Red Dot Heroes

Doodling as a kid got her on the way

In her first internship, Miss Kristal Melson was put in projects using illustrations after her boss discovered that she could draw.
In her first internship, Miss Kristal Melson was put in projects using illustrations after her boss discovered that she could draw.

Apple has appointed 12 local creatives. Some will host free workshops that focus on the features of its products. Here are two of them.

Kristal Melson, 33, is often mistaken as a foreigner because of her surname - until she starts talking. "Yeah, people will say, 'you sound like an Ah Lian'," said Miss Melson, who was born and raised in Singapore.

The self-taught illustrator said she has been drawing since she was a young girl, so it just comes naturally for her. "I was just one of those kids who never paid attention in class, and was always doodling," she said.

During her first internship, her boss discovered that she could draw. So Miss Melson was put in projects that required illustrations. After the internship, she was regularly called back to work on illustration projects. "It organically becomes my work," she said.

After working in Facebook as creative lead of a marketing team, she left last August to pursue illustration work full-time. "This is what I really wanted to do," she said. Miss Melson has been involved in campaigns with major brands like Levis, Marc Jacobs, New Balance, Onitsuka Tiger, Reebok and Heineken. In addition, she has designed album art for local bands like Localcityboy, KarlMaka and Kate of Kale.

She started to use the iPad Pro to draw with the Apple Pencil when it was first launched.

"I tend to move around a lot. So when the iPad Pro came out, I thought I could just carry it instead of tons of notebooks and pencils," she said.

Instead of deciding which pencil or brush to take along, she can now switch brushes and pencils on the iPad Pro using the ProCreate app.

She will be looking to impart her drawing skills to fellow iPad users at Apple Orchard Road. Regardless of the skill level of the participants, her goal is simple - to get people to draw again. She feels that drawing is something anyone can do, it is just how much you practise and how much you love it. "It will feel quite rewarding to see the happiness that someone can get from picking up a pencil to draw again."

Trevor Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2017, with the headline 'Doodling as a kid got her on the way '. Print Edition | Subscribe