Design director / educator
Rezaliando is a program director at 3DSense Media School. He is also a design director for his collective brand with Fizah Rahim, Machineast which was formed in September 2014. Within a year of forming Machineast, their works have been very well received internationally and gaining many international clients to date. Rezaliando has been in the creative industry for 10 years as motion designer and art director, leading several 3D and design teams to work with big brands such as Ubisoft, Disney, ESPN, Ministry of Sound, Canon, MTV, MediaCorp and Astro.
What is your background? What was your childhood like to where you are today?
I started from a very simple lifestyle. Definitely not the type A student at school and I totally sucked at calculations. I actually wanted to become a full-time drummer. I told my mom that I wanted to go to music school but we didn’t have that much money for me to pursue that. I had no intention to become a designer; I just followed my brother to study design in Malaysia as told by my mom. "Design college? Sure."
And that was when I met Fizah as my classmate.
Throughout the years of our study, Fizah and I always ended up being in the same group. We called ourselves the rejects because most kids would be in a group of four and there was not enough people in our class, we always ended up just the two of us for the longest time until 2 seniors who had to repeat their semester joined our class.
But we had been doing well and the lecturers saw that our works were different from the rest. A lot of people did not want to join us because we worked too hard. They said we were too ‘hardcore’. Because some people just wanted to bridge to college for other priorities. Some just wanted diplomas before getting married. For me, I did not have room for failure as a foreigner, so I had to focus and made the most out of it. And fortunately, I became the best student.
After graduation, my college offered me to work for my college as a tutor for Motion Graphics class and that's how I found out about motion graphics.
After working as a tutor for 2 years, I saw Fizah working in the industry (Huevisualab). Looking at her works I felt JEALOUS! (laughs)
She worked only for a while and her works were already so good! So, I decided to quit my job as a tutor and was very fortunate that the creative director at that studio wanted me to be part of the team.
The studio was one of the pioneers for motion graphics studios in Malaysia. We got a lot of momentum working there because they were so good and it was such a privilege to work there. And there you go! I met Fizah again! (laughs)
After working there for 3 years, I felt like it was time to move on again to broaden my knowledge and ended up in Singapore.
Having been working in the industry for 10 years, I felt the urge to do something different to make a better community here in Singapore, as well as to give back. I decided to teach because I see teaching as a way of giving back. I want to share what I have been learning for the past 10 years so that it will be helpful for aspiring designers to progress better in their careers.
Apart from teaching, we formed our collective brand together, Machineast in September 2014. It is a passion project of me and Fizah, creating cool stuff that we really want to do.
We feel that everything revolves around the same pattern for clients’ work here and most of the ideas we pitched were rejected back then. We decided that we don’t want to do just the same things over and over again. We started to do what we believe in and be different.
Machineast’s works are like going back to the fundamentals of design, applying these rules to create a new form of art in executing our ideas that are totally different from the typical commercial projects.
Anybody approached Machineast for commercials?
Yeah, we got a lot of business enquiries from overseas. They feel that Machineast’s art style suits their brands.
I used to have a lot of doubts when I watch those videos or listen to podcasts, saying that you should do your own stuff and the right people will come for it. But it really works that way! The right people and clients that resonate with your ideas will come. It doesn’t matter how good or how bad or weird your stuff is. Just share it online. People will still check them out and there will be a group people in the world who dig your stuff!
And, if your works are not available online, people will never see. It doesn’t exist. Period.
Was there any point in your life when you felt like giving this up and pursue something else?
I think it was when I was in these 2 jobs that made feel like a technical operator, doing whatever I was told to do. What's the point of doing it? Just hire a robot. Really! That is really against my working principles. Working as a designer should be something creative and collaborative with your clients. The darkest moment for me as a creative is always the time when doing things without being creatively involved. just get out if this happens to you! (laughs)
But I didn’t wish to give up my career just because I hated it at that moment.
I am sure every career has ups and downs. In design, having been working for 10 years under different companies and people can be really draining. The best way to stay fresh is to create your own stuff and do what you really want to do with your career after everything you have learned and experienced all these years. That is my take on Machineast. Instead of giving up all my 10 years of effort in design, I try to channel myself to creating my own stuff and hopefully make money of it.
How did Machineast name come about?
F: Actually we had another name called "Porcelain Robot". Porcelain is me and Ando is robot. Porcelain because I am more artsy and minimal. Ando is the robot because he is more into the technical side. But we thought it was too long and hard to pronounce.
F: We wanted something relatable to what we are doing and relate to us. Why we choose Machinist and spell it "Machineast" because we are from the East. Designers from east side of the world. And I am from east malaysia. Machinist word itself means craftsmen. People who create things.
A: Yeah machinist are people, craftsmen who create things. Craftsmen, artisan.
F: Craftsmen, artisan.
A: But some people love the name. Some can't even spell the name. It sounds pretty badass, domain was available. So I thought, yeah why not and that was how we got the name. It took us really long to find a proper name. We did the research like crazy. We had to come up with something but we did not have a name.
F: We wanted a name because we did not want it as Fizah and Rezaliando. Because our name is too long.
A: Her name is the longest and no one can pronounce mine properly. So instead, we decided on a name. That was how machineast was named.
Do you read books?
A: I am not a book reader by default. But I totally recommend Show Your Work by Austin Kleon. It is amazing! And there is one book I love, DAMN GOOD ADVICE by George Lois.
I am a gamer though. I play games more for my source of inspirations. Not just inspirations but it is when I am too stressed out, it makes me feel relaxed. Whenever I play games, I always observe and I ask myself, "Why do I like this game or movie? Why is it so good? What camera lens is used? Maybe I can apply them to my own project? Incorporate their textures and visual elements.”
Playing games is not just about being the best gamer, but also observing it as a form of art.
What is your favourite movie?
A: The Fall (2006) by Tarsem Singh. I always tell this to everyone. I like the cinematography, shots, colors and the story. It is amazing. The movie itself is an art piece. It is my all time favourite. It is.... Whooohhh!!! You know... That is why I am working on a tribute for this movie at the moment.
Your favourite place?
A: By far, it is Tokyo!! Tokyo is the best because of the mix of modern and traditional culture.
F: Tokyo is also zen, minimalist and messy. It is like two contradicting worlds they make it work. Technology and tradition.
A: And second best, Hong Kong because it is messy but organized.
F: Hong Kong is like Singapore with more character. Hong Kong is like the bad boy brother of Singapore.
What is next for Machineast?
What is next? Dominate the world! (laughs)
Just kidding! We want to go further with what we are doing now. We never intend to make it as a studio yet because it is really between me and Fizah. It is never meant to be a studio.
It is a passion project that we take it really seriously which has become a priority. We want to do this constantly and concurrently with our full time job. Hopefully, we can make it as a growing career once we gain a lot of exposure.