Hey there, recent grads from ADM, NYP, or LASALLE! Whether you’re from any of these schools or just starting your journey in the creative field in Singapore, this article is for you. I’m here to share some tips to help you ace your creative job interviews and avoid common mistakes.

First off, let’s cover some basic job interview advice. You’ll definitely need to prepare your portfolio and showreel, practice answering typical interview questions, talk about your work experience, and have some relevant questions ready to ask. These are the basics, so now let’s dive into the specific details that matter in the creative industry.

Acing Your Creative Job Interview

Do Your Homework

Even ChatGPT will advise the same. Start by digging into the company’s vibe.

“What’s their work like?”
“Who are their clients?”
“Who are creatives who make up their team?”

Social media stalking? Absolutely encouraged! Understanding the company’s ethos helps align your values and ensures you’re speaking the same language during the interview.

Stay Chill, You’re Already Awesome

Remember, you’ve got the skills. From an employer’s perspective, I wouldn’t invite someone for a chat if their work wasn’t already impressive. The interview is mainly to make sure there aren’t any glaring red flags. You don’t need to keep boasting about your skills; your work says it all (whether it’s good or bad, we can tell). Keep the vibe cool, calm, and collected.

— Status Dance

At a job interview, there’s bound to be a play of status: Employer vs Job Seeker. Usually, the employer is seen as having more control since they’re the ones offering the job. Even so, my advice is to keep it leveled as much as you can. Neither should you be desperate for the job, nor be arrogant and play hard to get. Be yourself, and see if its a right fit.

Know Your Worth

Don’t shy away from discussing salary expectations. Generally, creatives feel some level of discomfort when talking about money, but anchoring your rate not only showcases your confidence but also reflects your self-worth. Aim for a figure that matches your experience level and the value you bring to the table.

Now, let’s learn to do the opposite.

How to Bomb an Interview for a Creative Position:

The Art of Fabrication

Nothing ruins an interview faster than being dishonest. Employers are pretty sharp, especially in fields like ours where we work with creative types and big ego all the time. It’s easy for them to spot when someone’s trying to act like they know more than they actually do. Pretending to know stuff you don’t is just asking for trouble. Once they start digging deeper with follow-up questions, your lies are exposed. Keep it real.

Negativity, Anyone?

Bad-mouthing ex-companies or throwing shade at former colleagues? Yeah, that’s a major no-no. Keep the gossip at bay and focus on the positives. Occasionally, interviewers may even bait you into it, so as to assess for toxic traits. Be careful. Remember, you’re here to shine, not to spread negativity.

Conclusion

Alright, now you’re all set! With these tips, you can gauge how ready you are for interviews. And here’s a bonus idea: try practicing with a friend acting as the interviewer. I personally find it a great way to get comfortable and gain confidence. Remember, the more you practice, the better you’ll be at nailing that creative job interview.

Stay confident, stay genuine, and let your creative spirit shine through! Best of luck out there!

Ronald Fong - Grace Toh - Nicholas Chia

It was a great catch-up with Grace! We exchanged ideas on how animation companies like Masonry Studios can play a part in giving back to the schools. Having graduated from NYP’s SIDM, NTU’s ADM and now running Masonry Studios, I’m super excited to share ideas on how to improve the quality of the animation education and how animation companies can be a part of it.

I think the plans for SIDM alumni’s involvement is very exciting because it involves connecting schools to business owners and to other industries. Looking forward!

Thanks to the support of *SCAPE, I’ve had the pleasure recently to share about the writing process of our award-winning animated short film You Ci Ke (有刺客). It was at the All-In! Young Writers Festival 2017! With us (Qingping and me), we had Annalee Lee Miao Wen Joann Nicolette Wong on the disussion panel and our insightful moderator Juan Foo.

Ronald Fong Juan Foo Han Qing Ping All-In Young Writers

It was such an humbling and enriching experience for me to learn the writing process of other independant film-makers. It’s a reassuring reminder to know and acknowledge that the writing process is meant to (and forever will) be a struggle.

Of course, we’ve covered the differences in approach between screenwriting for an animated film vs live action film, namely the animation writing process can and should be done both in words and drawings – writing and storyboarding. We’ve also identified that they are fundamentally very similar in terms of having to be constantly aware of the character’s motivations, dramatic arc, introducing twists etc. and more importantly the reason why we even want the tell the story.

I hope the young writers were as inspired as I was when I listened to the stories shared by others and go on to create their very own films!

I’ve been busy working with Nicholas Chia  to put together a high-end 3D animation studio in Singapore! I’m personally super keen to help out Singaporean artists and other businesses, be it other studios or creative/ad agencies! It’s been a super fun journey so far and our friends in the industry has been really kind to help us along. Below is a little sneak peak to Masonry Studios, our humble space with unassuming but really powerful machines. If you’re interested to check out our studio work, visit Masonry Studio’s website

Ronald Fong - Masonry Studios Interior

YouCiKe_FilmStill_4

ADM graduation film 有刺客 “You Ci Ke” by Ronald Fong, Han Qingping, Candice Lee and Xiangting Su has been selected for the New York Animation Nights Festival. We learned of this great news from our project supervisor Prof Hannes Rall. To make things even more awesome, Prof Hannes latest film “All the World’s a Stage” (2016) has also been selected for the festival.

More information on the selection here: http://animationnights.blogspot.sg/

Animation Nights New York ANNY 2016

Had a wonderful opportunity to screen our short animated film You Ci Ke – 有刺客 at Reelak‘s outdoor movie screening over the weekend at ZhongShan Park. It’s heartwarming to see people coming by our Cartoon Underground booth to show their interest and support in. Thank you Vicky and Aqila for the opportunity! Here are some photos from the event. :D

On top of promoting your short film and Cartoons Underground, Qingping and I also sold our digital illustration and original watercolor paintings at the event! I really want to express my appreciation for the first guy ever in my life who bought my watercolour painting! :D Regretfully, I didn’t manage to get his name because I was overwhelmed by his enthusiasm. If you ever read this, you’re the one who grabbed most of my Kampong Buangkok series and the Sungei Road painting, and I’m really grateful for your support in my hobby and more importantly I’m super duper happy that you like the paintings!

I’ll also like to thank Mr Wee and Ivory for your support. Ivory, if you’re reading this, send me the photos we took together! Cheers buddy!

Vicky Chen Han Qingping Ronald Fong Cartoons Underground at ReelakRonald Fong Vicky Chen Cartoons Underground Reelak Ronald Fong Han Qingping You Ci KeRonald Fong Han Qingping Cartoons Underground Reelak

 

I was at Jawn’s (Jon Chan) EP Launch party just a few hours ago. Man, this guy’s music is amazing. His band was fanstastic too! It really was a great show but I was expecting more puns. Haha! Supported him by purchasing his EP in the form of an exquisite wooden USB stick. So awesome. Support local Singaporean musicians and creatives!Ronald Fong Jasmine Seo at Jawn Chan EP Launch

Photograph taken by Syazali! Thank you

And I cannot resist taking a couple of photos of his EP. It’s pretty.

Jawn Chan's EP (1)

Jawn Chan's EP (2)

CulturePush has featured me and Kong Yee Rou for our animation festival selection at Cartoons Underground 2015!

Culturepush features You Ci Ke Ronald Fong Animation

http://culturepush.com/2015/10/09/ronald-fong-kong-yee-rou-at-cartoons-underground-2015/

MDA supports our LUSH 99.5 Radio Interview!

MDA supports Ronald Fong Animation on LUSH 99.5 FM Cartoons Underground Radio Interview

https://www.facebook.com/MDASingapore/posts/914887208594004

Cartoons Underground Banner Crop

 

Cartoons Underground 2015 is the fourth instalment for Singapore’s first and largest animation festival. It’s co-founded by Vicky Chen whom I found to be extremely dedicated to promoting the local animation scene. You Ci Ke 有刺客 is part of the official selection curated by Tan Wei Keong. Thanks Wei Keong!

I was there on Saturday evening to share about the creation of You Ci Ke 有刺客 at the director’s Q&A session after the screening. More importantly, I was there to learn. It’s really a joy to watch people entertained by the work we do and to have put a smile on their faces. It was so heartwarming and encouraging to people coming up to us to tell us what they liked about our films and everybody had so many ideas on how there can be a collaboration, on how to take things further. It was a great evening.

YouCiKe_FilmStill_1

By pure chance, I bumped into Enrique and Richard, the CG Supervisor and Creative Director of One Animation, and I was very encouraged to hear that my insistence and desire to work in the entertainment side of the industry is acknowledged. I am super thankful for Professor Hannes to drop by to give his support and also for his insightful advice that creative work and commercial doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. I very much agree and the tricky part is finding the balance and I think I’m getting closer.

There were some seriously engaging and entertaining films screened at this festival and I’m super happy for our films (Coldsteam directed by Nicholas Chia and The Octopus Lady by Amanda Wang)  to be amongst them. I wished You Ci Ke‘s Art Director, Han Qingping was there to share her insights too. She’s so good at what she does.

I think most films are still making theirs rounds of festivals so they won’t be available online but here’s the programme list on Cartoon Underground’s website in case you’ve missed the festival and/or wish to follow up on their work when it’s released. I loved all of Bendito Machine V by Jossie Malis the tension in April 21 by Jessica Poon and of course the pig-bat creature in Need a Hand?! by Kong Yee Rou.

I was never informed but was just told there we were featured on Culturepush! Thanks Culturepush!

So here’s a dark and blurry photograph of us at the event!

Cartoons Underground 2015 Singapore Animation Festival Ronald Fong Animation

From left to right: Vicky Chen, Amanda Wang, Ronald Fong, Nicholas Chia and Rachel Kong