Why did you choose to intern at The Red Pencil Singapore?
The first time I heard of The Red Pencil Singapore was when I visited the Rebound exhibition with the intent of writing about it for a school assignment. Upon further research on the organisation, I felt that it aligned with my views that art and could be so much more than simply aesthetics. I wanted to facilitate the process of healing and betterment through art therapy for those who will benefit from it. In addition, it also reconciled my two interests — psychology, which I studied in poly, and the arts.
What were your main responsibilities as a Programmes Intern?
Day-to-day, it was a mix of administrative tasks and programme-related tasks such as setting up for art therapy sessions. However, as The Red Pencil Singapore was preparing for their Centre Opening during my time there, I also took on tasks such as setting up the void deck space for the activities, coming up with community art therapy activities for the attendees, and preparing artworks for sale.
What is the most meaningful project you have worked on at The Red Pencil?
The Centre Opening was definitely the most meaningful project for me as I was able to propose and bring the community art therapy activities to fruition. Plus, being able to work with volunteers from LASALLE's MA Art Therapy was also a process I thoroughly enjoyed as we managed to learn from each other. It was really gratifying to see families, couples, and individuals create beautiful pieces of art which they then exhibited at the void deck for all to view 🙂
“My experience has inspired and encouraged me to continue serving the less privileged…"
What is an activity that instantly calms you?
Have you used creative arts in your personal life as a form of self-expression, grounding or coping?
All the time. Although my preferred choice is singing and playing the guitar, working at The Red Pencil has warmed me up to the idea of painting and drawing to express myself.
How is working at The Red Pencil different from your other work experiences?
In my previous work experiences, I was the person who worked directly with beneficiaries. It was quite a change for me to not be able to liaise directly with them at The Red Pencil, but the experience was an eye-opening one and it made me appreciate the effort that goes into being the person who handles the back-end processes.
How has your experience at The Red Pencil inspired you in other aspects of your life?
My experience has inspired and encouraged me to continue serving the less privileged, though through other means such as facilitating after school activities for latchkey children living in rental estates. I am also currently looking into starting up a group that helps provide warm meals for the homeless.
What is a piece of advice you would have for a prospective intern of The Red Pencil?
Enjoy the process and don't be afraid to ask questions! You will be working with a very nurturing team of people who will not hesitate to guide you.
Why do you think The Red Pencil's mission is important?
The Red Pencil provides an avenue for less privileged individuals and families of all ages and circumstances to express themselves through creative means, in place of traditional talk therapy. Hopefully, with The Red Pencil around, we can break the stigma surrounding therapy and seeking therapy, and allow more people to see the benefits that creative arts therapy can bring so that we may live our best lives, and provide a better world for generations to come.