“Where Next?” That is the question Glenfiddich is asking with its latest campaign unfolding across Southeast Asia and Singapore. Centring on ideas of innovation, which the brand’s own ethos is founded upon, the Scotch whisky giant is aiming to inspire its patrons to step out of their comfort zone and embrace new challenges. To this end, the latest in Glenfiddich’s partnerships (which include TEDx talks held across Southeast Asia) was the inaugural session of their Where Next Club hosted in collaboration with Vogue Singapore.
Where Next Club is an avenue for Glenfiddich patrons to come together, form meaningful connections and inspire one another through authentic storytelling, wisdom and experience. Ultimately, the campaign looks to inspire the next generation of mavericks in Southeast Asia. Held on 17th September in The Cocoon Space at Design Singapore, the intimate event saw Club Vogue members attend a whisky appreciation session by Southeast Asia Brand Ambassador for Glenfiddich, Brett Bayly, and a talk on NFTs by acclaimed fashion photographer and 3D artist Shavonne Wong.
Wong has made a name for herself on both local and global platforms—first as a fashion photographer published in the likes of British Vogue, then as a digital artist, creating one of two Vogue Singapore September NFT covers. In this masterclass, she shared her journey into the enigmatic world of digital art, what she thought the future of the art world was and her top tips for becoming an NFT artist.
Here, read all the highlights from her segment.
On her journey as a creative
“I picked up photography about 11 years ago, right after polytechnic. I was only interested in fashion photography and I was drawn to the idea of creating my own worlds in these images. Originally, it started out as a hobby, but gradually it became a career as I slowly started getting clients—from student designers to big brands.
Being a freelancer meant periods of instability. I’m very fortunate to have parents who were supportive of my journey. Having a bed to sleep in and food in the fridge played a huge role in me being able to pursue my passion during the slower periods and I’m immensely grateful towards them for that. It’s been a wild journey—there is so much I am proud to have achieved, like getting to be a returning guest photographer on Asia’s Next Top Model, photographing Billy Porter, being distributed by the Vogue Global Network and published on British Vogue, and being part of 2020’s Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list.”
On her transition to 3D design and NFTs
“I have always been looking for ways to future-proof my career. When COVID-19 first hit and photoshoots were no longer allowed because of the lockdown, I figured that if I couldn’t work with real models, I would just create my own. When I first created virtual models, the plan was for clients to use them in their advertising campaigns. However, the concept was difficult to explain—especially to clients who were more hesitant to adopt early stage technology. So when I heard about the NFT space, it just felt like a natural fit for creating artwork with my models. It was also perfect timing, since I was finally at a stage where I was content with how my models looked.
The transition from photography to 3D design was surprisingly easy—there were several transferrable skills. My photography knowledge came in handy when it came to composition and lighting. I was very excited by how much there was to explore in the digital space. In the NFT world, I was exposed to hugely innovative art, the possibilities around generative art, and even profile picture collectibles like the Bored Apes Yacht Club, which acts like a membership card. This was very exciting for me as it meant that there was so much more I could do when compared to using traditional media. I can’t wait to explore it even further.”
On learning new skills
“I worked on creating and improving my virtual models and sharpening my 3D skills every single day since I started in April last year. Being stuck at home made me surprisingly productive—I watched more tutorials than I ever thought I would need to and just kept at it every day. Some days, it felt like there was no progress, but looking back I’m very proud of how far I’ve come. Trial and error and persistence is key.”
“Getting started in NFTs can be a very isolating journey when starting out, especially while exploring the endless void that is social media. Finding people on the same journey is very helpful”
On how to get started as an NFT artist
“Here are my top tips on how to get started as NFT artist:
- Just start. Everything is difficult and intimidating when you’re on the outside but it will never get easier if you don’t start.
- Social media is a massively important part of the NFT space. Everybody is on Twitter and Discord. You will need to be active there to make a name for yourself and build a network.
- Join communities. It can be a very isolating journey when starting out, especially while exploring the endless void that is social media. Finding people on the same journey is very helpful, and can help you be seen.
- Do your research and learn as much about the space as you can. There are many new concepts that you will have to get comfortable with, such as currency exchange and crypto wallets.
- Understand that marketing yourself is part of the game. Sure, magical spotlights on unknown artists do happen, but it is rare and not something you want to base your luck on.”
Discover ‘Where Next’ with Glenfiddich on Instagram for more information on upcoming masterclasses.