Having the opportunity to actually study "Design", was a real life-changer for me. Being the eldest son in a typical Chinese Family, I was expected to attend University, and to make a mark of myself (in whatever field I would have been in). But alas, I fell by the wayside and ended up repeating my 'O' Levels one more year, to slightly better but still dismal results, so much so I was not necessarily able to enter polytechnics. Imagine, if I had gone thru with my first option (the first time round), I would have been in Secretary School (i think i would've made an awesome 'secretary' tho ;p).
I remember my first time deciding to enter Graphic Design in the then VITB - me bringing my "portfolio" of drawings and artwork (done from my own free-time) to the school, to which they asked; "So what was your grade for 'Art' in the Os?" - and I did not have any, as my school did not offer any lessons for 'O' Level art, and neither did I take it in the exams!
In my 'repeat' year, i actually spent every Sunday at another school (for a good few months), attending "art lessons" (which was essentially 'still life' drawing classes, with no instructions whatsoever lol) to which I could accumulate the hours spent, to justify my taking the 'O' Levels that year, which meant i was able to take the exam even when my school did not offer such courses. I flew by with the A2-grade, but was still put on the waiting list at VITB - because I was late to apply = Welcome to Singapore, folks
Luckily I got in, and after a prerequisite 6 months foundation course, was assigned to the Interior Design class, which I did not fight against (even tho I had initially wanted to be in Graphics) as I had begun to enjoy I.D. - and three years later, I graduated with being Top Of The Class. The image shown here is my Diploma Graduation show, with my family back in 1989-ish (Yes, I had a waist-line then LOL ;p).
Having the education, did not necessarily fuel me in any way except provide me a piece of documentation (Welcome to Singapore, folks!), but it allowed me to express myself in a way I'd never really have a chance in my professional life, when I entered the workforce subsequently.
And while I may have chucked most of my work during my work-life, I have actually kept my schoolwork, somewhere in my grotto I call a room :)
[ Posted on Facebook, circa April 21, 2012 ]
A quick glimpse at some of m line drawings for various interior design projects done in the earliest part of my "professional" life ... Before film & TV design, waaaaay before bloggery! Trained in I.D. with a Diploma from VITB, my first job was in I.D. After my national service, before I changed to design for TV (coupla sketches are thrown in there too heehee for #GurmitsWorld :p) ... I was in Hospitality Design for over a year, but truth be told I don't think I was good at it... I was better at illustrating other folks designs tho! LOL #henglifesg #worklife #thiswas30yearsago #hengdraw
ADDED June 30.2017: I was not wholly accurate in my earlier assumption. “Having that piece of documentation” became my only highest proven qualification - when in the later part of my life (AKA “NOW”) did actually help me in being able to be qualified to teach. Nevertheless, Welcome to Singapore, folks! :)