Jasmine Yau, an aspiring animator, was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at the age of 2. Despite that she continues to be brave, showing us that it is the small achievements in life that makes the difference. Let’s us hear from Jasmine as she gives us a glimpse of her journey from a quiet and meek girl to someone creative and confident in her abilities.
Strategic games such as chess, chinese chess and mah-jong are a few games that I play during my free time, although I am not very good at it but I like how it ticks my brain and makes me think 3 to 4 steps ahead of others. As much as it’s enjoyable it can get quite brain draining at times, however one thing that I would never be tired of is reading manga and watching anime.
I was introduced to the world of anime when I chance upon my cousin watching “Prince of Tennis”. The entertaining yet thought provoking storyline and the action scenes got me hooked and I went on to read and watch many more. In the world of anime, you can imagine yourself doing whatever you want, dress and be whoever you want from a pirate searching for his family sailing in a universe with 5 planets to a simple high school girl facing the ordinary struggles of life with a group of close buddies and going about their daily business. That’s the charm of anime and why I love it.
Given my circumstances, I’m limited to places that I can go and requires assistance most of the time so in order to fulfil my travel bug and fantasies, I travel into the “world” of limitless possibilities to climb the mountains, dive in the ocean or simply cycle. While my brain was enjoying these travels, my hands were itching to draw out what I’ve imagine and I always wondered how the characters in the anime series were so life like and relatable with their expressions and body language.
I kept on wondering until the opportunity arises when MDAS organised an animation workshop. Through the guidance of the coaches and introduction to the software, I slowly gained more and more interest in animation. It was a pretty lengthy workshop as we went through weeks of learning and creating until we each came up with an animated video for the final project. The ability to create a story from scratch and using my own hands to draw as well as the feedback of the final animated video gave me a sense of achievement and a rush of confidence which I continued to build upon till this day.
One of the animated video which I have created and am proud of would be the story “Chloe” for Children-In-Action, initiative of the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) in collaboration with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (Singapore), MDAS. Thanks to the team’s guidance and allowing me to express my creativity, I took my own experiences and incorporated into the storyline sharing from the perspective of how persons with disability make friends and promoting inclusion and emphasising that “When children (regardless of their abilities) play together, they build memories that last forever.”