Michelle Suwignyo: Administrator of Band of Doodlers

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Give Taylor Swift a blank space and she’ll write your name but give Michelle Suwignyo a blank space and she will doodle all over it.

Taking art to the next level are the White Space Bandits from the Band of Doodlers (BOD). Founded in 2013 by Mas Shafreen in Singapore, BOD has transformed several blank spaces into mesmerizing pieces of artwork. With the simple idea of a marker and a blank white wall, what started out as an activity with less than 10 people has grown to a group of more than 170. We got to meet Mich, 22, the bubbly Administrator of BOD, who tells us more about BOD. Plus we also got to see the amazing works of BOD at SCAPE.

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Mich with her signature doodle at SCAPE, Level 4.

Shiok (S): What is BOD and what does BOD do?

Mich (M): BOD is an interest group made up of a group of people who love art and doodling. We call ourselves the White Space Bandits and basically whoever shoots fastest wins. This means that whoever doodles the fastest will get the most space to draw. Just like a mini speed drawing competition with one thing in mind – Never leave any white space.

S: Is it only white spaces and walls that BOD draw on?

M: We have done projects for clients on black walls and on surfaces like glass as well. So definitely not limited to white. However, most of the time, walls are white making it the easiest surface to get and work with. Furthermore, black ink on white wall has a pop factor unlike other combinations. We have a ‘rule’ that goes: ‘There is no start and end point.’ And the use of black ink on white surface gives us the best blending in effect.

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BOD’s artwork on saving water at SCAPE Level 1

S: Must you be able to draw to join BOD? Or are there any sorts of requirements that one must have to join?

M: As long as you can pick up a marker, you can join us. What we want to do is to develop confidence in our White Space Bandits. We are about collaboration and self-development. So as long as you can pick up a marker, you can join us.

S: How does one actually join you guys?

M: Follow us on social media and very easily you’d know where we would be next and just join us. Member would bring their friends and also through word-of-mouth BOD has been able to grow since 2013. We have people from all walks of life that joins us, from teachers to accountants; students and even business men. 

S: Who had BOD drawn for and how does it work?

M: We have done projects for Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention for instance.  The clients usually just give a general theme or direction and that is pretty much it. The final outcome is always a work-in-progress where we can change anytime. After all BOD’s style is relatively new in Singapore, we just want the clients and the audience to feel the fun and happy while watching us doodle and perhaps even join us in doodling. At the end of the day, we will always remember to have fun! 

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#doodolution – doodle evolution, the next creative wave

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While one person may draw a loaf of bread, another person can creatively add more strokes to co-create a new doodle!

S: What happens if someone draws something that does not ‘blend in’ with the overall art piece?

M: This then challenges us to be creative. With creativity on our side, it is really simply about collaborating everyone’s ideas and drawings together to form the bigger piece of art. One person can draw a random shape; another person can take that random shape and turn it into a cute puppy. It is never about someone drawing badly but about creatively bringing every drawing together cohesively.

S: Every artist has their own personal style or preference. What is your personal style of drawing?

M: I personally use to be into more gory type of drawings, for example you’d see skulls in my art. After joining BOD, my personal style slowly evolved and changed; BOD is definitely a place about self-development. 

S: Do you have any type of favorite cartoons or drawings you draw inspiration and ideas from?

M: I love Disney. Mickey Mouse and Ariel, The Little Mermaid, are my personal favorites. Cartoon Network also serves as a form of idea generation platform for me. BOD is a place for me to explore. I really believe that no one cannot draw, by nature. Even if it is a line or a circle – everyone can draw. 

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BOD work at SCAPE Level 1

S: What are some of the future plans BOD has?

M: We want to be more visible in Singapore this year and we will work towards that by gaining as much exposure as possible. We will also continue to welcome people to join us and have fun. There are lots of projects and gigs coming up so we’re all looking forward to a busy year.

<End of Interview>

Never under estimate the power of a marker and a white wall. If you’d like a go at some of the activities with BOD, you can catch them in upcoming events all around Singapore. To find out more, follow them on these social media platforms:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bandofdoodlers

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bandofdoodlers

Instagram: https://instagram.com/bandofdoodlers/

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/search/band%20of%20doodlers

Official Website: http://bandofdoodlers.com

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