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DORSCON Circuit Breaker

By komicer, 7 Apr 2020

DORSCON Circuit Breaker

Now. That has been an odd two months, isn’t it? When the Singapore government first announced DORSCON Orange and created the first wave of ‘panic’, everything still felt a little surreal. Back then, we were surrounded by influencers and no one really knew what to do. Most of us were aware of the creeping corona virus and COVID-19. It was out of an abundance of caution that we decided to initiate working-from-home for the team.

signboard left outside our door

Today, exactly two months since then, it felt like an entire lifetime had passed. Working-from-home is now compulsory for us as DORSCON Circuit Breaker kicks in. Our newly-renewed lease for the studio is totally underutilized. Projects have been suspended while we scramble to find new work and new revenue to replace them. It didn’t help that internationally, everything seem to be on fire. Bad news just kept trickling in.

If we were angsty previously, there is an odd calmness to how things are now. Things are not pretty. Every night, Singaporeans analyze the latest damage report of the day but life must still go on somehow. As much as possible, we want and are trying to keep the team together.

New social media header image

For starters, we have gotten around to updating our Facebook and Twitter header image. The previous image features Haru (our not-mascot) with a plane. It was meant to commemorate our trips to LA and Sydney and those aren’t going to happen again for 2020. The original plan of WaHa, Usanekorin, Greenteaneko and Mr.2D heading down to AX 2020 is pretty much scuttled.

This time, we got GSong to help us create something new.

Haru is now staying at home like a responsible adult while drawing something. If you peek closely, you’ll see that she’s drawing herself. So there’s some inception involved. Hey, it’s fictional art, ok?

Singlish Kemono Friends

Beyond the change of header/mood, we are also trying to push ahead with internal projects of our own. You might have seen bits of it here and there but Desti is working on an all-new colouring book to be published under the studio. It’s been going on-and-off for a year by now and we hope that it will be ready towards the second half of the year.

Partly inspired by the amazing r/Singapore reddit posts by u/Komododragon, the concept was to create a series of Colouring Pages based on the local fauna such as Otters, Boars or even the totally obscure Nudibranch Cheesecake. Of course, this being a CDS project, there is an anime twist to it. We have applied the Kemono Friends concept to each featured animal!

Since everyone (should be) stuck at home, we’ve released a couple of pages for colouring book enthusiasts to have a shot at. Do download the files and give us your feedback. It’s on us!

Congratulations to Simone Lim, Pokemon Champ!

We are also looking into doing a bit more self-promotional art for PR purposes. r/Singapore denizens might have already seen the artwork we’ve done for Simone Lim, the amazing kid who won the regional Pokemon championship.

We made a public offer to finish the artwork as a gift to her family and we will. In fact, when WaHa got wind of their plans to adapt the art into a T-shirt, he switch to a new design. The design is still a WIP but here’s a peek!

sketch of Simone Lim and her championship Pokemon team

Hopefully, we can have it completed within the month of Apr 2020 and before Simone’s team composition changed! There might not be another championship to claim in the foreseeable future of 2020; but when the virus finally comes under control, she can kick butt with style.

Survival Mode

So what’s up going forward in the new era of DORSCON Circuit Breaker? On the operational level, not much change. Professional art and creative services doesn’t qualify us as an essential service but it’s not like we aren’t already working-from-home. We just welcomed a new intern from Singapore Polytechnic who has never stepped into our studio before.

As far as I know, we only qualify for the 25% tier of JSS (other than the 75% for Apr 2020). It’s not much but it is still something. For that, we are grateful.

There’s also the rental rebate that some creatives are really angsty about since there are a good number of landlords foot-dragging on that issue. We have not heard anything from our landlord directly but our neighbours of 195 Pearl’s Hill Terrace has updated us that the landlord has promised to help us in whatever ways he can. Let’s hope that is true!

Finally, COVID-19 is a global crisis. As a studio plugged into the international economic system, we are keenly aware that the problems is not going to go away any moment soon. Even if the circuit breaker is lifted here, as long as the crisis continues on elsewhere, we won’t be getting a break.

However, we still have to continue on this journey and ride out the global pandemic storm together without sacrificing quality of work or leaving anyone behind. What a time to be alive.

Be sure to stay safe, stay healthy and stay home (as much as possible anyway).

And once again, fuck COVID-19.