Arts Leadership: Empowerment for Unlimited Possibilities

Learning to draw and laugh at oneself at work is good for the health and creativity.

North Zone Key Personnel Learning Carnival 2008 is an executive training seminar for key personnel of government schools in the northern sector of Singapore. They had an interesting concept of linking arts to leadership. Participants comprising of vice-principals and head-of-departments were exposed to different art genres and made to reflect on the parallels of leadership and the disciplines in art-making.

The simple truth is, we had fun teaching them how to draw and laugh at themselves through caricatures (LOL). I came across this quotation today that I want to share with all:

Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life.
Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it.
Cullen Hightowe

Funny drawings by professional artists at corporate training seminars for busy executives.
How to conduct a good executive training seminar? Call an artist!

Farewell caricatures for BP Singapore staff

BP Singapore caricature for staff service commemoration gift as parting gifts

This looks very crowded I know, but our customer (BP Singapore) had a brain-storming session and came out with a long list of ideas to caricature the illustrious career of these two colleagues that is leaving. The joke is highly internal, so we do the best to spice up the humour based on their worded instructions. Composition is a challenge given that each picture comprises of three themes with separate setting and is required to be given equal weight. If given a choice, I would have opted to focus on just one trait of the person instead of all three which risks having the painting lacking a focal point. Though challenging, it was fun to work on so many details and the customers had no problem paying for their special request. The thrill of drawing Red Power Ranger fighting demonic kangaroos and koala or a Singapore-girl pole dancing in her ‘kebaya’ is simply priceless.

Slutty SIA girl who plays rugby with the boys and does a Kate Winslet Titanic pose on a LPG ship

Caricature gift for foreign delegates

Librarians have a knack for appreciating caricature it seems. After receiving fourty four hilarious caricatures of their children’s library specialists, they came back for more. This time its for their foreign guests. We get to draw the Merlion and other attractions of Singapore like the trishaw and ‘Singapore Sling’. The ‘Singapore girl‘ is a popular request. And there’s more to come.

Caricature gift for guests and tourists
Sexy Singapore girl airline stewardess in batik baju kebaya uniform
SIA stocks would crash big time if their girls look like this.

Banker becomes farmer. Retirement gift for Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered Bank gift to staff feeding cow with money in Australia with Singapore building in his toughts.

“Thanks Kamal. Your drawing is awesome!
We cannot stop laughing with it.
You made our day! Natalie”

We got an SMS above from a Standard Chartered Bank staff for the caricatured farewell gift. They had a few ideas for their expatriate colleague who is leaving the banking profession to become a cattle breeder in Australia. I suggested a simple gag of having a disinterested cow chewing money. They bought it – cow and all.

We do not offer framing services but beacuse this order was so urgent, we got a photo frame from our neighbourhood photo shop and framed it in time for the lunch ceremony.

From Citibank to Community Centre

Caricature of retiring colleague who is a banker playing mahjong

This caricature commission is a gift for a friend who is retiring. The customer sent us an email after collecting it which reads:

Collected the cartoon today – its hilarious and I luurve it! I like your sense of humour – the bra strap, leg on chair, the plastic red and blue bags…. Thank you v. much.

Actually, the humour is mostly theirs. This was their instruction:

Information about our Gim
1. She is retiring from Citibank (so no more regular income)
2. She likes to speak Singlish
3. Likes to play mahjong
4. Likes to wear her spectacles on her head when she’s working.
5. Has a very good sense of humour.

Idea for the cartoon
The Government is now promoting mahjong playing among senior citizens – to prevent old age disease and Alzheimers etc. They want Community Centers to provide place/facilities for mahjong players. So we thought we could use this theme and merge it with earning an income from mahjong winnings.

1. Title of the cartoon – From Citibank to Community Centre ( to use the Citibank logo and colours for the word “Citibank” and the PAP lightning flash and colours for the words “Community Center)

2. To depict Gim sitting at the Mahjong table ( with mahjong tiles laid out) and at her feet are several bags of money ( with $$$ signs) to indicate her winnings.

3. Gim to have a pair of spectacles on top of her head

4. Gim to say this: Mahjong is gambling meh??!! ‘Gahmen’ say mind games verrrry healthy. Some more, can also earn plenty plenty money $$$ for retirement whaaat!!!

Wedding Gift for Fedex staff from collegues

This lucky couple has 14 collegues who ordered a caricature as wedding gift. The humour was to show the team showering them with company issued gifts and possibly a company issued honeymoon on a the Fedex plane. I can’t help but kept thinking of the movie ‘Cast Away’ while doing this caricature.

Wedding gift caricature of bride and groom with collegues and Fedex plane