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Youth Employment Support

I can realise my dream too: An interview with our talented artists from Arts@Metta

By March 17, 2022March 18th, 2022No Comments

In celebration of World Down Syndrome Day, we speak with two of Arts@Metta’s talented young artists. For Yong Qiao Qi, 30, and Donovan Ho, 27, with Down syndrome, chasing their dreams has been a big step forward in their lives. Find out how they overcame challenges and realized their potential through hard work and determination.

Qiao Qi

Why did you take up apprenticeship with Arts@Metta?
I love arts, and I want to be an interior designer in the future. That’s why my parents signed me up with Arts@Metta. I started my apprenticeship in 2012.

How does Arts@Metta develop you professionally?
As I enjoy drawing, it is not difficult for me to pick up proper drawing techniques from my mentor.  It’s also fun to discover which colours work together, which is helpful when designing the interiors of a house for my project. I believe my skills will get better if I practice every day.

What is the biggest takeaway from the training programme?
Learning batik art and watercolour painting has been a brand-new experience for me. It is fun to put different colours together; it also encourages me to be more imaginative in my artwork. I am good at using soft pastel colours to create a calming yet memorable effect. (Chuckles) Soft pastel colours always make me very happy and comfortable!

How would your peers describe you?
(Chuckles) My friends always describe me as a cheerful and happy-go-lucky girl! That could also explain why I enjoy show and tell sessions as I can share the stories behind my artworks I’ve created for my clients in the future. I hope to do video shows on my Instagram one day.   

What is your life goal and how do you plan to achieve it?
Dancing is one of my favourite activities and it is fun to choreograph dance movements during my free time. (Laughs) I hope to enter American’s Got Talent with my dance choreography and get the Golden buzzer one day.

Donovan

Why did you take up apprenticeship with Arts@Metta?
I like having friends around, but I find it difficult to interact with others because I am shy. My parents encouraged me to try out this programme because they see it as an opportunity for me to meet people and build up my confidence. I love arts too so I decided to go for this challenge.

How does Arts@Metta develop you professionally?
I can express my feelings through colours, shapes, and objects when I paint. I’ve also learned to work more independently, especially during the waxing of the batik. As a result, my hands are steadier. My batik lines are more refined now than when I first started. It wasn’t an easy journey but after practicing overtime I’ve gained confidence in my work.

What is the biggest takeaway from the training programme?
Since then, my watercolour and batik art skills have improved tremendously. In addition, I developed a signature style using watercolour paint to transform traditional batik art pieces. (Chuckles) I could work with both mediums now!

How would your peers describe you?
Hmm… I’m someone who doesn’t give up on things easily; I’ll keep trying until I get it right. There’s a saying that goes “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.”

What is your life goal and how do you plan to achieve it?
(Chuckles) I’ve always wanted to be a recording artist with MediaCorp! I have been posting my music videos on Tiktok and I hope to create my moniker soon.