WE live in a time of great media convergence. Every day, we celebrate the rise of a new idea or an innovation. Digital knowledge is no longer an option but a must if we want to stay ahead of the industry.
“The younger generation today is full of ideas, they would do whatever it takes to surprise and inspire their audience (or followers). However, it takes creativity to go further than where they are,” says IACT College creative and marketing director and senior lecturer Penny Low.
“Creativity is the biggest commodity. It expands horizons and helps you soar beyond limitations. Opportunities are endless for people with creativity.”
What does it take to get a head start in the creative industry? Here is an interview with a few of IACT’s alumni who started off their journey in creative careers as early as their college days. All of them are rising stars in their respective fields.
They are GRIMFILM YouTube Channel founder and director Jared Lee (J), who also co-founded and co-owns Morningwood Café; winner of Bella Correspondence 2013 and the lead singer of “An Honest Mistake”, who is also into hosting, dancing and acting Ashley Chan (A); artiste and TV host for Astro XiaoTaiYang Channel Melissa Ong (M); and the founder and content creator of Bryzoid.com Bryan Alexander Lim (B). His clients include Nike, Astro, Tigerbeer and Media Prima.
What is the creative industry in Malaysia like?
J: The creative industry in Malaysia has a lot of potential and that means plenty of job opportunities.
A: I definitely feel a lot more new jobs are opening up and as Mass Communication is such a wide field, there are lots of career options to choose from.
M: Yes, it’s true, and it’s a matter of grabbing the opportunity. Take for example, James Wan for The Conjuring or the CG for Life of PI, which was done by local artistes in KL, all we have to do is learn to appreciate all the opportunities given to us.
B: I agree with everyone. There are more opportunities these days as the local start- up organisations are taking the initiative to be bolder and more audacious in engaging with the community with fresh ideas. At the same time, on the education end, more and more people are trained in the field and they have learnt to be more open and accepting when it comes to new ideas.
What is your hope for the creative industry in Malaysia or, at least, the field you are in?
J: One of my biggest wishes is to change the Malaysian mindset towards our “Buatan Malaysia” products. Whether it’s film, music, art or even clothes, we need our people to support our local talent so that the industry can grow. That is the only way to get the world’s attention.
M: Malaysians need to support and nurture the creative industry in Malaysia. We are good and we can be even better and perhaps even compete internationally, but we have to start by believing in our strengths and possibilities in this field.
A: On top of that, I hope the industry is given the space and freedom it needs, not being stifled or controlled too much. It will definitely grow if we are given more freedom
B: It is also crucial that other industries create a collaborative infrastructure to work hand- in- hand with the creative industry in a wider perspective. Creative industry is one of the best platforms that businesses can leverage on for growth.
Being an alumni of IACT College, the only creative communication specialist college in the country, how has the college taught you about being creative and prepared you for the industry?
B: Education at IACT College is versatile. It has a wide choice of subjects. For example, in Diploma of Mass Communication, we had to learn how to use the different mediums in the industry. Thus, we had subjects from designing, writing and idea conceptualisation to even corporate management. It has made me versatile when engaging with creativity.
J: The joy I found being at IACT was the freedom to discover what I love and being encouraged to go after it. I found my love for film- making through a simple video assignment. And most of the assignments at IACT give you room to do what you want, rather than ‘ follow what the lecturer wants’.
M: Yes, it was so much fun studying in IACT College with many ‘ out- of- the- box’ elements. I remember once during the subject of Presentation Skills, we had to talk about our dreams and passion in five minutes ( with props and costumes). Can you imagine the excitement of seeing my classmates coming to class wearing pyjamas saying their dream was to sleep 24/ 7? It was assignments like these at IACT that always made me think a lot and unearthed the inner creativity in me.
A: IACT has taught me to think outside the box. The lecturers guided us to do things and create things that were new and engaging. Everything I did at IACT was very hands on and prepared me well for the industry.
IACT College declared the month of March as “Celebrating Creativity” month. The highlight of the month is “Creative Carnival”, which is happened on March 19 and 20, 10am to 5pm, at its campus at VSQ Tower, Petaling Jaya. For more information on the event, call 03- 7954 1909 or visit www.iact.edu.my.
About IACT College
IACT College is the Creative Communication Specialist in Malaysia. The College offers an array of programmes in Media and the Creative Arts. Pioneering Project-Based Learning (PBL) in its classes, students are trained with real-life projects, which are provided and assessed by industry leaders. This has successfully produced many job-ready and award-winning graduates who are now leaders in the creative communication field. For more information on IACT College, please log on to www.iact.edu.my.