If there’s one thing in the world that you could change, what would it be?
This is a tough question! There are so many injustices and inequalities in the world that need to be dealt with. However, if I had to choose just one thing, it would be the end of all poverty. I’ve seen how living in poverty have driven people to commit acts of violence and have prevented them from having the proper nutrition, healthcare and education they require. The poverty cycle also gets passed on from one generation to the next, ultimately preventing children and families from breaking out of this vicious cycle.
I remember reading in an article before that there is enough money in the world to end poverty. However, it is sad that this money is not being allocated properly to those in need but is instead being used to fuel things like consumerism and military expansion. The best thing we can do now on an individual level is to always be aware of those less fortunate than us and to offer any help we can to helping them!
What book did you read recently?
Books, my fav! Being a major in English Literature, I am exposed to my fair share of books. In fact there was a point of time in my university life where I had to read three books a week (no joke!). Out of the many books I’ve read, however, one that called out to me would be “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood. I just re-read the text recently for the third time. I loved it so much that I wrote about it for my final-year thesis paper, delving into the themes of Religion & Feminism.
The text is set in a dystopian world where due to a declining birth rate, women are forced to give birth for powerful men and women. It’s actually based off true accounts that some societies in the world practice! I will stop there because everyone should read the book for themselves.
Would you rather: be pencil or paper?
I choose the eraser! (Just kidding!)
On a serious note, I would see the pencil as something that is active and that can create and have the power to voice out. Whereas the paper is more of a blank canvas that allows the pencil to work on. I would then choose the paper over the pencil because I’ve learnt the value of taking a step back to let other voices emerge.
Being in The Red Pencil has also taught me the importance of passing the pencil to those less fortunate than us, where it is their turn to create and for their silenced voices to emerge. As the paper, and working in the marketing team, I can be the blank canvas that helps to share their voices and their stories to the world!
What’s your plans after the internship?
As of now I’m still quite open with regards to plans after internship. I’m currently trying out various stints to see what most tickles my fancy. However, I’m quite sure that I would want something involved with the arts because that’s really where my interest lies. I love my work here at The Red Pencil, so I would probably want to further pursue the role of marketing and communications again! As of now, I’m going to focus on constantly learning and improving myself to pick up skills I might need in my future job search. And of course, enjoy the much needed rest and recreation after hustling in university for four years!
Favourite place in the Singapore? (or the world)
Another tough question to answer! I would have to say the Park Connector just behind my housing estate. It’s this really quiet lane, surrounded by trees and without many buildings around. It’s a really nice place for a run or if I need some quiet time to unwind. I also spent a large part of my growing-up years there, roller-blading and cycling, so I have many personal memories there. I also love how it connects me to other park connectors in Singapore by foot or bicycle, giving me an endless possibility of places to discover.
Why did you want to intern at The Red Pencil?
So many things! The Red Pencil immediately caught my attention because of the work that it did. Arts therapy was this mysterious and captivating concept to me that I never fully understood. To be honest, before I started work, I naively thought that it was just painting and drawing and had such great misconceptions of it (which I’ve hopefully clarified by now!). At first, it seemed like just something fun and light-hearted where I could paint and make art. However, I soon learnt that the work they did went so much deeper than that. It gave the voiceless a voice and an outlet to express their hurt and trauma. It involved healing and rehabilitating. I guess you could say I most definitely was not disappointed, and in fact, found much greater fulfillment in helping spread this (newfound) message of arts therapy.
I’ve also always sought solace and comfort in art and music. It always gave me a safe space where I could truly be myself and express myself freely. Growing up and being caught in the hustle and bustle of life, I haven’t had the time to start a creative project. The Red Pencil thus called out to me because it used art in such a special and private way and I was excited to be a part of that! Lastly, the name “The Red Pencil” itself caught my eye – so simple yet so impactful! Sign me up!
“At first, it seemed like just something fun and light-hearted where I could paint and make art. However, I soon learnt that the work they did went so much deeper than that. It gave the voiceless a voice and an outlet to express their hurt and trauma. “
“As an intern, I get treated like any other member of the team, where I am given proper roles and responsibilities and the work I do is valued."
What are some of your responsibilities as a marketing and communications intern?
As a marketing and communications intern, I worked alongside the marketing team to help raise greater awareness of The Red Pencil and arts therapy. This included taking charge of the company’s social media platforms and website. My role also involved liaising with external parties, like schools or vendors, who may want to collaborate with us for events or workshops.
What did you like most about working at The Red Pencil?
I’ve been very blessed in being able to meet the very caring and easy-going team behind The Red Pencil. The people there definitely make up what I enjoyed most in my internship journey. The team itself is really small and everyone always looks out for one another. As an intern, I get treated like any other member of the team, where I am given proper roles and responsibilities and the work I do is valued. My welfare is also always taken care of, where most times my colleagues are asking me if I have eaten lunch and making sure I don’t get too stressed out from the workload.
How has the internship been beneficial to your personal and professional development (so far)?
On a professional level, The Red Pencil has taught me invaluable skills in terms of marketing processes, software management and many more. With this internship stint, I have developed a new knack for coming up with witty social media posts and also been exposed to many software databases I never knew existed. These skills will definitely benefit me in my future career path, where I will have a head-start in whatever organization I choose to join.
On a personal level, The Red Pencil has taught me to see the more ‘human’ side of an organization. Having never worked in a non-profit organization before, I am extremely grateful to see its workings behind the scenes and it has given me new insight as to how a charitable organization works differently from a profit-driven one. The focus is now more aligned to helping spread awareness for those in need, over chasing dollars and cents. In my time here in The Red Pencil, I’ve learnt so much about the power of arts therapy and how it provides for those in need. More than that, I’ve learnt to look past my own limited world-view and start thinking about those in much worse situations than myself.
Why do you think The Red Pencil’s mission is important?
The Red Pencil’s mission is to use “the power of arts therapy to help individuals who have been through overwhelming life circumstances around the world”.
I think that this mission is so important because I truly believe that what we are unable to see physically should not be forgotten. Having had friends who have gone through depression and various mental health issues, I’ve witnessed first-hand the ill-effects of the painful battles they have to go through without any outlet to express the pain they are feeling inside. This is where The Red Pencil’s mission of bringing arts therapy to help others is so important, as it gives them a ‘safe space’ to express this inner trauma and allow them to slowly come to terms with it and recover.
I feel that The Red Pencil’s mission is also so important because it helps everyone “around the world”. Not only does The Red Pencil exist in our home-ground of Singapore, it also expands its reach internationally, with attempts to reach out to even more countries. This is so important because nobody is excluded from the help it can give.
“I’ve learnt to look past my own limited world-view and start thinking about those in much worse situations than myself. “
“Having had friends who have gone through depression and various mental health issues, I’ve witnessed first-hand the ill-effects of the painful battles they have to go through without any outlet to express the pain they are feeling inside. This is where The Red Pencil’s mission of bringing arts therapy to help others is so important, as it gives them a ‘safe space’ to express this inner trauma and allow them to slowly come to terms with it and recover. “