Jack Ser, 30
When you’re colour blind and forced to work late nights, the last thing on your mind would be to paint. But knowning a challenge like this would eat into an already hectic work schedule, Ser went for the plunge anyway. It took him three months, and without help from his sister, he may not have got all the colours right. Called “Tenacity”, it’s a pretty neat painting of a seedling inspired by the work of CARE Singapore, where growth, nurturing, and patience are essential.
What do you think of the artwork you did?
I’m very proud of what I managed to accomplish. It was a long three months of painting that had to be squeezed into my already packed work schedule. But nevertheless I managed to complete it and I must say that I am really happy with the completed art piece!
How much help did you get?
The painting would not have been possible without my sister. She has been an artist for about three years now, and her guidance and support during this process has been invaluable. She had to come up with ways and means to help me recognise and memorise the colours, including printing out handy colour wheel charts with the names of the colours printed on them. I must say the many late nights we spent painting have helped us bond even more.
Describe the hiccups you faced.
When I first started the challenge, the frustration of mixing up the colours on the palette made me want to give up the challenge completely. But nevertheless, with the encouragement of my friends and family, and bearing in mind the objective of the challenge, I managed to push myself to persevere and complete the piece of art. I’m also pretty clumsy when it comes to colouring within the boundaries, so having to do that was pretty tough.
What was your painting inspired by?
The painting was really inspired by the work of CARE Singapore. With that, I decided to paint the picture of a seedling. Seedlings require love, tenderness and care in order for them to grow into adult plants. I liken the work of CARE in helping youths at risk of being led astray to the efforts of a gardener in nurturing and caring for the seedling. He has to ensure that the harsh elements of the world do not get the better of it.
What has art done for you?
Surprisingly, this challenge has actually helped to relieve my work stress towards the later part of the three months spent on it. I guess when they say art is therapeutic, there is some truth to it.
So you spent a day with one of the kids from CARE Singapore. How did it go?
For a 14-year-old, Amirah is very sensible, and she very much reminds me of my niece. She’s witty, artistic and a joy to teach. With the help of my sister, we guided her along in painting one of her happiest moments: riding a horse at a carnival.
What has she taught you?
Over the painting session, it was easy to tell that, despite her age, Amirah is mature and independent. I learnt that one should never judge an individual based on their academic standing. Our exam system of evaluating kids does not reflect on who they really are. I think schools should try to send the right message to kids, and not place importance on just academic performance. Let them know that no matter what, they all have the same opportunities to succeed in life.
What do you think of your chances of winning?
To be honest, I never joined the competition with the intention to win. To me, being happy is all about being contented with what you have. I have a wonderful family, friends and a job that allows me to live comfortably. That to me is more than enough. I joined the competition to help raise money for CARE Singapore because I believe in its mission and cause. No matter who wins, I’m happy that all 10 of us contributed to raising the money and helped spread the message of CARE Singapore to everyone else.
Jack Ser, 30