Since his early childhood, Moses Wu was fascinated with the ‘wild nature’ of television cartoons, more specifically his childhood favourite – ‘Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat,’ a wackier version of the original Felix. The days he spent watching and rewatching episodes from the animation ultimately led him into the world of arts and creativity. “It’s also the very first thing I’ve inked on my body; a constant reminder to keep that child-like wackiness and perspective,” shares the designer.
Naturally, one of his hobbies as a child was doodling. “I’ve always drawn from when I can remember.” Moses’ very first taste of entrepreneurship was doodling famous cartoon characters and selling them to his classmates for additional lunch money. Like most visual artists, Moses finds emotion and thought are best expressed through drawing and composing visually appealing images, rather than using your words.
Growing up in a multinational city, the artist says that he is thankful to be influenced ‘from both western and eastern cultures.’ Many people would agree that imagination is best provoked by polarity, and Moses would tell us that being entertained by both Hollywood blockbusters and anime made his sense of artistry and curiosity much more saturated. This need to explore the art world only grew throughout his life, leading him to expand his career and to take up his first job ever in the industry.
Led by a string of fateful, but seemingly miscellaneous decisions, Moses went through a local polytechnic university for a diploma in visual communications. He describes being ‘completely clueless’ about what he was getting himself into, deciphering that ‘visuals’ attracted him as a form of creative expression, but not knowing where to go from there. Through an accidental stumble, he wound up in the industry - although he shares that he originally aspired to be a carpenter.
When asked where he honed his craft, Moses gives an answer that has grown to be more and more common in recent years – YouTube! Part of the generation that utilised YouTube as a best friend and partner in crime, it’s something Moses uses to continually expand his working knowledge. “I’ve learnt my motion design skillset mainly through YouTube and experimentation. Information is so widely available these days with the internet, it’s amazing.”
From there Moses made his way into the industry with his first internship, at a small boutique agency, concentrated on creating a series of papercraft stop motion films for Google at the time he joined them. “A dozen papercuts were a forgettable price to pay for such a great first experience to the industry,” says the designer as he reminisces on the lessons learned and the sense of community he felt at his first job.
The project Moses points to when asked about the piece of work he felt changed his career is Small Scale Big Tales, a social led end of year campaign, aiming to introduce and hype up the new seasons of famous Netflix shows in Singapore. “I got to balance many roles including the role of an art creative and sound director while conceptualizing with a small team to bring the project to fruition.” Combining his love for music and film, this project was what showed him that he was far off from the childhood doodles and had established a solid career path.
A detail-oriented person, Moses shares that he finds the crafting the best part of his job – diving into details, to ultimately make something as perfect as possible, seems almost a form of meditation. On the flip side, the most challenging part of the work, as for many artists, is the separation from his work. “Trying to keep my ego and work separate helps me maintain the mental stability to be able to create better.” Of course, even out of work, Moses doesn’t stop creating - his current side projects are Kaiju Sanctuary, an ongoing project that features colossal creatures inspired by cryptocurrency and its happenings. Besides this, he uploads any new work and side art projects to his Instagram page.
Given his dedication to visual storytelling ever since he can remember, it is hard to not believe Moses when he shares that all he aspires to achieve with his work is the feeling he gives an audience. “Whether it’s meant to be funny, sad or horrifying, I want to be able to provoke the audience and make it something they remember.” To him, no awards can top that, and any creative should aim to produce art that breaks the mold. Although a cliché, breaking the mold seems to be increasingly hard in an industry where everybody is trying to break it. When one does it right, however, is that it ‘inspires generations after to see what’s possible,’ shares Moses.
“I want to be remembered as someone that made a difference,” explains Moses. “To the friends and family, to the people that I’ve had the privilege to engage with. It’s an incredibly tall order and that’s what drives me.”