Unfazed by the busy chatter of adults more than twice his age who can whip up complex digital images with just a few clicks of the mouse, Joel Tan, 14, types away with unwavering concentration on his laptop. His tender age belies an awe-inspiring talent — he knows six animation programming languages at his fingertips, all of which are self-taught.
Joel was part of a quirky ensemble of creative minds who gathered for the first time last Sunday for an exclusive viewing of submissions for the Animation and Illustration Ministry’s (AIM) inaugural animation competition — Illuminate 2009. AIM is a ministry group within City Harvest Church consisting of members with an interest in digital animation and illustration.
While there was S$2,000 worth of prizes to be won, there was a bigger draw for many of the participants. “I joined because this is a good chance to network with other creative people, and to showcase my talents in this competition,” said fulltime illustrator Joanna Low.
Indeed, the mood was more friendly than competitive at the AIM headquarters in Kallang, as participants mingled, exchanging tips on design and animation. Other activities included a mini digital imaging workshop and a “Wall Doodle,” where guests left their sketches on a large mounted paper collage.
Illuminate 2009 is unique in that this competition was open to non-church members. The applicants formed teams to develop a short animation based on the theme “Illuminate.”
“Illuminate 2009 has proved to be a great tool for networking and sourcing for new talents,” said AIM team coordinator Yoseph Ade Setiawan. Since the competition was announced last month, 13 teams of 30 participants have signed up, eight of them members of the public.
|PHOTOS: Yoseph Ade Setiawan|
“We aim to foster friendships & create a vibrant community of illustrators and animators, and in the process, establish a platform for them to exhibit their talents and interact to generate creative ideas,” shared AIM ministry leader Valerie Lim. She said she was impressed by the diversity and skills of the participants, particularly individuals like Joel, who are not professionally trained, yet able to display skills comparable to those in the industry.
The winning animations will be announced in mid-April this year. To keep abreast of the creative works as they develop, visit www.illuminate.sg.