Monday, October 13, 2008


Hi all, I am the new kid on the block and would like to introduce myself. I will just pretend Im at a party with a cocktail in hand and half drunk.

My name is Kum Weng, Im 22 this year, male, currently in school of visual arts finishing my BFA in illustration. Its been a great experience and I get really cool teachers like Tomer Hanuka, Yuko Shimizu and Marcos Chin, just the little fanboy in me gets excited. But its really hard and its my last year so its kinda stressful!

I just uploaded my website at, so feel free to check it out. I really don't know what style Im doing but I love doing drawings in ink and ball point pen. As for painting, I love people like Manet, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Van Gogh and much much more... so that is what I am playing around with now. It really doesn't pay off in my illustration cuz people always say they don't know what Im trying to get at in my paintings. But I feel like I owe it to myself to keep practicing what I wanna do.

So I always appreciate all kinds of feedback. I never knew illustrators existed in Singapore cuz i rarely see illustrations, so I am glad Andrew found me. If you want to just contact me via email and tell me how you get started and whether its a viable profession in Singapore it will make me very happy.

Heres a painting of the Gap at fifth Ave.


mindflyer 小飞人 said...

Welcome Kum Weng,

I hope whoever who replies to you will just post hereand share- remember this blog is for sharing and synergy :)

My 2 cts is the market here is way too small and very limited in acceptance of variety. We are hacking away day by day trying to carve our own niche and make our own style but 80% of the time we are doing bread and butter jobs.

kuanth said...

what mindflyer said, it's damn right.

welcome to OIC.

drewscape said...

welcome skummi. i like your styles. I have to differ. I think ppl can accept variety. It's just that clients aren't really that exposed to a lot of the styles. But if you have some cool unusual style in your portfolio site. Don't be supprised that they ask you to do it for a job. Your piece you did for First magazine is a good example.

mindflyer 小飞人 said...

Drew- not many First magazines around in Singapore. And I will be very surprised if they do not already know Kum Weng before. Maybe acquaintance? :D

Good tht you knw what your "illustrative voice" is. The trick is not to give up inspite of it all. You must believe in what you do.

Mr.B said...

Hi Kum Weng, firstly welcome aboard! I agreed with mindflyer, its rare that agencies in Singapore will ask u to do your own style. Btw, what school are u attending right now? I'm thinking of going for studies too : P

sei-ji rakugaki said...

wow!!! ur teachers are the top notich in the illustration circle!!

zeropointfive said...

Hiya Kum Weng! ;)

You're the new kid? You make me feel like the new kid haha...

Honestly, i don't work full-time as an illustrator like Andrew, Kuanth and Mike do so keep that in mind when i give my two cents worth:

I find hacking a living in Singapore from being a full-time illustrator impractical and one usually needs to sub an ability like graphic design for bread and butter to survive. Only occasionally do you get an exciting (and potentially well-paying) job when some big shot ad company needs a campaign main visual.

It's a village mentality here - the market is small and the audience is not big enough to support a full-time illustrator unless you have 1) regular clientele 2) overseas clients that tap into external economy, and also increase your credibility as an artist/illustrator. (That's how all industries in Singapore operate - you have to make it big globally before anyone shows you a modicum of respect heh)

This is strictly in my own opinion, I make my living off commercial illustrations (like vectorized art with photoshop cheats heh)and storyboard sketching) that sell well here but don't really grant me my own unique voice. Those kinds of jobs are run by big shots from the west anyway. If i had an opportunity to stay someplace like USA and work there, i would!

Of course, in USA, the competition is much tougher cuz there's so much good shit out there! But i think your soul as an artist/illustrator would grow more :)

Only super-passionate artists like Andrew, Sonny, Kuanth and Andy can make an enjoyable living here as full-time illustrators becuz of their unique identities and their positive attitudes.

Mike and me are part of the cynical bunch hahahaha....

zeropointfive said...

PS. nice stuff on your site! :D

mindflyer 小飞人 said...

Zero- LOL I m not "cynical" hor :D!!

I just knw where I stand in this kampung!

I lubs my job to smithereens okay ??!!
I wake up every morning looking forward to just draw... ( and not forgetting bitching about my roti kaya jobs !! )
Wouldn't be happy doing anything else.

:D cheers

AG said...

welcome to OIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hello hello Kum Weng, could you talk about your experience in SVA? I'd love to hear about how it is being in class taught by all my idols :D

because i'm a student freelancing part time, i usually do some small/odd/free jobs for clients who are not the bigwigs, but are more or less happy to let me draw my style.

i'm not sure though, if the market in singapore would be able to let you recoup your educational fees. ^^"

zeropointfive said...

Oops sorry didn't mean to make it sound so negative heh.

But cynical doesn't mean unhappy ma! I'm also happy when I'm illustrating :D (i just don't like negotiating $$$)

But if i say we're the "realistic" bunch, then andrew and the rest will kill me... :p

F L E E said...

Welcome, Oh Welcome!
Nice to "meet" you!

Very Jean-Jacques Sempe your style i'll say!
Doing illustration here (and anywhere) require just 2 major factors.

1. Work Ethics
2. Passion

Any job (big or small) is a job.
Every job should be treated the same.
If you're in this job for the money,then you wont be filthy rich.

I'm sure you enjoy doodling like people in this blog. Hope that you'll join us for future events whenever you're in town!

andyyang said...

Please to meet you Skummi. Checked out our stuff on your website. Nice work. Must say I am quite impressed. My personal fave is "Seven Nation Army".

That piece look like a potential Communication Arts Awards piece. Good style. I have to agree with Mindflyer on the market and hacking through 80% bread and butter.

Actually there is no other way to make a living in illustration but good old hard work. Starting out is always the hard part. Focus on your craft and soak up the experience be it good or bad and you will be rewarded at the end.

Positive attitude is crucial too. Be responsible to people around you and be aware of your surroundings. Keep drawing.

Welcome to OiC!!!

eeshaun said...

hi skummi nice work! i like your sketches and drawings.

EJETC said...

Hi Kum Weng, welcome to the club. Just follow your dreams, work hard in your style and you will be rewarded. Cheers!

Skummi said...

Hey everyone! Thank you so much for you advice and compliments.

So far studying at School of Visual Arts has been an incredible experience. Not all of teachers are as well known as the people I mentioned but everyone Ive taken has been super helpful. Especially the illustrators who worked in the 60s, they have so much experience and are always challenging my thinking and exposing me to different kinds of art. Plus New York is so inspiring, I can pop by the met every other weekend and the chelsea galleries to see whats happening.

I know its tough to do art in Singapore, but really it is unpredictable anywhere. But the only consistency is the quality of your work, so i believe if you keep pushing your work to the furthest boundaries it will make a way for you some time. Keep working hard everybody!

Im going to start producing a comic hopefully to be out end 2009, so wish me luck!