ALTHOUGH SHE'S ONLY a graduate from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and LASALLE College of The Arts, Tan Wan Ru, 22, has already chocked up much experience as a designer.
From brochures to advertisement posters, she has inked vibrant colours and created designs she can call her own.
Her publication at The LASALLE Exhibition this
year is called Profound Profanity and there are two parts to it.
The parts are "How You See Us" and "How We See You" - a contrast to draw attention to the typical labeling and name-calling prevalent in today's society. It endeavors to portray the paradox we face when we judge and criticize others - they might just perceive us in the same light.
One important thing to note in the creative industry - you should never want to be too comfortable with yourself because when that happens, you will stop learning and exploring.
In fact, Wan Ru feels most satisfied with her recent designs because she "realises how much [she has] learnt compared to when [she] just started, and how [her] personal style is evolving”. She added that appreciating a work from different perspectives to gain a new insight is “the best originality because you can never lie to yourself “. Nevertheless, the 2011 Crowbar Awards finalist is still finding her personal style in design and is aware that she still has much to learn.
Till today, Wan Ru still has doubts about her skills as a designer, but she continues looking up to her inspiration, Phunk Studio, with whom she hopes to collaborate with one day. Phunk Studio is a pioneer group of four local designers who challenge the perception of local art. Wan Ru is also inspired by Marc Johns as he brings a wicked sense of humor to his already whimsical illustrations. “Most of the time his illustrations may not make sense to all, which makes each individual’s interpretation even more unique”, added Wan Ru.
However, Wan Ru admits that it is exceptionally hard to be an Arts student as “we are always caught between grades and our ideas.” Thankfully, she has her lecturers in NAFA and LASALLE to guide and support her.
"It is an incredible sense of achievement and triumphant satisfaction when you gain the approval from those who didn't initially believe in you - it's like an additional cherry on top."
I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares – Saul Bass
Wan Ru muses that everyone can be a mess sometimes, and she is no different. And just like many other promising designers, Wan Ru remains quirky and continues to strive for a footing in the creative world.