Jake Parker presented a short presentation on his professional life, works and a short introduction into his life story as an illustrator and concept artist. Jake himself has works with Marvel (Rocket raccoon series), Blue Sky Studios, Disney Animation and Warner Brothers Animation. The event was hosted by NTUC in partnership with Lasalle College of the Arts, as part of the inaugural U Creative Summit, a series of art seminars for creative professionals in the Singapore scene. The U Creative Programme is part of NTUC’s broader efforts to prepare Singaporean PMEs for tomorrow’s challenges.
Held at the NTUC building auditorium, the summit saw an attendance of about 500, comprising mainly of students and some professionals from the media, design and creative industry. Present at the event too is Chris Vivek Kumar, Director, U Associate and Future Leaders Programme, NTUC and Christopher Shaw From Lasalle Faculty of Media Arts. Jake saw participants it through an image slideshow presentation running through his life works chronologically, with each artwork (traditional and digital mediums) and photo telling a tale of its own in relation to his art career.
As an American originating from Georgia, Jake shared insights in general, covering much on his inspiration, initiatives and ideologies, (past and present) on how to live a creative life in America. Through his humble beginnings, a couple of Jake’s first jobs were odd and unrelated to illustration in nature- he started working at a museum painting exhibition murals for dinosaur exhibits, which opened up more contacts and opportunities with several studios which helped build his career. Through each milestone, a lesson quote is shared as a take-back for the audience.
The event ended with a Q&A in address to various participant queries, ranging from Jake’s sources inspiration to preferred art styles. The question in everybody’s head is of course applicability of these lessons in the local context- Under the covers, illustration and being an artist in Singapore is often deemed as a second-class profession, minimum-wage with typically notorious sweatshop-style working environments. Undeniably, it will be challenging to be original, creative and to break free from the reins of public perception given the realities the market-orientated ideologies and culture here. As much as any artist or illustrator who intends to make a name for themselves here in Singapore, the common consensus is that it won’t be easy.
Jake’s talk overall did bring fresh perspectives and invokes interest to the students from the various educational institutions, with inspirations sought and perceptions renewed. I thank Lasalle and NTUC for the invite to attend the event.