Thursday, January 3, 2013

Joey Ng: A World Class Designer

It has been several months since the end of WorldSkills Singapore 2012. Faithful followers of Discover NYP may remember my coverage of this event and its major highlights featuring our very own NYP student competitors.

The winners from NYP have emerged. For them, it is a moment of glory, and a stepping stone in their lives. In 2013, they will go on to Leipzig, Germany to compete against the best youths from all over the world.

One of the NYP students who will represent Singapore on the world stage is Joey Ng, a second year Diploma in Digital Media Design (Animation) student, who won the Gold Award in Graphic Design Technology. Her victory also marked another consecutive win for NYP in this category for WorldSkills Singapore since 2003.

But what makes Joey tick? What’s the story behind this WorldSkills Singapore Champion?
Since she was a child, Joey has had an immense passion for drawing and design. In fact, she hopes to become a designer-cum-illustrator who creates artworks that inspire happiness. She decided to join WorldSkills to expand her knowledge and skills in design, which in turn would benefit her portfolio in the future.
A peek in the creative process from Joey’s sketchbook!

From my interview with Joey, I discovered that she has put in tremendous effort just to compete in Graphic Design Technology While Joey’s background is in digital animation and media design, she had to augment her skills to also master new skills and techniques in graphic design.  Despite this additional focus and depth, Joey made a concerted effort to do her best and started training since Year One.

“I learnt new design skills and mastered technical ones. I had to take some time before I could thoroughly understand what I was learning. Fortunately, my lecturers, competition coaches and seniors were very supportive and helped me through this intensive period,” Recalled Joey.

In this competition category, competitors are tasked with creating marketing and promotional materials in tandem with a certain theme. They had to master both the objective and subjective elements.  The objective elements include technical details like printing and accuracy of colours.  Subjective elements refer to the type of design used and selection of colours. For day one, for example, competitors had to create three posters plus a promotional flyer on environmentalism. For day two, they had to come up with a dual-sided travel pocket-guide on Singapore. The final day tasked competitors with designing the packaging for a packet drink.

In order for Joey to stay creative and focused, she performed lots of research on the Internet for design ideas which would keep her inspired and keep her creative juices flowing. Practice was also an essential part of her routine. With guidance and help from NYP Alumnus and coaches, she was able to quickly and efficiently sharpen her design skills and proficiency in using design software such as Adobe Illustrator.
When asked how she managed to stay sharp throughout the whole competition, she said, “My focus would be on what I am doing, instead of comparing my performance with others. Whatever my results, I would not be affected by it and continue to do what I do best.”

Joey did not expect to win the Gold Award for the WorldSkills competition. When I asked her about winning in the competition, she humbly said, “I just did my best. I was definitely happy as I felt I did my lecturers, coaches and seniors proud. I wanted to thank them for their invaluable help. The time spent in the training had finally paid off.”
She also mentioned that NYP had played a big role in developing her as a future designer/illustrator. She is grateful that NYP had presented her this great opportunity to expand her knowledge and skills in the design trade and of course, made the necessary arrangements so that she could manage her studies and the competition without feeling too stressed out.

Inevitably, she was hit with exhaustion several times while she was training and competing. However, the strong support from her friends, family and alumni mentors allowed her to stay focused and achieve astonishing results.

I also asked Joey about her preparation for WorldSkills Competition to be held in 2013 in Leipzig, Germany. She said, “I am constantly sharpening my skills by doing a lot of design. My training is now more intense. I also have to be mentally prepared and get used to thinking faster.”

For those who are interested to take up a course in the School of Interactive & Digital Media (SIDM) or the School of Design (SDN) and hope to participate in the WorldSkills competition in the future, this is what Joey has to say, “You must first have a deep passion for Arts and Design. Once you have that, don’t give up on your dreams and always find the motivation to excel in what you’re doing.”

By Ho Khin Wai, Year 2, Diploma in Banking & Financial Services

Khin Wai is an NYP Year 2 Banking and Financial Services student from School of Business Management (SBM). He started writing for NYP Portal in 2011 out of interest and was soon "addicted" to it. He has also written book reviews for Straits Times YA Classified. Besides writing, he loves singing and has performed for various events in NYP under NYP Soundcard.

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