Total dedication for Total Defence illustration
Creative director takes two months to reflect five pillars of Total Defence in illustration
It is an illustration that packs in a lot with over 1,000 elements, including around 500 tiny figures.
Now try to find the 35 different acts shown that reflect the five pillars of Total Defence.
If that is tough, imagine what it was like for Mr Kelvin Chan, who spent two months on the project.
The former infographics journalist with The New Paper is Think Inc's creative director.
Think Inc is TNP's award-winning art department that also provides commercial services such as illustrations, infographics and more to external clients.
Last November, Mr Chan, 47, worked with the Ministry of Defence's Central National Education Office, Nexus, for this year's Total Defence Day, which is on Thursday.
The project transformed into an artwork reminiscent of a Where's Wally puzzle that took two months to complete.
Some of the 35 actions are of young adults helping the elderly cross the street and people of different races standing in front of a large TV cheering on Joseph Schooling at the 2016 Olympics.
They reflect the five pillars of Total Defence - military, civil, psychological, economic and social defence.
It will be made into activity sheets for pre-school and primary school children. There is a colouring page and a Where's Wally-style picture hunt, where children can look for the acts of Total Defence.
While most Singaporeans are aware of Total Defence as a concept and believe in its importance, some may not know they are already putting it into action in their everyday lives.Nexus director, Colonel Joseph Tan
Colonel Joseph Tan, director of Nexus, the organiser of Total Defence Day, told TNP they were glad to work with Mr Chan to create an innovative way to learn about Total Defence.
"While most Singaporeans are aware of Total Defence as a concept and believe in its importance, some may not know that they are already putting it into action in their everyday lives.
"We hope the puzzle will be a starting point for what it takes to keep Singapore safe, strong and secure," he said.
CHALLENGING, BUT WORTH IT
For Mr Chan, creating the artwork was daunting and tedious.
Besides the actions, he also had to think of places and mascots - such as national water agency PUB's Water Wally - that reflect Singapore.
He spent two weeks drawing by hand, then colouring it using his iPad and Photoshop.
The Photoshop file of his artwork had 50 to 60 layers, making it difficult to juggle between different sections.
He told TNP: "They are drawn pretty small, so I had to zoom in to add details. When I am working on one corner, something from another corner might have moved."
Mr Chan spent many late nights in the office, returning home only around 1am or 2am.
His children offered valuable feedback. His daughter, Raelynn, 18, is studying animation and game design at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. His son, Kieran, 14, is also artistically inclined.
They reviewed his artwork, checking the scale of his characters and choosing the colour palette to ensure the artwork was not overpowered by any single colour. This ensured the puzzle remained challenging.
Said Mr Chan: "They were my extra pair of eyes."
And seeing his work come together at the end felt amazing.
"It was great. Other campaigns have Where's Wally puzzles too, but never to this magnitude," he said.
The project reminded him of the importance of Total Defence.
"Things like psychological defence are not usually mentioned. It is part of the five pillars, but we take it for granted," Mr Chan said.
"Being a parent and Singaporean, I think it is good kids are taught these things. I believe with this puzzle, they are made aware of Total Defence, like the importance of learning first aid or saving for the future."
Nexus is giving away 10 limited edition Total Defence tote bags to readers of The New Paper.
Each tote bag contains an exclusive A3 Total Defence poster and a Guardians of the City strategy card game based on the threat of terrorism.
All you have to do is spot three actions in the puzzle that reflect the five pillars of Total Defence.
A copy of the illustration can be found in the print edition of TNP today (Feb 12).
Examples include young people helping the elderly across the road, which shows social defence, or citizens doing their part to support the military for military defence.
Let us know what you’ve found by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Include the subject heading TDD Contest, your full name, I.C. number and contact number.