Blog  2023 wrap-up: Where has all the time gone?!

2023 wrap-up: Where has all the time gone?!

News of SLA taking back Pearl’s Hill Terrace in 2025 marked the end of 2023. Pearl’s Hill Terrace has been our home since 2017. That makes us (probably) the oldest tenants in the building. Our time here has seen ups and downs. The C19 years been the obvious downs and the many parties and gatherings we had been the highs.

2023 also marked a decade of CDS’ professional run. Can you believe it? At this point, I am fairly confident in declaring CDS as a survivor in the dystopian, utilitarian Singapore society. It has been an amazing run so far and I do hope that we can keep it going.

Now that there is a definite ENDPOINT to our presence in PHT, it felt like a good time to reminisce about what we have done so far and to look towards what is next. We’ll still be around for 2024 and early 2025 but never too early to start planning.

But first. The annual wrap-up.

Of course, we really did more than just 12 works for the year!

The year just flew by us. Compared to other years, it is not the most exciting or eventful for the studio. However, it has still been quite a year for us. So much work was done and much of it won’t see results till next year, 2024.

To start off, we need to give thanks to the junior illustrators who worked with us for the year. Everyone of them had been excellent and have made their mark in the various work that we’ve done so far.

Valentines’ Day art by Youq.i77

Youq.i77 was an excellent animator and illustrator. Kai helped us immensely in our day-to-day operations. Despite her short stint with us, Unisagii created so much character designs. CDS would not have survived the year without their support.

Rather than a month to month run-down, let’s just jump through some of the cooler 2023 projects that were unveiled.

We’ve done a lot of work for games before, even some with the intention of them becoming box artworks. Something finally came through. It has been our pleasure to have done artwork for Stegosoft Games collection that was released by Limited Run Games. The collection is sold out by now (quite quickly too!) Stegosoft Games just confirmed that they will be mailing our copies over really soon! As a Switch-game physical collector myself, I can’t be happier.


Hopefully going forward, we will have more opportunities to draw for more videogames. Especially concept art and key visuals for them! More cover artworks please!

Curiously Cute Manga: Colouring Book was released earlier in 2023 by Michael O’ Mara Books. Featuring designs from Desti and Poopiepuff, this colouring book can be found everywhere! I dare say that there’s some designs in there that we really like. The subjects within the book was initially proposed by CDS and then it is up to the artists (including the third non-CDS artist) to interpret it for themselves. A personal favourite of ours is Yuki Onna. That ended up as the cover page for the French edition of the book.

Can’t go wrong with the classic pretty youkai

For this year, we also completed two more books for Michael O’Mara Books. Those two books will be released in 2024. This time, we didn’t need to share the limelight with others for these books are all-CDS in content. How to Draw Manga: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Basics and Beyond will be released on 14 Mar 2024 while Manga Art: A Colouring Book will be released on 18 Jul 2024. We can’t wait to include these into our 2024 Art Summary round-up!

With the momentum of just completing an entire book on how-to-draw-manga, we are back in ImagineFX! ImagineFX 232 saw our triumphant return to the magazine as Poopiepuff and Setsuri contributed two tutorials for that issue.

And a spread too!

Now that we are back, very recently, we did even more articles for them. These should show up in the next anime/manga-themed issue to be released in 2024. We will have two by CDS artists and we even coordinated to have a Japanese artist write something for the anime/manga-themed issue. Hopefully, these will end up in the anime/manga themed issue…

Other than video games, there’s board games too! CDS has been working with various publishers to create assets for their tabletop games. The most prominent of which has to be the latest Bullet expansions which made $186,214 on Kickstarter.

All funded!

We have been working with Level99 Games for Bullet since the beginning and we’re really excited to see where they plan to take the series forward. The world is very much video game inspired and so imaginative. They really support creatives too!

Contrary to belief, CDS does regularly work with Singaporean clients too. Here’s a couple of illustrations we did for local companies.

V-Reverie is a Singapore-based Vtuber agency and for their 2nd Generation ‘Odyssey’ debut in Apr 2023, Usanekorin did the main key artwork for their video launch.

This took quite a while to finish!

Heavens: The Boy and his Robot is a Singapore-Japan production. They have gone on a road show around Japan and for Tokyo Comic Con, CDS illustrated an entire postcard series for them. Featuring the collective efforts of Usanekorin, GSong, Pricey and Kagi, we are proud to have the artwork showcased. We hope to receive the physical copies of the postcard at some point.

Yep! We can draw mecha

Last but not least, we do art for non-commercial, private individuals too. These artworks tend to be fanarts or even gifts for themselves. For example, we have done various artworks for the FEH community so far. This year, both GSong and WaHa did Exalted Morgan artworks!

I personally have a very soft spot for Fire Emblem Heroes commissions because I play the game myself. Any F.Grima fans?

You might also have seen this particular itasha making its rounds around Malaysia and Singapore.

We only did the character artworks here

The commissioner really wanted to squeeze all his favourite characters onto his car. So we tried our best to accommodate as much as possible. Since the skinning, he had been driving his car to various anime conventions everywhere.

At the end of the day, as art mercenaries, the motto is generally… you got the budget; we got the talents. If you are a Singaporean who wants us to draw for you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are always open to having a chat about what we can do for you within your budget.

We’ve mentioned some projects that will only see daylight in 2024. Other than those, we are also looking towards picking up new work for next year. One type of project that we want to do more of are that of animation. Not just pre-production, concept art (though that’s what we really excel at). We are starting to look into doing animation production once again.

This as a start. But scaled.

It might be a little early to go into a full 3 minutes animation like what we did for Seika Animation. But I think we are now in the position to take on productions of full animation cut. If any brands are interested in working with us for animation, let us take you through the animation pipeline of pre-production, production and even post-production. With our experience, we will make sure that your experience will be straight-forward and simple. And at the end of the day, you can have an excellent anime animation to showcase your brand to your audience.

We are also stepping into other design related fields other than just mascot design. At this point, we are fairly confident of our capability to deliver on branding guidelines or just ‘UI design’, especially when it pertains to anime related brands. We’ve done some for Yohanime and even Anime Expo now. If that is something you are interested in as well, just get in touch with us to chat.

Last but not least, Happy Holidays everyone! You have made it to the end of this long, rambling post. It’s not like we post often after all. Let’s get in touch again!