Let’s get the spark going.

I was playing sparklers with my girls and one of the best things about sparklers: you can ‘ignite’ a fresh sparkler. So my girls were happy. No painful lighters (yes, the damned things burn). But just touch the tip of a sparkling sparkler and voila! another sparkler will be burning away.

You must be wondering why I used the sparkler analogy.

You see, I am a supporter of local talent. I am speaking from the writer/author’s perspective: publishing in Singapore is very limited at the moment and I am writing genre. My publisher, Lyrical Press, is American. You can guess already that publishing for genre fiction is – at the moment – a frigid landscape. That’s why it comes to supporting indie and small press, I am big on it.

Then, I read about Inch Chua‘s decision to leave Singapore for greener pastures.

Then, I read about the ‘underwhelming’ response of Singaporean fans to STGCC.

Then, I got angry.

It’s not easy for local talent, especially we seem to be tuned towards the US/UK markets. I can understand why Inch Chua is leaving. I can also understand why it’s so important to encourage local and regional comic artists.

We have a lot of talent over here in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Why are local artist(e)s and writers being overlooked often for the bigger names? If you want me to use a gardening analogy – we just don’t cultivate and encourage growth. Sure, the other gardens look nicer and bigger and lush… simply because people have been paying attention to them. How about our own garden? Do we let it languish and fade away? Or do we choose to cultivate this garden of talent?

Artists and writers are also people. They feel encouraged to create more when they know their talents are recognized and their works beloved.

So, please, support your local artists and writers. Let’s get the spark going.

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