As a Senior Graphic Designer with our Singapore team, Melissa’s days are filled with visual research on topics as varied as cultural histories, wildlife and anthropology, informing her designs for our many exhibition projects throughout Asia. Discover what gets her out of bed in the morning and how she’s embracing her journey as a designer.
What does a day in the life of Melissa look like?
To prepare myself for the day ahead, my morning ritual starts with light stretches in bed, a short meditation and scrolling through Instagram, mostly for photos of dogs (hehe). But if you ask me, routine is otherwise evil. Thankfully, work is anything but mundane for a graphic designer at GSM Project. On busy days, I’m most likely out of the office, reviewing print samples, or at a museum directing installation, sometimes heading back to the office only in the evening to clear emails or work on environmental graphics, layouts and prototypes. During the early stages of the projects though, I get to read and research about diverse topics for inspiration, including ancient histories, wildlife and anthropology. Playing with colours and textures is definitely one of the perks I enjoy too, but I derive the greatest sense of fulfilment watching all of the elements come together, as well as observing visitors experiences the transformed spaces we’ve created!
The first time's always special. What was your first GSM project? Quest for Immortality: The World of Ancient Egypt was my very first project at GSM. The exhibition explored the desire for immortality that followed ancient Egyptians through life and death, from their everyday lives to their burial rites and the afterlife. Working alone in the gallery one evening amongst three Egyptian mummies, while the rest of the team stepped out for a quick dinner, was surprisingly intriguing and certainly memorable. Not to mention, the exhibition was awarded the President's Design Award in 2010. The first time's always special, indeed!
Let's say you could trade jobs with anyone at GSM. Who would it be and why?
Hmm, this is a tough one. There is so much to learn from everyone and about every aspect of the business! I’m tempted to trade jobs with Head of Graphic Design, Laurence Pasteels, President, Yves Mayrand, or any of the creative directors, if it means the ability to download their knowledge about graphic design and visitor experience. But no, I do enjoy my job and believe in embracing the pace of my own journey. In the wise words of Andy Rooney, "Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it."
"Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it."
You're alone on a desert island with one GSM project. Which one, and why?
Either my latest completed exhibition, Angkor: Exploring Cambodia's Sacred City, or our ongoing project in Kuching, Sarawak Museum Campus. The former because there is just so much to discover about Angkor Wat and its ingenious architecture! As for the latter, it can't be more obvious—survival. Learning primitive boat making and fire starting skills from the indigenous people of Sarawak should come in very handy!