Ando: I was born in the 80's and a big fan of Japanese anime since I was in high school. Since then I love to draw & sketch the main character, Goku, from Dragon Ball Z. I love drawing so much most of my school books are full of my drawings. Over the time, I realised I wanted to learn more about drawing as a tool of creativity. When I go to college, I told my parents that I'd be interested to learn more about drawing and they sent me to a design college in Malaysia where I learned and was exposed to many design software like Adobe suites and 3D tools. In 2001, It was the beginning of a new age of digital design where designers all over the world express their artwork on the Internet in a form of abstract 3D in a still image and animation. People like Bradley G Munkowitz (GMUNK), Anders Schroder (DFORM1), Joost Korngold (RENASCENT), has always been my huge inspiration and made me feel good about designing. There are so much love and passion with their design and that motivates me whenever I design my personal and commercial work for any clients.
Fizah: Similar to Ando, I am also an 80's kid. I love to draw, paint and do handicrafts since I was a child. Big fan of Sailormoon, Transformers, Lego and cartoons. I've always wanted to do art and design since I was 14, but when I asked my parents to let me study art, they rejected the request stating that I can't earn a living doing that. Luckily my stepfather encouraged my mother to see it in a different way and that's when I enrolled in a design school at the age of 17 at The One Academy Malaysia, where I met Ando as my classmate.
Ando: Before we graduated, Fizah and I talked about how it would be cool to work together one day. It was just one of those wishful thinking and we never did plan on how it will happen. Fast forward to now, here we are working together and running our own design studio. We are very fortunate to be able to work with an amazing pool of clients around the globe. Dreams do come true :)
Ando: With Machineast, we try to balance our workload and lifestyle. Because for the past 14 years, we both have dedicated our lives working long hours work at different design studios, agency, and even design schools in Malaysia & Singapore. At one point it took a toll on our health and made us realise that health is more important than anything else. Also, long hours is actually not productive and you tend to make more mistakes.
Fizah: With that in mind, we would start the day working at 9 am on emails. 10 am work on projects. 12 pm quick lunch. 1 pm continue work until 4 pm. Around 5 pm we would talk and discuss our personal project. We also use this time to experiment and try new things. Sometimes we would play with our cat, Neko, while we're rendering our 3D scenes or when there is nothing much left to do.
Alex Trochut, Universal Everything, Zeitguised, Lernert & Sander and Jaime Hayon. These designers gave us lots of inspirations with their unique way of seeing design. Do attend the talks of these people if you ever have the opportunity too!
One thing we would look for from fresh graduates is the willingness to learn and performs well under pressure. Everyone is learning as they grow and it won't be a smooth journey. So they must be able to listen to criticism and feedback on their design work. There are no shortcuts to improving your skills except loads of time and dedication to be able to work smartly. Most graduates give up when they hit the 'plateau' before even realising their true potential. You actually grow more once you push through this mental block.
We do teach occasionally at 3Dsense Media School (Singapore) and The One Academy (Malaysia). We are hoping to expand on this and start online masterclass sometime in the future because we believe in giving back to design community through sharing our knowledge to the future generation of designers. We have been doing this for a long time and it would be a waste to just keep this knowledge to ourselves.