Past, Present & Future: How designing impacted my life. - Issue #42
My story came from everything from drawing and visualization.
Since young, I have always wanted to become an Artist & Scientist. It was my ambition when I was 5 years old when my kindergarten teacher asked me “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. I started to be ambitious when I was 9 years old, I started to learn science as a subject in school and I bought myself a drawing block to learn how to sketch & sketch cartoon characters. I started to read a lot of books about innovation scientists like Thomas Alva Edison, Marie Curi & Albert Einstein (we have the same birthday: 14th of March). I love to draw and I love to be creative in my own ways how I visualize and feel about anything. At the same time, I like to think scientifically. I’m always curious about to subject, content, or problem. I believe in self-learning you can experience to improve your skillset. I have difficulties in learning other subjects in school, I was in the EM3 stream. I was very much interested in sports, art, science & computer.
I WAS 12 YEARS OLD. I THINK SCIENTIFICALLY & WANTING TO BE CREATIVE.
Later then I join the school art competition with 5 other primary schools in Singapore. I didn’t win, but my drawings & paintings were showcased on my school’s notice board in the general office walkway. I draw & painted a red bridge over a pond of my school where there is a red hut where you can sit, as I love the landscape view of it. When i was 12 years old i also became the “Science Monitor” (with green badge) that i would pin on my school uniform & i can access the school science lab. I became obsessed with science. I bought the telescope with my own pocket money for $100 at Toy ’R’ Us. I collected newspaper clippings Eclipse of the Moon & Meteorite Showers happening in Singapore. I also bought a microscope, view the insect's body and any particle on it. I also bought alot of Science Magazine for $3 at the bookstores. I memorize all planets in the solar system. I saw the full moon through the telescope and it created an impact on me. Later than I witness a meteor shower and saw shooting stars alot of times. It was the most beautiful thing ever seen in my life looking at night in the dark skies. I also bought Planisphere that came with the magazine to see the map of the stars and planets. I took part in the school science project when I was in the science club in primary school. I took 3 science projects & got awarded. Later than I graduated at 12 years old from Chongfu Primary School in Yishun, Singapore.
They gave me certificates for my participation & they awarded me.
• “On-The-Spot” Art Competition — Annual Art Showcase Chongfu Primary
• “Young Physicist in Physics” — Singapore National Academy of Science
• “Young Astronomer in Astronomy” — Singapore National Academy of Science
• “Young Entomologist in Entomology” — Singapore National Academy of Science
When i was 12 years old i started yoyoing in 1998, i started to make creative yo-yo tricks. So I tried to understand how yo-yo works. It involves science, technology, and art. I also played yo-yo professionally later after joining many contests & performing yo-yo shows. I felt it was a great skill toy for art & performance. I felt I could be more creative and skillful. So I draw this cartoon character of myself and wrote tricks I want to learn.
IMAGINE DRAWING THE SUBJECT IN YOUR MIND
A visualization is a powerful tool. When we visualize the drawing process in our minds, we train our brains. Even without making any marks, we are essentially giving our brains practice. The more practice that we give to our brains, the better they become at interpreting the world around us.
Graduated from Northland Secondary School. I did well for Technical Studies with grade 1 results. I did not took Art in examinations because i was in the Normal Technical Stream. I did well also for Computer Applications and got grade 2. I failed English, did very bad for Malay Language. I didn’t like Maths. I did just “ok-not-so-bad” for Science but i still love science. Later on i attended ITE Balestier, i took Architectural Design Course for 2 years.
I didn’t continue to learn about science but just doing more of a research about Astronomy later on, but i was very interested in computer graphics when i was 13, 14, 15 & 16 years old. I joined the computer club. Later than I took an extra school computer course to learn more about graphics and animations on computers. I was only 14 years old. After that i design camp tshirts for school in year 2000 and 2001 when i was 14 and 15 years old. I graduated from Northland Secondary School with a testimonial that I did well for Art, Computer & Sports. I love to run, so i joined school sports day and won 100m, 200m 4x100m relay and long jump. And when i was 14 years old I learn html and css. I created my first website on photoshop and export in html and published to one of the yoyoing.com/news website. I had 2gb of space given by the admin. I was a no-coder, but later then i was interested about computer science. I didn’t learn to program. But I saw how the code works after i export it from photoshop. It was cool, i always wanted to learn but i didn’t know how to start, so i continue designing & yoyoing.
I went to ITE Balestier in 2003 & 2004 when I was 17 & 18 years old. I graduated from Architectural Design. I didn’t do so well in my results when i graduated. But i did pick up alot of skills in the 2 years course. I also serve the National Service after that for 2 years as Provost. I also work for a Security Company as a Security Officer in the Mall & Clubhouse for 4years. I got fired from my last job for starting my startup doing graphic designs during my work because I was unproductive and more focused on the laptop. I came late for work because of my sleepless night from designing things and I became less uninterested during my day job. It was my mistake but also i found my purpose and what i truly passionate about, i was very obsessed for getting too attached to my laptop. I got distracted easily by many things except my laptop that i could focus on building my startup.
My first laptop i invested in back in 2005 when i was 19 years old, i paid installment at Courts Singapore Store for consumer electronics and furniture retailer. I use compaq, i believe in windows back then before i switch to macbook pro, Apple. I use this for graphic design and i use them to sketch on piece of paper.
During those years I started to play yo-yo for fun, enter contests and got sponsorship at Duncan Toys from the year 2002–2014. I also bought a Compaq Laptop to actually started doing graphic design more seriously. I was 19 years old, i didn’t know what to do. But I know deep down inside of me I love art & science alot. So I started to watch alot of youtube tutorial videos on making graphic designs. In the year 2014, i left the yo-yo sponsorship, i wanted to give other yo-yo players a chance to get sponsor who can take my sponsorship spot. Later than I went to mentoring other younger generations of yo-yo players for the yo-yo contest. It was more of a hobby kind of thing I was doing. I didn’t go serious about yoyoing as a career but I think I did pretty well to explore more about art from playing this toy.
I HAVE BEEN PLAYING YOYO FOR 20 YEARS.
Later I realize, drawing in art was a very powerful thing. You can visualize anything in your brain and you can draw or you can draw & visualize it to reality. Many of the drawings bring scientific concepts to life in interesting and unexpected ways. They also can bring any misconceptions. But glad mine had a great impact in my life of what I draw. I became a professional yo-yo player & performer after that.
I also created a nickname for myself “Killer Dash” when i was 12 years old, is just some cool yo-yo player nickname that i could call myself. I don’t know, nicknames were very trendy at that point of time. So why not have one? KD was it, Killer Dash. I drew a logo of it. I keep drawing and visualize everything i want it to be reality. Later on i have another nick name on Duncan Player Card, called myself “Pank Rok Malaya” — Punk Rock Malaya. No idea why, but i love punk rock music, i have punk rock attitude and i’m in the malaya region where i’m from and i speak malay language.
MY 1ST STARTUP — EUPHORYA
That year in 2011, I also started a small business. I co-founded a creative design agency name Euphorya. I registered my business and started offering graphic design services. I felt I was all a euphoric guy because I’m a happy-go-lucky guy person. I love to laugh and I like to make people laugh too, that’s me. I name my startup “Euphoria + Yo = EuphorYa”. The letter Y represents yo-yo or YOU. Like Euphoric You. You have to be Euphoric. I think euphoria has a good meaning. Is the experience (or affect) of pleasure or excitement and intense feelings of well-being and happiness. Part of a series on Emotions.
I had $100 and i started to create blogspot.com page and bought a $20 domain www.euphoryadesign.com. It Before that i started Euphorya as a freelancer/side projects selling graphic designs for $20 at myspace.com community online when i was 19 years old. I was very curious again about graphic design. I still played yo-yo professionally till today, is just that my focus is now more on the startup I founded and the things I want to build online.
In my early years, I had this good close friend name Firrus. He was one of my best friends who were there for me during my journey. I have many friends. But who is really my friend when I needed them the most? Came along Erffan, he was there for me all through these years.
So as i build euphoryadesign.com and offered the design services. I was selling graphic designs for tshirts, logos, banners and posters. I was making about $50 to $150 design sales of each service i offered. Next following year something happened in my life. In 2012 i lost my mom 1st of March because she have heart disease and 17 days later my late dad passed away because he have 17 years of stroke. It was hard for me to continue the startup, i was struggling emotionally. I felt so lost for that year. In 2013 same thing happened again, this time i lost my late elder brother because he was sick. They all passed away because of sickness. It was hard for me to focus on my startup agency, i have very little clients and some understand what i was going through. In 2012 i started something simple and fun, I co-founded Dement Clothing to sell graphic t-shirts back in my neighborhood. I learn making graphic tees back in 2005 and 2008. So later on, i sold more than 1,000 t-shirts in the community. Now i have 2 startups, but i was trying to learn how to manage the 1st startup, Euphorya — creative design agency. So while running it i started to explore on learning Wordpress themes development and also edited a-lot of videos and get more focus with photography. I took many photos and created many videos for practice. Learning how to use video editor software and also make youtube videos.
MY 2ND STARTUP — DEMENT CLOTHING
I started praying to god more that following year and in 2014 it was the year i became religiously inclined. I told myself I needed something else apart from just running startups and playing yo-yo. I prayed more consistently as a muslim and I started to pick up learning the Quran arabic language in the holy book of the Quran. I tried to understand it meanings and went for classes to learn from other teachers. Then I was so obsessed with the Quran recitation because of the beauty of the meaning and how it sounded. So i begin to do a-lot of self-practice and upload clips on https://soundcloud.com/fajarsiddiq I made a-lot of recitation mistakes and errors. So I decided to get inspiration and start watching more youtube videos of other reciters. In 2014 I went to Saudi Arabic for Umrah. And i prayed to god to guide me. When I was there, I founded my 3rd startup in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. I also created a logo in the hotel room with my laptop together with other people who went umrah too. Later than i met a few young passionate youth who loves videography, photography and who loves graphic designs during my umrah trip. We became friends and they were part of the 3rd startup. It was an amazing journey.
MY 3RD STARTUP — ILM PRODUCTIONS
After I got back from the trip, later than I started volunteering and also to focus on my 3rd startup. I told myself i wanted to contribute to the community. I was inspired by my late mom, late dad, and late brother's past achievements. Volunteering in the community has made me progress as better person. It teaches me patience, humility and to appreciate the uniqueness of differences, opinions and diversity. I did alot of video recording and editing of other Reciters and Speakers. I also experience Quran learning through video-editing process and while i was doing video-recording. It impacted me. I learn about sound design and engineering. At the same time i improved my Quran recitation.
So i continue my 3rd startup till 2017. I realized i didn’t focus so much on my 1st startup Euphorya while i was also learning how to build a startup. It was hard and i got really messy in running things. I was in a huge mess. I wanted to contribute to the community and also wanted to build my startup. It was a juggle i must say. I started to put chairs and table in my living. I was a solo-founder, i told myself i should invite some collaborative work like co-working style and also i need people around me. It was hilarious.
I’M NOW 30 YEARS OLD, I STARTED TO BUILD MY OWN CO-WORKING SPACE IN MY LIVING ROOM.
I put everything on the wall so i can see what my progress is, table and chair in the middle area of my living room. I had problem focusing on my projects because i was managing 3 startups and trying to make sales from bootstrap model (not funded) running my business
It was hard because my siblings moved out from the house we live in and got married. Before this they help to pay the bills and also now i owned the 4-room HDB Flat. I went from being full time being self-employed, bootstrapped my startup with no funding for years. No financial support. Just selling off something from my skillset online. Later than it was very stressful for me to manage the startup because it was in a mess and not really making money. I live alone for 3 years in the house by myself.
I didn’t really know about business and i need to pay bills. But i just wanted to do it because my guts tell me so and i was very passionate about designing and technology. I keep telling myself i can do this so i started to remember the nickname idea when i was 12 years old, “Killer Dash” But instead of KD i want my own name. I told myself if i need a name for myself for the branding to work. I have to put my name out there first on the internet before knowing my startup name and branding for Euphorya.
As i grow older, i felt it was tougher to be an adult rather than a kid or teenager. I start to have all these constant worrying about money and bills. It affected me so badly. I felt anxiety and stress easily. There were so many unhappiness and feeling of lonely being at the age 30 years old.
In 2017, i begin to focus designing again at Euphorya and also i had some clients. This time i drew a sketch on my own Personal Branding. I told myself, this could be the only way and motivation for me to keep on pursing on designing.
EUPHORYA BECAME DYSPHORIA.
I no longer feel happy about my life. I feel like closing down all my startups and just wanting to work as an employee. I applied job at Netflix but didn’t got it. So i just sleep and keep on sleeping. Meet up and hangout with my friends.
In Mid 2018, my macbook pro laptop i bought in 2012 spoilt because of the recent thermal issues updates on Mac. I also used external monitor HDMI to connect on my LCD display and it overheated. I had 16GB RAM & 500GB HDD. While i was editing, it heated up so badly and it went black screen on me. I tried to repair it but the logic-board was fried. If i were to buy new logic-board it will cost me $1000. I probably could buy a used macbook pro with that on carousell. Read more about thermal update issues: https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/24/apple-apologizes-issues-update-for-macbook-pro-thermal-throttling/.
I also felt alot of unhappiness after that because i had some big projects collaboration and clients datelines. It was affecting me personally, i started to private my instagram and remove some followers. I felt i need more time for myself to grow better. I started to look for my own happiness at Euphorya. I had so many troubles with datelines. It was hard to juggle and i was struggling, i couldn’t find anyone to help me out because some of the work are very technical. I had to borrow 3 laptops in 3 months from few friends to finish my task. Then later on, i got a new macbook pro 15' inch 2018 model. The whole new macbook pro feeling was new. From the keyboard, to the escape button, to the lock/unlock button and the new operating system, OS Mojave. It took me quite a while to get the feel of the laptop while trying to complete my left over tasks and datelines. But i’m glad i have a new laptop and manage to do more work, i felt is the new beginning but i still have to finish my overdue tasks and overdue datelines of clients work. It was blessings in disguise, yet is a constant battle for me. It was a beautiful test in my life.
After getting the laptop in late 2018, i was struggling with finishing alot of clients work. It was challenging, i was very exhausted and still feeling dysphoria. I prayed everyday continuously and rest more. Clients were chasing after me. It was very hard but i did manage it to do it bit by bit. I was moving so slowly like a snail but making progress. So i slowly begin to dream again. I started to take my small task to the next level when i joined Maker’s Community online. Talk to more designers and developers. More founders who bootstrapped their startup or side-projects online. That is the only way for me to “fit-in”. I have people who understand my situation, i get so many good advices and tips, it was a booster for myself! I became more confident as i discuss many problems with other indie-makers. They were people from all over the world! Some of them are Digital Nomads, who loves traveling & working. Finally i found “my kind” of people. Some of them got fired from job and some of them left their day job. There is alot of things i can relate:
Multiple Startup Founders
Designers & Developers
Side Projects Makers
Open Startup & Side Projects
Livestreamers & Producers
In the past 2012–2014 i have no logo but a profile pic. I have initial idea for my name. “FS” it means Fajar Siddiq. So i did some in the past. But i think i want something new, simple and unique. I registered FajarSiddiq.com back in 29th August 2012 and build it with Wordpress theme. Profile Picture & Logo is something i care about online for personal branding.
MY PROFILE PICTURE FROM 2012–2016.
I thought it will be awesome to have my own domain name for personal branding purpose like profile, blog, work, contact. So people can just google me on internet or visit my site. So that’s the purpose of it.
I mean everyone wants a good profile branding like logo and profile picture. So here’s mine through out the journey making one. It took me years to process from 2012 to 2019. I told myself i’m a graphic designer, is easy to design for others but when i designed it for myself i think is really hard. I have this perfectionist character to make it feel really good.
I want to create something that could create impact for me, not how it works! — Fajarsiddiq.com
MY LOGO PROCESS FROM 2015–2019.
Here below you can see how I designed & visualized it, I think all design is great. But is not how it works, is how it created an impact on me. I design everything from using a font, icons and I always start from sketch to black & white then finalizing it with some touch of colors. I had difficulties finding the best colors too, I love black & white especially. Then I realize I need something vibrant and attractive. From green, gold, silver, blue and now purple is my favorite color.
I’ve decided Purple is a great colour to my personal branding because it represents dawn that i could relate to the meaning of my name Fajar.
I think it represents alot of meaning in my own ways. Purple have meaning. How purple is created when you have red and blue together. So red represents like sunset & sunrise before darkness in the morning or night. Blue represents the day, blue gives me the present. The day i’m living in on earth. There is more meaning than that. My late mom gave me this name.
MEANING OF MY NAME FAJAR SIDDIQ.
My name “Fajar” means “DAWN” (Malay & Arabic Language)
What Fajar (Dawn) means? Is the time that marks the beginning of twilight before sunrise. It is recognized by the appearance of indirect sunlight being scattered in the atmosphere when the center of the Sun’s disc reaches 18° below the horizon. This dawn twilight period will last until sunrise (when the Sun’s upper limb breaks the horizon), as the diffused light becomes direct sunlight. Dawn has beautiful colors.
There are different types of astronomical, nautical, and civil dawn.
For more, you can read here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawn
In religion, Islam: Twilight is important in Islam as it determines when certain universally obligatory prayers are to be recited. Morning twilight is when morning prayers (Fajr) are done, while evening twilight is the time for evening prayers (Maghrib prayer). Suhoor (early morning meal) time for fasting (during Ramadan and other times) ends at morning twilight (at dawn). Fasting is from the beginning of dawn to sunset. There is also an important discussion in Islamic jurisprudence between “true dawn” and “false dawn”. Source: Wikipedia
MY FINALIZED DESIGNS FOR FAJAR SIDDIQ LOGO.
This was in early 2015, i tried to create something that i can relate about my interest. I love tshirt design and when i look at this design i feel like is some punk rock and hardcore band. After awhile i got annoyed because is for personal brand and is just bad for my name.
This was in mid year 2015, i think hipster trend is very famous back then, so i think having a cursive looking font logo will look cool. But after a while i have trouble looking at it when i zoom out. It looks rubbish to me. It looks okay when is zoom in.
This was in Early 2016, i don’t know why i want to call myself Visual Architects. I think the logo looks like some luxury brand, after a while i don’t like it. But i graduated from architectural design!
This was in Late 2016, i don’t know why i want to call myself the design service, i was inspired by the movie Kingsmen. After that i found it too funny because i’m not kingsmen, i’m Fajar Siddiq.
FUTURE & BEYOND OF FAJAR SIDDIQ BRANDING
So i’ve decided which profile picture i want to use for the next few years without changing. Also finalized my FS logo sketches and design it on photoshop. FS, Fajar Siddiq will be the future of the design that will created impact on me in life. I started to work on this in Late 2017, then finalized it in 2018. In 2019 I started to make the revamp website look of it.
Made some mock-up designs in late 2017 with the logo to get the feel of it. I’m full of purple and i think is too much. So i decide cyan blue will brighten up and relate to the meaning of my actual name, Fajar Siddiq for fajarsiddiq.com
HERE’S TO 10 YEARS EXPERIENCE AS A GRAPHIC DESIGNER. MY AMBITION AS AN ARTIST.
Finalized FS logo in 2018 — Fajar Siddiq, the confidence that i will be focusing on my future, my startups and the journey in my life. This will be used on all social media officially for www.fajarsiddiq.com
Finalized FS Profile Picture in 2018 — Fajar Siddiq, the confidence that i will be focusing on my future, my startups and the journey in my life. This will be used on all social media officially for www.fajarsiddiq.com
I also created other stuff for FajarSiddiq.com. It was amazing! I got a lot of motivation and inspiration from other makers and also my close friend to not give up and continue my journey!
It’s been 10 years since I’m in the graphic design industry! I use Figma software to do designs and a lot of blobs. Blobs represent the internet bubble! I felt everything from communities to products to startups to cultures is all bubble. The bubble can mean in a good way or bad way. You decide which bubble you want to be in! My goal now is to build things I care about & wanting to benefit others more. I will also learn more and different programming languages to make websites and apps so i will have my own products rather than offering services to clients. So lesser clients, more money will make me happy. I feel so refresh!
I also started to make branding for:
Livestream Graphic Display
Website Design in Light/Dark Mode
Blog Design on Medium Publication
EVERYTHING CAME FROM A PIECE OF PAPER WHEN I WAS 12 YEARS OLD.
I drew it, i visualized it & i do it. That’s the way how i dream to achieve my goals & my interests in Art & Science. Despite all challenges in my life, i will keep on trying when i faced so many fears and insecurities. I told myself i’m now going to be 33 years old in 2019. I’m a grown adult, one of the good thing about being adult, i can be matured in the way how i think and feel.
“ THINK SCIENTIFICALLY, BE CREATIVE. — Fajar Siddiq”
Choosing my thoughts and feelings carefully to do things. At the same time, i want to feel young and energetic again, so i keep on playing yo-yo during my breaks when i’m on my laptop. I will continue to make beautiful things. My journey doesn’t ends here. Maybe sooner or later i get married, settle down or something. Anyways, I’m building my first side projects currently. Some are posted publicly and some is not. Some stuffs i like to keep it secret. For now, “GET WORK DONE!”. Let’s do this.