TDS Alumni Interview Series #1: Voon Ann Chong

TDS Alumni Interview Series #1: An insight into Ms. Voon Ann Chong’s exciting journey upon graduating from Taylor’s University Design School. Voon Ann graduated from the BA(Hons) in Creative Multimedia programme in 2015.

Hi, I am Voon Ann Chong, a visual designer who demonstrates a wide range of skill to produce and create visuals on variety of platforms. I am able to produce visuals, from physical drawings, digital still graphics and motion images (film and animations). I specialize in photography and videography.

When or how did you know that the design field was your calling?

I have always known that I am a visual person. Since young, I surround myself with arts and films, creating and imagining. I think the credit goes to my dad for getting me to create and design things. For instance, when I asked if I can get a doll house, he suggested that I built it myself. And I did (with his help of course). He would even bring back tons of used papers for me to draw. Who knew I had been storyboarding comics since young? Haha. It came to a point where I had stacks of comics that I had to put them in seasons (like a TV series). And people did borrow my stacks to read. The stories were pretty ridiculous though. It was about a year ago when I came to understand more about humanity and complexities of life, and it has been extremely fascinating. That’s when I’ve made a decision to fully dedicate myself into creating and producing visuals in whatever form to capture and translate that beauty into art and design.

What was your major in Taylor’s?

As I was discovering what aspect of design I would like to specialize in, I took a course in Interactive Multimedia Design. This course gave me a taste of different areas of the design field. I particularly like Video Production, VFX, Games and Animations. There wasn’t a course on photography during my year, but during my video production course, when I first learned how to use cameras, I knew… this is it.

How did you kick start your career after graduation? How has it been?

It has been great so far! Through MOB Digital Media, I am working with major clients such as Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, DECORTÉ, KOSÉ, Chili’s, etc. The nature of my job is to create visuals, from photography, videography, animations and illustrations to bring a concept to life. Besides that, I do side projects through freelancing and work as a Lead Designer for a startup company. I am also the founder of Pocket Wonders Design (a novelty Etsy store), which was recently launched.

Share with us some client work that you have done.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) Projects:

The Apron Series

For the new menu launch, we wanted to portray a homely feeling for the food items. Prepared specially from the heart, baked freshly from the oven. We decided to go for a moody with natural lighting for the photos. It gives a morning vibe, like how a mother wakes up early to prepare food for her children. My colleagues (Nicole and Sher Lin) and I sourced props for styling and I was the photographer for this series.

The Summer California Vibe Series

CBTL is launching their new Sparkling Tea Drink and various menu items. As CBTL hails from California, I’ve decided to bring that Summer in California feel into the photos. Following their brand identity, I kept it minimalist. I got my models to wear some blues in their summer look, because it complements the skin tone colors, which makes it aesthetically pleasing. Even the accessories on the hands are deliberate, to give more personality to the photo.

The Gingerbread Man

During Christmas, CBTL wanted to promote their limited edition Gingerbread man. Because of the one sided nature of the item, I’ve decided to go for a Christmas themed flatlay. I went for a homely, rustic theme to portray a warm and cozy Christmas mood into the photo. As if you are sitting by a fireplace, gift wrapping while enjoying a delicious Gingerbread man.

Photography for Chili’s:

New Food Item Launch | Moody Photo Series.

Working with my colleague, Amirah, we wanted to portray a mysterious revealing of the new menu. Like giving the fans a taste of what is coming soon. For this project, Amirah took bright styled photos (for
after launch usage), while I took the moody photos (teaser usage). The items were arranged to create the appropriate depth of fields and line of sight to bring focus to the food. I used only one source of lighting to give more shape to the objects.

What are some of the favorite projects that you have done in TDS?

It definitely has to be the game, animation and video projects. I thoroughly enjoy creating games. For my final year project, I self-taught myself a software to create a platform game. It was such a thrill to see your characters come to life from simple codes. Another favorite project of mine was a 3D animation video for 3M. We’ve gotten a chance to collaborate with a company to promote their products. The feeling of animating my very first TVC is just amazing.

Any exciting work-in-progress projects that are ongoing?

Yes, definitely. My team and I just finished filming a live video for KOSE’s new product. And currently in the pre-production stages of filming new food menu for a local café.

Who or what inspires your work?

Wes Anderson. He is one of my favorite directors of all time. I love the styling of his films, the quirky characters and his storytelling style. Generally, I get my inspirations from films. I watch a lot of genres to analyze the styling of the shows to see what creates the mood and setting of a scene. And I translate that into my work.

If given the chance, what are the 3 companies that you would love to work with?

Pixar, hands down. Lucasfilm and Laika.

What are some advices you would like to share with current students and prospective students of TDS?

Take initiatives. Offer your skills whenever a chance comes by. If you are given a project offer, and you don’t know how to do it, say YES, and then find out how to do it. That’s one way to learn and unlock a new skill. Always have suggestions instead of just criticizing. If let’s say, you don’t like the design of a logo, instead of just offering criticism, give suggestions on how it can be better. Most importantly, respect your teammates and be nice to everyone. Being kind and understanding is so important when working together as a team. Offer support, share knowledge, whenever is needed.

Fun Facts About Voon Ann Chong

Favourite design weapons of choice.
My camera gears, Lightroom, and Premiere Pro.

Favourite quote.
“The best Ferrari is the next one.” – Enzo Ferrari. 

I know it’s about cars, but think about it this way, what he’s saying is, the best design is the next one.

Current song obsession.
Paramore’s After Laughter Album.

Favourite movie/tv show.
Ghost in the Shell and Stranger Things.

Current game you playing or the last game you played?
The Uncharted series. It’s one of the best.

List 10 item you’ll pack in your bag in case of a zombie apocalypse

  1. Walkie Talkie
  2. flashlight
  3. night vision goggles
  4. lighter
  5. water bottle
  6. first aid
  7. binoculars
  8. DUCT TAPE or GAFFER TAPE (to fix everything)
  9. a super hoverboard
  10. a lightsaber (To slice up some zombies).

Yeap…I should be set.


Follow Voon Ann to see more of her work!
Instagram: @voonieannie