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Don Low—Start now and it stays forever

Ever heard the saying, “Dreams start young”? That statement holds true in the sense that we tend to make up the wildest dreams when we are still young only to start dwindling in our motivation to chase after it as we get older. However, sometimes, what we’ve had a passion for in the start, finds its way back into our lives in the future because it never disappeared, we’ve just become distracted from it.


This is what happened to Don Low, active member of the Commute Sketchers, a group that exposes the reality of our technology-driven world with every sketch, one commute at a time. But, really, they may as well just be mastering their crafts through practice.


Photo taken from Don Low’s Facebook Page


Don started commute sketching as a way for him to pass the time without using his phone. Over time, he wanted to challenge himself to draw people within a short span of time.


The act of sketching on the go is fun,” Don said in an online interview with Actually. “A sketch is a record of time or a moment. So a commute sketch is a record of the time spent within the train on a certain date and time—a moment captured eternally on paper with pen and ink.”


You would think someone with this much interest and passion for their craft would have stayed on this path throughout their whole life. However, for Don, this was not the case.


Photo taken from Don Low’s Facebook Page


Though originally, since young, he has always seen himself becoming an artist one day, parental objections played an antagonising role in his desire to pursue a formal education in the arts and instead, land a position a Bachelor of Applied Science in Materials Engineering degree in Nanyang Technological University—a career path that Don deemed to be acceptable to his parents during his time as a college student. Also, owing to his love for physics and chemistry, this was his best second choice. However, still clinging to his dreams of being an artist, Don took it upon himself to learn art at his own time.


The Master of Fine Arts in Animation degree holder reflects that he’s been drawing since the early age of 5, captivated by the illustrations in children’s books then and even now, which played a major role in gaining his perseverance and determination to becoming an artist. At some point of his life balancing between being an engineer and practicing art, he found himself spending almost equal amounts on both.


I was about to pursue a further degree in Engineering when it dawned on me that I should focus on one,” the artist confessed. “Having to do both, though enjoyable, was too taxing on me.”


That was when Don, with some encouragement from his wife, decided to commit wholeheartedly to art as an illustrator. Eventually, his efforts doing freelance work paid off when he managed to land a spot to pursue his Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Design degree marking his start as what he had always dreamed of from the start—an artist.


Photo taken from Don Low’s Facebook Page


And to this day, Don proudly upholds that well-earned, hard-fought title by continuing to practice and sharpen his artistic talents through his multiple sketches and drawings. One of his upcoming projects involves a 60-page comic book funded by National Heritage Board to be published and launched with 4 others in the March.


To any up-and-coming artists, Don has this to say: “Develop a lifestyle of curiosity and always look for new ways and approaches to create art. Never stop experimenting and don’t give up.”


And you can see how this advice holds up to him in his life. He never gave up and even explored the possibility of working to his limits, even doing 2 professions at once, for the sake of his passion and interest. It just goes to show what you set your mind to doing, it will always be there waiting for you to accomplish it.


Don Low’s art social media: https://www.facebook.com/donlowart/

Commute Sketchers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/commutesketchers/about/

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