muses?

Singer songwriters like Sara Bareilles, Christina Perri and Brooke Fraser.

So you’re a fan of Glee?

Not exactly, but I do admire Rachel Berry (played by Lea Michele) and Finn Hudson (played by the late Cory Monteith) performance in Season 1. That’s as far as I’ve watched for Glee the TV series.


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SPOT ART 2013: The Growing Pains of Young ASEAN Artists

Posted on November 19, 2013

SPOT ART 2013 Singapore is an exhibition that celebrates the best of Southeast Asian art talent, all under the age of 30. Supported by the Ministry of Communication & Information (MCI) and the National Arts Council (NAC), the exhibition illuminates the values of collaboration, partnership, and a genuine attempt to build the foundations of a sustainable visual arts industry in Singapore. Through this collaborative effort, the exhibition and its surrounding dialogue fleshes out the difficulties facing young artists in Singapore, fresh out of school and lacking in mentorship for industry experience. But what the exhibition also offers is a platform for artists in the region to collaborate.

Drawing back to the exhibition itself, the layout is an amalgamation of paintings, illustration, print, installation, and video art. The selection committee is comprised of esteemed curators and experts on contemporary art in Southeast Asia, selecting over 200 works of more than 70 artists (out of 1500 submissions.) The exhibition prides itself on its quality, diversity; and particularly celebrates the fact that it is nestled in one homely spot. As the event organizers themselves mention, the Southeast Asian arts scene tends to be quite fragmented, so the motivation to distill this artistic incubation in one single location is a definitive gesture.


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Meet the Makers of Singapore

Posted on June 25, 2013


Photo by Luther Goh

In May this year, local startup Pirate 3D launched their own Buccaneer 3D printer with an overwhelmingly successful Kickstarter campaign that made global headlines. The device seems not only easy to use but also beautiful to behold. The price: only US$347 plus shipping. They intended to raise just US$100,000, but as I write they have crossed US$1 million already.

It’s a good example of trendy tech enjoying crowdfunded glory. Some people are wondering if it’s a sign that local makers will soon experience boom times. But the truth is, such stories are rare in the Singapore maker scene.

Look around and you’re more likely to find modest maker meetups around town where friendly tinkerers exchange tips about down-to-earth projects, including everything from origami-inspired sculptures to mesmerising LED displays for the visual effects industry. Like the Singapore Makers Meetup, which happens every two months at HackerspaceSG. They are organised by local hack-ducator William Hooi, who works at the Science Centre Singapore conducting workshops for kids. In his free time he manages community projects like the Singapore Makers meetup group and the HacKIDemia Singapore chapter.

William is also part of the team behind the coming Singapore Mini Maker Faire in late July, a geeky gathering that Singapore’s makers, hackers and DIY enthusiasts are eagerly anticipating. It will be held at the *SCAPE Warehouse over the last weekend of the month, and provides a platform for some 60 or so local inventors to showcase their DIY projects and share their craft skills. If you turn up you’ll find that it’s a wildly diverse crowd. Still, William believes they share one important quality: the maker mindset.

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