Roy Wang, the graphic ‘magician!’ Roy has always been exposed to the art world and in 2009, he founded his own design studio, Factory 1611.

What’s your story?
From the age of three, under the influence of my father, who is an artist and practitioner in the advertising industry I have always been exposed to the arts industry. As an adult, I have formal training in fine arts; in painting, drawing and sculpture. As I was growing up and having practiced fine arts for more than a decade, I felt like I encountered a plateau in my artistic practice and therefore I looked to graphic design to gain a new perspective.
I have never looked back. I have now been working as a designer and artist for the last seven years and I am now an art director in Factory 1611, an art and design studio I founded in 2009, dealing with branding, business communication strategy, visual communication and fine art.

What excites you most about your industry?
I strongly believe that as designers and artists, we’re not technicians, instead, we’re magicians. The joy of creating something from nothing is undeniably very satisfying.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore and I am a true blue Singaporean at heart!

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Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore! I might be biased, but having worked and travelled throughout Asia, I think Singapore is a unique melting pot of cultures where it is very easy and normal to collaborate and accept new ideas from people all around the world.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
I was told off by one of my very first clients, ‘If you can’t take it, you might as well quit.’ This has somewhat become a de-facto motivational line I tell myself every time I face immense pressure to create and design new and innovative solutions for our clients. It has also driven me to constantly improve my skills and expand the way I see the world around me.

Who inspires you?
Fantastic novelists such as Neil Gaiman and Haruki Murakami who manage to conjure the depths and breadths of one’s imagination.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I recently read in a study that 75% of people try to fall back asleep just to finish their incomplete dream. I do that all the time!

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Because we work long hours everyday, I now realise the importance of physical health as we gear for the long run. I wish I had started a more disciplined exercise regime earlier on in my career.

How do you unwind?
I like to read and I like to run. Both of these activities allow my mind to wander off for a while.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali has got to be my favourite repeat destination for unwinding. The beaches, the food, the culture, the general laid back island vibes are what I love. Plus I love to surf! If I could name a close second, it would be Japan. Artistically, it is a very inspiring place.

Everyone in business should read this book:
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by Haruki Murakami. I learnt a great deal about creative discipline from this book.

Shameless plug for your business:
Over the years, we have worked with a variety of clients ranging from public-listed corporations, government sectors, educational institutions, museums, small and medium enterprises and startups. We have worked with organisations from diverse fields including FMCG, retail, fashion, food and beverages, manufacturing and the fine arts, helping them to develop their brands through strategic communication strategies.
Our philosophy of combining sound business strategy with art and design principles has allowed us to create effective communication projects across all mediums. Good art depicts and expresses an experience, whereas good design successfully conveys a function or a message. We believe both are closely linked, thus the distinctions between art and design are often blurred in our works to create unconventional compositions and experiences.
Check out some of the work we’ve done on our website www.factory1611.com.

How can people connect with you?
Say hi at roy@factory1611.com or check out our website www.factory1611.com

Twitter handle?
I don’t have Twitter unfortunately, but my Instagram & Facebook handle is @factory1611

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:

CallumConnectsCallum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia.  He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries.  He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence.  A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.

Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Get his free ‘Asia Snapshot’ report from www.callumlaing.com

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Callum Laing
Callum Laing has started, built, bought and sold half a dozen businesses in a range of industries across two continents. He is a partner in the Private Equity firm Unity-Group. Co-founder and non-exec director of The Marketing Group PLC and is CEO of Key Person of Influence (Asia). He is author of 'Progressive Partnerships'.

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