Journey to an art school full-ride

Bender was my spirit animal in this journey
Reading Betancourt’s book for the first time before art school

$35 dollars prayer

In the midst of this saga, I applied for a job that opened up at Double Negative Singapore (DNEG). Just to keep my options open, I applied for jobs and schools including a local art school Lasalle. About 40 minutes after I paid the 35 dollars for Lasalle school application fee, Double Negative decided to offer me a job. My money…I mean hooray…awesome! New life plan: work for two years, grab some life and working experience then go have an education. This seems doable. My experience at Double Negative was amazing; I had the opportunity to work on stereo conversion for The Legend of Tarzan (2016) and had hopes of working on even more Hollywood films. I was somehow regaining control of my life or so I thought… After working at DNEG for 4 months, the branch closed down in 2016 late March due to a merger…

Call to adventure for food?

Not long after I return to Singapore from my vacation, I was contacted by the SCAD Hong Kong Admission staff, Danny, via Whatsapp, and invited ‌to attend the SCAD Expedited Decision Day. It is a day where SCAD goes to different countries to conduct an enrolment interview and give you an acceptance letter pretty much on the spot. Just to recap, I actually attended this event during my military service days, and was accepted into the school but only offered half scholarship. When I was in Double Negative, I have been receiving emails about this event but I ignored them thinking about how it would not work out. When Danny contacted me to go for the school interview, I was utterly reluctant to go, for what was the point? I asked him over Whatsapp if there was a possibility of getting a full scholarship, to which he said:

The Interview

That very morning before my SCAD interview, I applied to Lasalle art school yet again(!) and paid my application fees of $35. This time for sure I thought, I was never going to SCAD anyway, at least I can go to Lasalle. After completing that mission, I went to InterContinental Singapore, a five-star hotel where SCAD Expedited Decision day was held. I sat lackadaisical waiting for my interview, half nervous, half dreading the experience for I do not know what will come out of this. When my turn came, I was greeted by David, a man in a brilliant khaki suit who resembled a Kingsman. Mr. Kingsman later introduced himself as the VP of SCAD Hong Kong. That’s pretty neat. We sat down in the interview room and he looked at my previous record‌ that stated my acceptance and amount of scholarship that I previously received. The interview could have been over in that instant but I decided to be frank and said that I could only afford SCAD only through a full-ride. It might be a bold move for some but what do I have to lose anyway? David and I engaged in a discussion about how I can justify a full-ride. I presented everything I had without hesitation.

  • Best soldier of the year award
  • Adobe Expert Certifications
  • My software tutorial website called nosleepcreative.com
  • A national representative for an international film workshop in Malaysia
  • My employment at Double Negative

REVELATION

Fast forward to 2019, I graduated with a BFA in Motion Media Design from SCAD, made lots of friends, learned a ton about the world, art, design and myself, unlearned some cultural programming, had a wonderful relationship, and ease into employment into WarnerMedia / Turner Studios. Many days I look back at about how crazy it is that I am on the other side of the world living in this grand destiny; every mistake, trials, and effort led me to this day.

Acknowledgments

As I looked back on the past few years of my college life, graduation and into employment in this brave new world called America and my home country Singapore on the other side of the world, I can’t help feeling immensely grateful at this wonderful adventure I went through and the people who have helped make my journey possible. Below are the people I am thankful for:

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