Tell Your Children: Singapore mural artist collective (Part 2 of 4)

(Yip Yew Chong at work in Amoy Street PHOTO KELVIN CHNG)

A growing group of local artists are going bigtime, literally, with their mural artworks. Find out who they are. 


(From left: Tell Your Children is made up of Deon Phua, Russell Ong, Kevin Too, Lydia Yang PHOTO COURTESY OF YIP YEW CHONG)

The Group Illustrators
Tell Your Children tycstudios.com

Tell Your Children (TYC) is not the title of a parenting book, but what a group of four illustrators decided to call themselves.

They are Deon Phua, Russell Ong, Kevin Too and Lydia Yang, who all majored in illustration at the Temasek Polytechnic School of Design. All four are in their 20s.

Mr Phua says the name, TYC, was inspired by an old cult movie, Reefer's Madness. "The name stood out as it resonated with our desire to leave a legacy for the next generation, as well as being catchy enough to stick in people's heads once they hear it."

He describes TYC's style of illustration, as mostly quirky with colourful characters paired with hand-written lettering. "It took a while for the four of us to experiment and grow with all our different styles and this style felt the most natural for us.

Most of their works can be seen in cafes, offices, and retail outlets. They have also taken their magic overseas, including one for men's fashion store, The Madbury Club, in New York, and for Little Bao, a modern Chinese diner in Hong Kong. In Singapore, one of their murals can be seen at Waterway Point mall in Punggol.

Prices vary from S$4,000 to S$15,000 depending on the style of the artwork, amount of detailing, size of the wall, number of colours and the time. A mural can take from a day to a week to complete.

(TYC's work at Little Bao, a Chinese diner in Hong Kong PHOTO COURTESY OF YIP YEW CHONG)


The team are currently working on an indoor mural for a friend who is opening his home to celebrate various local talents from different industries such as the visual arts, F&B and music, so their mural has to reflect that.

"We work closely with our clients to design an artwork that accurately represents them, such as their company values and work culture," says Mr Phua. A few sketches would be presented and a final one selected. TYC uses water-based outdoor paint for their murals.

"Poor weather conditions, tired arms, a tight deadline and logistical limits are just some challenges of the job," says Mr Phua. "Sometimes, it is also the back-end work of finalising the artwork with the client that might be challenging."

Besides murals, TYC also designs visuals and artwork graphics for different brands and agencies, one of which was Uniqlo. They designed the hoardings for the Orchard Central flagship store, as well as two limited-edition tote bags.

And the satisfaction they get out of the job? "Seeing it finally completed after so much effort has been put into finishing it, as well as seeing a happy client at the end of the day," says Mr Phua.


Find out more about the other mural artists: 


Article by Tay Suan Chiang, originally appeared in The Business Times