What inspired me to create this one-man label is a really long story and one I had always wanted to share with you guys.. So here goes!
The motivation started when I was in my last year in Temasek Design School. I've never been one to obsess over grades, and I only did fairly in my foundation year. However when I went into my illustration major, I was getting As every module and it really felt good to have that recognition.
Then I moved on to my Final Year Project (FYP). If you have followed my works since the beginning, I started with The Art Senses project, and that was actually part of my FYP. "The Art Senses" was my project on how to increase art culture in Singapore and to educate the public on how "art isn't useless" and how we can use all of our senses to indulge in art.
Singapore is a society focusing so much on intelligence, school results, and getting to good schools. Parents always thinking we can only make money if we study hard, if we become doctors, lawyers or teachers etc. And I wanted to change that close-minded thinking! Life is all about balance, and in order to live a fulfilling life, I believe one should always balance their right & left brain (the intellectual and creative side) - That's how "The Cerebrum" came about.
I put all my efforts, hard work and beliefs into this FYP Project. I believed in "The Art Senses" with all my soul, and this was a subject so so close to my heart. My illustration lecturer and peers thought I would do well and that gave me alot of confidence.
( Indian temple I took 2 days completing )
Well alas, my heart got repeatedly crushed when external lecturers came in to judge my project. They were looking with their technical eyes, spotting every detail that they thought was wrong with my artwork, and didn't bother listening to my heart's craving to spread art culture in Singapore. Works I spent 2 days drawing, they said looked "live-traced" (Ai term). They didn't bother understanding what I was trying to convey, and only tried to nitpick my technicalities. I felt they were judging my works based on the "Graphic Design" major, instead of from an "Illustration" major. I broke down after that, and I rarely do.
While fellow coursemates thought I'd get an A, I got a C+. I was devastated. Though grades technically didn't matter as I didn't plan on going to University, my heart and self-esteem took a beating. In no way am I trying to promote "Oh if your grades suck, you suck" kind of thinking. But I personally am a competitive person, especially towards myself and this really affected me.
However at the Design show where I showed "The Art Senses" to the public, they actually felt it with their heart and understood what I was trying to convey! & you know what, my project was for the public, not for the grades or lecturers or anyone to put me down for.
So when I graduated, I held onto my rage (you may think I'm childish for holding on this C+ grade shit for 2 years, or maybe til now) but seriously this is my driving force behind Sarah Thursday. HA HA. I thought "So they gave me shit grades, I'm going to use my project and actually spread it to the public instead of shoving it into the deep dark corners of my room". My motivation was to prove that yes, Art can survive in Singapore and that's how Sarah Thursday started! I placed "The Art Senses" onto stickers, handmade journals, prints etc and built up my label from there.
Now that my one-man label has grown since 2013, I'm so so happy to receive so many of you telling me how Sarah Thursday has inspired you to start drawing again, to start your own labels and to believe in art as a lifestyle. Also, the local arts scene has never been this strong and I feel I started during the perfect timing of the booming local scene, with all the art markets and events. Wow Singapore has really changed in these 3 years since I've started. What an amazing time to be an artist.
PS/ I'm planning a solo exhibition end October and will be bringing the thick Art Senses publication I did to show you guys what started Sarah Thursday. I really want to share this project with you guys and talk to everyone on a personal level so I hope to see you guys <3
Keep believing in art and don't give up.