It was a rainy day during Raffles College of Higher Education’s 2013 Open House, but it did not dampen the atmosphere inside. Our Korean Animation alumnus, Bae Jihyun, was busy painting out faces of Open House participants on white paper with fine paint brushes. Jihyun used coffee kindly sponsored by our partner Nescafé.
Her works were a hit. And soon, her booth had attracted a crowd to watch her skilfully create portraits that highlight her subjects’ best features. Many people sat for their portraits to be drawn by Jihyun. Painting with unusual art tools like coffee was not new to Jihyun. She had experience with using different concentrations of instant coffee as water colour in school and at the Anime Festival Asia 2012.
Jihyun is one of the international students studying in Raffles Design Institute, Singapore. She joined Raffles in January 2009 and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Animation in June 2012. Now, she is working as a Game Artist at a Singaporean game company called “The Mobile Gamer”.
Having an online portfolio and professional profile was crucial in Jihyun’s employment. She mentioned that her company found her through LinkedIn – a social networking site for professionals.
Skills listed on Jihyun’s résumé include: character design, 3D modelling, digital illustration, digital photography, interactive media, web design, and digital photo retouching. On top of that, Jihyun is also fluent in three languages – Korean, English, and Bahasa Indonesia!
We talked to Jihyun about studying abroad in Singapore at Raffles:
1. What do you like best about studying in Singapore?
The best part is I can make international friends. I have friends from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and of course, Korea.
2. Was it hard to adapt to life in Singapore?
Not really, I find Singapore very friendly.
3. Compare yourself from the day you first started at Raffles to your current self, how do you feel about your growth as an animation designer?
I improved my design skills, as well as English communication skills.
4. How do you go looking for inspiration for your project works?
I will talk to senior artists, read books and watch movies.
5. What made you decide to take up your current courses?
I have always wanted to become a designer. I have very broad interests in advertising, games, and etc. So I picked multimedia design as my starting course. Later on I found out I liked animation more, so I chose animation as my major.
6. Why did you decide to work in Singapore’s gaming industry?
I prefer to work in Singapore because I’m used to speaking in English and hanging out with people from other countries. I feel more comfortable working in Singapore than in Korea.
7. Do you find that you would have any added advantages over job seekers in your home country with an overseas education?
Yes. My English is better than those didn’t go overseas.
8. Can you tell us how your studies at Raffles prepared you for working life?
In Raffles, I’ve built many portfolios, which was very helpful during my interview. And I learnt how to present my ideas in Raffles. That’s very useful.
9. What advice will you give to overseas students who want to study design in Singapore?
I will tell them Singapore has a lot of opportunities and you can meet a lot of international students.
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