August 9, 2011

pikaland!!! what an amazingly fun place that i have visited quite often! not a real-life land, unfortunately, but a blog-land where malaysian-based illustrator amy ng chronicles her favorite illustrators and artists. i’ve been a fan for years now, and last week amy announced an exciting addition to her world- the launch of camp pikaland, an online arts education program on a mission “to spread the idea of art education beyond borders.” amy and her team have a lineup of virtual programming from the more practical online marketing to hands-on textile design classes (w/michelle of pattern observer!), and self-expression courses aimed at developing your voice and confidence in your work as an artist. what a terrific resource and great way to build community amongst like-minded artists! i mean really, who doesn’t like going to camp!? i’m hoping for a virtual sing-a-long/marshmallow roast at the end of each course :)

make sure to visit camp pikaland for the calendar of upcoming classes! and duh, go to pikaland to enjoy all kinds of cute and fun illustrations/art.

Name: Amy Ng

Age: I’m turning 30 on 8th December!
Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Where are you right now? How’d you get there? I’m at the point where I’m actually able to help artists and illustrators expand their business, and that’s exciting. I got here after being an art and illustration blogger and project manager for the past four years. I’m also a freelance writer and illustrator for several local and regional magazines after bidding adieu to a stable job as magazine editor!

Where are you going? I’m starting an online school for artists and illustrators called Camp Pikaland.

What will you be doing when you get there? Hopefully, I’ll be connecting artists who love to teach and students who are looking for a fantastic experience learning from them!

Who/what/where was the inspiration that lead you in this direction? I didn’t start out with this in mind — but I was aware of how frustrated I was with the current education system. When I was younger, I wasn’t able to fully develop the skills that I had wanted to, due to how expensive education was. I also did not have the luxury to be able to travel far for my studies. I went to university, and came out to the workforce like every other graduate; and I felt something missing. Passion. I feel that with the current global landscape, learning shouldn’t be considered a one-off thing, and it certainly does not stop when you graduate! Plus, I learned more on my own than when I was in university. And even when I was in a local uni, it was mostly me researching and doing a lot of reading on my own, about the topics that interested me; so why not have a place where people can learn what they want, whenever they want?

How are you feeling? Are you excited? Nervous? Terrified? Thrilled? I’m excited, nervous, thrilled — all at the same time. And yes, there are times where I felt like hurling!

What kind of expectations do you have? I’ve learnt that being open to all sorts of directions is the best way to learn from experiences, so I’m kind of fuzzy on the kind of expectations I’d like to receive right now – there’s no good or bad, just learning experiences.

Are you scared of anything? I’m scared of waking up without another idea.

What’s the worst thing that could happen? The best? The worst thing that could happen is that no one wants to give Camp Pikaland a chance. The best would be to have people recommend us to other people!

What are you taking with you/leaving behind? I’m taking with me a lot of things I’ve learned over the years — hard work, persistence, a positive outlook, and most importantly, passion for what I’m doing. I’m leaving behind my insistence on it being perfect before I go ahead, because, really – nothing is ever perfect!

What did your friends say when you told them? They were over the moon! They loved the idea so much, that I’m thrilled! Of course, with every new project, it’s the journey that I most enjoy.


wacky cat illustrations by jamie shelman, adorable camp scenes by mary kate mcdevitt!


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  1. Nelleke on August 12, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Very nice to read this interview! I’m also a fan of Camp Pikaland. I did three courses this year and learned a lot. It’s really a great opportunity
    to ‘meet’ other illustrators and get good feedback. I certainly will come back and will follow it!

    • rrrebecca on August 14, 2011 at 11:00 pm

      hi nelleke, so cool that you enjoyed the interview and camp pikaland so much! such a great idea from some fabulous minds :) thanks for reading!

  2. Irene on August 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    What a lovely interview! I’m already excited about this project and from the calendar of classes it sounds really interesting.
    My best wishes for it’s success!

  3. Big Things Ahead! on October 16, 2012 at 9:04 am

    [...] been interviewed over at the fantastic blog BIG BIG THINGS where I talk about how Camp Pikaland came about and the bundle of nerves I experienced as I set it [...]

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