Phui Jing Ling’s passion for animation pays off
After discovering her love for 2D animation at university, the Swinburne Sarawak graduate now gets to work on some of the most popular children’s television series from around the world.
As a marketing assistant for a multi-sector services company, Phui Jing Ling routinely executes strategies, manages social media websites and creates videos. Her real passion, however, lies in animation which she fulfills by working on freelance projects after hours.
The Kuching native has secured projects from DreamWorksTV and animates its TOO LOUD! series. Currently, she leads a collaborative project for YGO Reanimate as the voluntary project manager, recruiting and managing more than 200 talented individuals across the globe in reanimating the original Japanese manga series, Yu-Gi-Oh! Phui has also taken on similar tasks and animated for Dragonball, Steven Universe, Sailor Moon and Super Mario World.
The Sarawak Campus graphic design graduate might have her hands full now but her journey into animation was a challenging one.
“After graduating in 2015, I couldn’t get a full time job in graphic design or animation in Malaysia. But I was confident of my abilities and made use of the free time to hone my drawing as well as animation skills and put into practice what I learned at university.”
She posted her creations and fan art online and expanded her network of contacts. It paid off and in February 2017 Phui was hired by her current employer after she was recommended to the company by her circle of contacts.
'While the full time job is not entirely graphic design or animation, everything I learned at Swinburne Sarawak helped,'
The following month, after having seen her portfolio, DreamWorksTV engaged her on a three-month contract as an animator for its TOO LOUD! series.
“Within three months I worked on the scenes for three episodes. It might have been a short, temporary job but it was by far the best and most fun job experience I ever had.”
DreamWorksTV recently signed her on for another 10 episodes.
Phui might not be doing what she loves today had she ignored her inner voice after high school.
“I was actually advised to pursue business and accounting courses because those jobs are more secure. But I wasn’t interested because I had loved to draw since my childhood, so I majored in graphic design.
“I learned a ton at Swinburne. I was surrounded by amazing people and mentored by industry experienced tutors. I later realized that I wanted to work in animation and I’ve worked on it on my own since.”
To get the experience and build her network, Phui took on roles as project leader on assignments, dabbled in basic 3D animation, and designed books, posters and websites at university.
“Working hard is one of the keys to success. Don’t be afraid of posting your work online or showing it to someone. Be social too, talk to people. Ask questions and get critiques from professionals to improve,” she advises.
“Take opportunities as they come. Pursuing what you enjoy and sharpening your skills in different areas is a huge plus. It’s going to take time but as long as you have the drive to create, improve and get your work out there, people will eventually find you.”
Phui is now working on her own short inspirational animated stories with the hope that they will be turned into full-length TV series.