DESIGNER / EDUCATOR
Rezaliando is a program director at 3DSense Media School. He is also a design director for his collective brand with Fizah Rahim, Machineast which was formed in September 2014. Within a year of forming Machineast, their work has been very well received internationally and gaining many international clients to date. Rezaliando has been in the creative industry for 10 years as motion designer and art director, leading several 3D and design teams to work with big brands such as Ubisoft, Disney, ESPN, Ministry of Sound, Canon, MTV, MediaCorp and Astro.
How did you find out your interest to be a designer?
I started from a very simple lifestyle. Definitely not the type "A" student at school and I totally sucked at calculations. I actually wanted to become a full-time drummer. I told my mom that I wanted to go to music school but we didn’t have that much money for me to pursue that. I had no intention to become a designer; I just followed my brother to study design in Malaysia as told by my mom. "Design college? Sure."
Throughout the years of my study, I always ended up being in the same group with my good friend, Fizah Rahim. We called ourselves 'The Rejects' because most kids would be in a group of four and there were not enough people in our class. So it always ended up with just the two of us for the longest time.
But we had been doing well and the lecturers saw that our work was different from the rest. A lot of people didn't want to join us because we worked too hard. They said we were too ‘hardcore’. Some people just wanted to bridge to college for other priorities, and some just wanted diplomas before getting married. For me, I did not have room for failure as a foreigner, so I had to focus and made the most out of it. And fortunately, I was chosen as a selected student for my major (Multimedia).
Out of graduation, my college offered me to work for them as a tutor for motion graphics class and that was how I found out about motion graphics.
After working as a tutor for 2 years, it was time to work with real clients. I saw Fizah had been working in the industry for a while and her work was already so good! I felt JEALOUS (laugh) and motivated at the same time. I told myself it was time to work in a studio and was very fortunate that the creative director at that studio wanted me to be part of the team. The studio was one of the pioneers for motion graphics in Malaysia. I got a lot of momentum and knowledge working there because they were so good and it was such a privilege to work with the whole team. After working there for 3 years, I felt like it was time to move on and broaden my knowledge. I ended up working in Singapore.
Having been working in design and motion industry for 10 years, I felt the urge to do something different to make a better community here in Singapore. I decided to teach because I see teaching as a way of giving back. I wanted to share what I have been learning for the past 10 years so that it will be helpful for aspiring designers to progress better in their careers.
Apart from teaching, Fizah and I have been discussing about our next plan to work together as a design collective. In September 2014, we formed ourselves as Machineast. It is our passion project creating cool stuff that we really want to do as designers. Our work is like going back to the fundamentals of design, applying these rules to create a new form of art & design in executing our ideas that are totally different from our commercial projects.
"Whenever I play a game, I always observe and ask myself, 'Why do I like this game or movie? Why is it so good? What camera lens is used? How can I apply them to my own project?"
"It doesn't matter how good or bad or weird your stuff is. Just share it online. People will still check them out and there will be a group of people in the world who dig your stuff!"
After doing what you love with Machineast, did anyone approach for commercial work?
Yeah, we got a lot of business enquiries from overseas. They feel that Machineast’s art style suits their brands. I used to have a lot of doubts when I watched those videos or listened to podcasts, saying that you should do your own stuff and the right people will come for it. But it really works that way! The right people and clients that resonate with your ideas will come. It doesn’t matter how good or how bad or weird your stuff is. Just share it online. People will still check them out and there will be a group people in the world who dig your stuff! If your work is not available online, it doesn’t exist. Period.
Was there any point in your life when you felt like giving up to pursue something else?
I think it was when I was in these 2 jobs that made feel like a technical operator, doing whatever I was told to do. What's the point of doing it? Just hire a robot. Really! That is really against my working principles. Working as a designer should be something creative and collaborative with your clients. The darkest moment for me as a creative is always the time when doing things without being creatively involved. Just get out if this happens to you! (laughs) But I didn’t wish to give up my career just because I hated it at that moment.
I am sure every career has ups and downs. In design, having been working for 10 years under different companies and people can be really draining. The best way to stay fresh is to create your own stuff and do what you really want to do with your career after everything you have learned and experienced all these years. That is my take on Machineast. Instead of giving up all my 10 years of effort in design, I try to channel myself to creating my own stuff and hopefully make money of it.
"The best way to stay fresh is to create your own stuff and do what you really want to do with your career after everything you have learned and experienced all these years."
Do you read books?
I'd totally recommend "Show Your Work" by Austin Kleon. It's amazing! And there is also "Damn Good Advice" by George Lois. Some people like to read books, but when I am too stressed out I play games and watch my favorite movies more for my source of inspirations. Whenever I play a game, I like to observe and I ask myself, why do I like this game? Why is it so good and feel cinematic? The camera movement looks so good, how can I do that? How can I apply those ideas to my own project? ”.
What is your favourite movie?
A movie by Tarsem Singh, "The Fall" (2006). I find everything in this movie is beautiful, like the cinematography, shots, colors and the story. It's really amazing and the movie itself is an art piece. I love sci-fi movies like "Alien" (1979) and "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968).
What's your favourite place?
By far it's Japan, Kyoto! I love the mix of modern and traditional culture. There's so much inspiration in this country that is different than the rest. It's like two contradicting worlds and they make it work between technology and tradition. I like Hong Kong too because it's messy and somehow organized.
What is next for Machineast?
To keep doing what we love to do (design), get more collaborations for our future projects, keep learning new things and definitely growing our career as far as we can.