Noise Singapore, an initiative of the National Arts Council, has always been focused on showcasing the creative talents of young people below 35 years old. Budding artists or musicians interested to learn the workings of the art and design, music, and photography industries can apply for their mentoring programmes, where they can learn under Singapore’s most talented practitioners in the fields of art, design, photography, moving images and music, and even get a public showcase opportunity. The most promising mentees can also win the Noise Singapore Award which comes with a grant of $5,000 to fulfill your dream creative project.
Shiok! got in touch with one new mentor:
Ben Qwek (madebyben) is an illustrator/artist based in Singapore. With aspirations to be a multi-disciplinary artist, he is always striving to create distinctive visuals that fuse various influences with design communication. Over the years he has done projects for Bathing Ape, Nike, Adidas and Johnnie Walker. He has been a member of Noise Singapore for around 6-7 years and had been involved in the judging process prior to his new role as a mentor.
1. Why did you decide to become a mentor for The Apprenticeship Programme (TAP)?
I’ve been a Noise member since the start, that was 6-7 years ago. I guess it has been a gradual transition, from submitting my works to judging and finally being a mentor. I guess this is also reflective of my growth as a professional illustrator. It felt natural for me to say yes
2. What are the main challenges facing artists in Singapore?
I think being an artist or illustrator in Singapore is still considered a non-mainstream profession but that’s slowly changing. One problem is that the general public still regards illustration as cartoons or kiddy stuff but in fact it’s the opposite. Illustration has many applications.
3. Tell us a little more about the art that you specialise in.
I specialize in illustration for commercial projects such as artworks for F&B / Retails businesses. I also specialize in 3D Anamorphic Art which allows the public to interact with it.
4. What advice do you have for budding young artists?
What’s important for younger artists other than improving their skill sets is to understand that if they want to make a decent living out of this, they need to learn how to market themselves. Social media is one way as well as outings to art shows / events. Getting in touch with other artists / illustrators is also important as sharing knowledge will bring out new insights.
To find out more about Ben, go to his website.
Ben is a mentor for The Apprenticeship Programme (TAP). If you have a keen interest for visual arts, don’t miss this opportunity to learn from experts in the industry! Applications close on 15 March 2015, so hurry!
Budding musicians can also sign up for The Music Mentorship, where they can learn from from music gurus in the industry who will provide invaluable tips on how to improve your performance techniques. You also stand a chance to perform at the Noise Singapore 2015 Concerts at the Esplanade! Applications close on 15 March 2015 as well.