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  My4AsNews {October 2007}

Crowbar Winners Where Are They Now?

In 2002, Ang Sheng Jin made history when he walked off with 23 awards the most awards ever won by a student at the Crowbars. Since graduating from LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, he has added to his string of accolades with numerous awards at international shows like the D&AD's, One Show, and Cannes . Sheng Jin is currently at JWT Singapore as an Art Director and works with clients such as HSBC and Unilever.

What inspired you to participate in the Crowbar Awards ?
It was my last year in 2002 before my final semester in school for my final year project. I thought it would be nice to end the year with a bang. In fact, I actually participated in the 2001 Crowbar Awards but won nothing, so I took it as an opportunity to reflect and reevaluate my standards. After studying how other people cracked other awards shows, I started to produce more interesting work. The effort paid off, but more importantly, it was the process of doing and seeing the work come to life that made it more rewarding.

How has winning the Crowbar Awards helped you in your career?
Winning the Crowbars definitely put my name out there and I actually got quite a few calls from different Creative Directors. But it was my meeting with Sau Hoong, Executive Creative Director at 10AM Communications that really inspired me. As my mentor, she not only groomed my skills and tastes but more importantly, taught me how the industry really works. It definitely gave me a headstart in my career and introduced me to some of the most influential people in the industry.


AWARE (Avoid Abuse)
Crowbar Awards 2002, Gold - Direct Mail, Multimedia Campaign
Crowbar Awards 2002, Silver - Ambient, Print
Crowbar Awards 2002, Finalist - Typography

Do you think the Crowbar Awards is a good platform for creative students to break into the creative industry and would you recommend them to participate in the Crowbar Awards ? If yes, what advice would you give them?
The Crowbar Awards not only recognizes young talents, it gives students a platform for healthy and necessary competition. And because it's judged by working professionals, the award is invaluable for other Creative Directors in evaluating your work. My advice to students would be to never give up and keep trying.

Did the internship program at Fallon Minneapolis sharpen your creativity/skills?
It was indeed an eye-opener for me. From seeing how a legendary agency works to meeting my advertising heroes like Pat Fallon, Bob Barrie and Dean Buckhorn. The internship program also allowed me to work on real jobs for United Airlines and Citibank with Bob Barrie and Stuart D'Rozario. They taught me the simplicity of crafting and to keep pushing your ideas, even for the simplest job. Never underestimate the importance of the smallest job; it pays the bills!

Singapore Environment Council (Ozone)
D&AD 2006, Accepted in Book - Direct Poster
Cannes 2005, Gold Lion - Direct Mail
One Show 2005, Merit - Direct Mail
Adfest 2005, Silver - Direct Mail
Adfest 2005, Bronze - Poster
YoungGuns 2005, Bronze - Direct Mail
The WORK 2005, Accepted in Book - Direct Mail
LongXi Print Awards 2005, Silver - Public Service
Creative Circle Awards 2004, Silver - Graphic Design

Do you have any suggestion as to how we can bring the Crowbar Awards to another level?
As a judge for last year's Crowbars, I've noticed there's been an improvement from execution to the level of thinking put in by the students. I would say that the 4AS and the organizing committee are doing an extremely good job. From a national award show to recognize young creative talent, the Crowbar Awards has grown into a regional award to attract more talents within the region. The standard and value of the award can only get better.

Improvements can be the inclusion of environmental graphics (structure or exhibition design) and product design. Such inclusion will show the expansion and recognition of how the industry has changed, not just focusing on flat print or other conventional media.

Where do you get inspiration for new ideas?
New ideas are everywhere. Books. Movies. Even daily conversion with people can inspire new ideas. A way of thinking I've found useful is by testing, eliminating and simplifying.

Testing Test your ideas with as many people as possible, be it friends or even your family members, as they are the ones who will eventually make up your audience.

Eliminating Don't get attached to your ideas. Keep exploring and finding new and fresh directions, until you find an area where no one has done it before.

Simplify Evaluate what is needed in the idea, and what isn't. Keep taking out things until you're left with the purest expression of the idea.

Related Links:

>> Crowbar Winners - Where are They Now? Ko Min Jung
>> Crowbar Winners - Where are They Now? Gen Tan
>> Crowbar Winners - Where are They Now? Raymond Chin



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