Tales of warring kingdoms and martial prowess. Epic fantasies of towering giants and cackling witches.
These were the stories that had enraptured Mr Seh Wei Liea in his childhood. Every night, he would wait eagerly for his father – a printing manager – to bring home picture books ranging from Roald Dahl’s short stories to the illustrated Mahabharata. Those books left an indelible impression on him.
“The desire to transcribe and replicate the breadth of emotions in storytelling into words or pictures is a powerful thing,” says Mr Seh.
So inspired was he that he decided to pursue a Diploma in Digital Animation at Singapore Polytechnic, where he honed his skills in 3D animation.
It was during his National Service – where he served as the Animation IC (in-charge) on the Multimedia and Content Committee for National Day Parade 2020 – that he first learnt about the Singapore Digital (SG:D) Scholarship from a friend.
The SG:D Scholarship is an industry scholarship under the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) for tech- and media-related studies. Depending on the type of scholarship awarded, scholarship recipients have the flexibility to chart their own career path in any organisation, so long as the position is in a tech- or media-related position, subject to approval by IMDA.
MULTIPLE AVENUES OF SUPPORT
For someone who has envisioned a career in animation, receiving the scholarship to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Media Art at Nanyang Technological University was a dream come true for Mr Seh.
“I look forward to connecting with like-minded folks in the media industry,” says Mr Seh. “I am excited to learn from the media experts what it takes to create, entertain and teach.”
One benefit from the SG:D Scholarship is an annual living allowance and pre-studies allowance which has not only given him a measure of financial freedom, but it has also afforded him a proper workstation.
Beyond that, the scholarship also provides funding support for courses and certifications beyond school curriculum, as well as for support for overseas experiences including internships, student exchange programmes and competitions, which Mr Seh is hoping to tap on for his dream internship at Riot Games in Santa Monica in the United States, makers of blockbuster games like League of Legends and Valorant.
It has also allowed him to keep in touch with the animation community as well as his fellow SG:D scholarship recipients. Throughout the pandemic, they have collaborated and shared knowledge while supporting each other.
“There is something about knowing that there are people out there who are ready to help you up if you fall,” he says.
Upon graduation, he hopes to join an art or video game studio as a 3D generalist or visual effects artist, cultivating a skill set that will allow him to build worlds like those that had inspired him in his childhood.
“To have a voice, transform it into something visibly beautiful, and then blast it to the world – that is my life goal,” he says.
Visit go.gov.sg/sgdscholarships for more information.