Rising Star

Rising Star

“A creative is only known for the last work he did, and we must constantly push our boundaries,” says Marvin Liang, winner of the Rising Star of the Year (Creative) award.

“The way I pitched myself was to show consistency. It’s not just about coming up with one-off ideas, but needing to be consistently good and deliver on whatever briefs are handed to you. I don’t want to just be known for one or two successful campaigns. I want to be more versatile, and constantly good,” added the 30-year-old senior art director.

Supported by NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), the award was part of the Institute of Advertising Singapore’s (IAS) Hall of Fame Awards 2016 that recognises young advertising creatives who have not only done stellar work, but have also embraced both the learning and application of new skills. The Institute of Advertising Singapore is also an NTUC U Associate.

Essential: A Breadth of Knowledge

While the role of an art director is centred on bringing a client’s creative brief to its aesthetic best, Marvin described the actual process of doing so as being like a Jack of all trades. The advertising campaigns Marvin works on spans across tradition mediums like print and television and into web and mobile platforms.

“We have to know everything that goes on in our industry. So, having the skill to draw, make use of Photoshop, take photographs as well as video editing will all help,” he said.

Given the rapid rate at which technology is advancing, it becomes important for creatives to stay ahead of the curve. This includes being familiar with new media platforms that exists on mobile social media apps.

“When I started, I used a lot of illustration and used programmes like Adobe’s Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. Nowadays, clients are asking for a lot of films. I started picking up video editing and animation skills. You just have to do it or you’ll fall back and not understand the limits of what can or cannot be done,” he added.

For Marvin, much of the learning takes place on the job itself, with the internet being the greatest teacher you can have.

“I don’t know how I managed but I just did it. Tutorials that you can find online do wonders. They are my go-to whenever I’m in need. I will generally search for what I need on various websites,” he shared.

Staying Inspired

Marvin shared that instead of looking at his past work, where more could have been done, he prefers to look at work he’s envious of as a means of motivation.

As for his future, Marvin hopes to be able to work with start-ups.

“In order for a new business to survive, you have to challenge the norm. To work on accounts like these would match what I try to do personally as well. As a creative, we always try to be different and break the norms.”



Aligned with the objective to continually upskill ourselves , IAS also announced the ‘Marketing Leaders 2030’ programme, a Masterclass level training programme jointly developed between IAS, NTUC U Associate and Employment and Employability Institute (e2i). For more information on the programme, please contact IAS at 6220 8382 or email to enquiry@ias.org.sg.   

Story and Photos by Jonathan Tan. This article was first published on 18 December 2016 in NTUC This Week.