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Meet Bernie from Sketch Post Studio

bernieProfI met Bernie at TEDxKL. I recall noticing her working away during one of the networking breaks. I thought to myself, "What is she doing?" One by one, her sketches filled the foyer. I then read up about Sketch Post Studio and got in touch with her. She's graciously agreed to share her story here. Personally, this feature is a reminder about being a good steward with existing skill sets and talents. Be inspired.

I'd like to start with a game - word association - just respond to the following with the first thing(s) that come to mind. E.g. I say 'music' and you say 'dancing'.

- Cooking, There’s always time for food.
- White, Chocolate
- Love, Singapore
- Malaysia, Family
- Money, Infinite

What do you do?

I’m a graphic recorder. I basically draw a lot.

Describe yourself in a few words.

Always happy to be around pens.

Tell us about the genesis of Sketch Post Studio. Did you stumble upon the idea? A long time hobby? Borne out of necessity?

Illustration has always come naturally to me as a child. I found my skills to be most valuable as I attended conferences and began illustrating notes as talks and discussions went on in my notebook. Used illustration as a tool to support my learning and understanding of a topic. It was an instant capture of key points and interesting quotes. Organisers, guests and speakers loved them and it was a beautiful way to celebrate the content and exchange of ideas. The professional term used to describe this is graphic recording.

After a few years of practicing graphic recording as an interest, I became confident in my work and decided to turn it into a profession by starting Sketch Post Studio.

Many have asked if my passion is illustration and my answer is no. My real interest is continuous learning. And Illustration or graphic recording is a tool that helps me learn about many different things while creating value for people around me.

Quite simply, graphic recording is about making ideas stick. By creating live large-scale graphic recordings at events and discussions, it’s a performance that supports the content being discussed. Many who witness it for the first time sit up and wonder, “Hey! What’s going on over there?” It draws attention to interesting ideas and quotes that may be missed or forgotten post-event.

Also, graphic recordings boost social media engagement, as they are ready for guests to photograph to post, tweet and share immediately. With beautiful summaries of the sessions, guests can instantly use them as references for discussions.

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Define "creativity". What are personal creativity boosters and killers?

Taking on fresh projects with clients from various industries keep me on my toes. Having breaks in between projects help to clear my mind before diving into something new. Tight deadlines can be both a creativity booster and killer for me. It encourages me to think quickly but overtime does burn me out.   

Share with us about your first 'big break' which propelled you into business. Share some highlights from your journey to date.

The first event I graphic recorded for was TEDxKL 2012. The head organizer, Daniel was keen on having me visualize the talks and it was great publicity for me and helped to build my confidence to possibly pursue graphic recording as more than an interest. It was lovely to have had my work featured on the global TEDx blog too. Since then, my graphic recordings created for TEDxSanJoseCA Women 2012 and TEDxKL 2013 have also been recognized on the blog.

How long does it take to create a sketch post? It is like a jigsaw puzzle, where you start out at the corners? Do you create them on-the-go?

The challenging part of being a graphic recorder is having think on my feet and produce a finished drawing by the time the speaker walks of the stage. Need to trust myself to be able to visualise quickly and work within the time frame. It’s a profession that depends on quick thinking.

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At the moment, you have a one-woman-show business set up. What are some misconceptions about being an entrepreneur?

It can be a lonely journey so I do enjoy collaborations with other illustrators and creative groups. It pushes me to be better.

You split your time between Malaysia and Singapore. What are your impressions about the startup ecosystems there?

So far I’ve found the startup ecosystem in both countries to be conducive for the industry I’m in which is design / creative. The administration process from registration, banking, accounting etc is rather straightforward. Also, the media is very supportive of young entrepreneurs. There are always articles, tv and radio interviews on local startups. Also, large companies are open to working with young companies on projects.

Where do you see yourself three years from now?

There have been requests to graphic record in Hong Kong, Europe, Japan and New Zealand as the Sketch Post Studio brand grows. Definitely looking forward to Sketch Post Studio making its global mark. Also, looking into developing e-learning videos and programmes.

Finally, any special mentions or shoutouts?

To my family and friends for being supportive. Also, the ups and downs over the past few years have been necessary to bring me to this point.

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everyone

Get in touch with Bernie
Sketch Post Studio, www.sketchpoststudio.com
P: +6016-956-9181(MY), +65-9120-2604(SG)
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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