Photos: Dang Hui Ling
Videos: Tan Shi Qi
MediaCorp actress Jeanette Aw is breaking new grounds in her career with her first ever self-illustrated book titled ‘Sol’s World: Somebody to LOVE’ this month.
While Jeanette is no stranger to the literary scene as she has published her first book Jeanette Aw: Definitions in 2012, she wishes to divert the public’s attention from her to her creative work by featuring her doodle ‘Sol’ as the main character of her new book.
On Wednesday (May 6), Jeanette shared with Toggle her thoughts on taking her interest in art a step further with her upcoming book, as well as how she is moved by her fans’ support for her interests over the years.
Having developed an affection towards art during her school days, she revealed that when she rekindled her passion in drawing and became inspired to create the main character (a doe-eyed girl with long and wavy yellow locks named ‘Sol’) of her upcoming book, after being invited to be a news columnist in 2011.
As Sol means ‘the sun’ in Latin, Jeanette had given her doodle “a makeover” for her book by changing her hair colour from yellow to red. “She (Sol) is a hopeful girl. Even when she loses her direction in life and has to go through several lessons to find the answers (in life), she remains positive while facing them,” she said.
The book would consist of over 30 illustrations and short texts solely crafted by Jeanette, of which some are reflections of her personal life.
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Good things are worth the wait
Despite being eager to release her first illustration book, Jeanette spent two years in preparation as she was met with several difficulties in the process of its publication.
Initially, she had painted her drawings entirely in watercolour, but was asked to illustrate them all over again as the colour did not turn out well after being photographed and printed on paper. She only succeeded after experimenting and incorporating acrylic paint and pastel into her drawings.
Though it took a great deal of time, Jeanette saw it as a learning process and is proud that her illustrations are completely drawn by hand and not digitally manipulated. “Art that are drawn by hand may not be perfect, but they are definitely full of sincerity,” she quipped.
As Jeanette’s first book has fared well on the charts, she is undeniably pressured to achieve good sales with her new book. Nervous about the public’s receptiveness to her first solo art piece, which she regards as her ‘baby’, the actress declined setting goals for herself and humbly asked the public to show their support.
Photo: Jeanius Singapore's Instagram
Thankful for her fans
Recounting the time when she was planning to hold her first book-signing event, Jeanette shared that she was worried that there would be a bad turn-up rate. However, she was pleasantly surprised and moved to see her fans filling the venue.
To celebrate her winning of the ‘All-Time Favourite Artiste’ at this year’s Star Awards, Jeanette also planned a gathering with her fan club Jeanius to thank them for their enduring support.
At the gathering, she also gave each of them a Precious Moments figurine from her well-cherished collection. “I wanted to give a part of myself to them too, and I thought this would be a nice way,” she explained.
Not only is she loved by fans in Singapore, Jeanette was also named the ‘Most Popular Regional Artiste’ in Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia at the Star Awards. Thus, many of her overseas fans have commented online that they wished to purchase her new book.
Jeanette reassured that she is currently coming up with a solution with her book’s publisher and may even launch its e-book version in the near future. Should her book receive a good response, she may consider releasing a series of illustration books as well.
Soon to be tied down with the filming of Dream Makers 2, the busy bee shared that she would also be collaborating with the National Museum of Singapore to release two interactive artwork titled ‘Sol’s Journey’, which would be on display from the end of May till Aug 10.
This article is translated by Isadora Ong.
‘Sol’s World: Somebody to LOVE’ is available for purchase at the price of $18.90 at all major bookstores from May 9.
Jeanette Aw’s ‘Sol’s World: Somebody to LOVE’ Book-Signing Event
Date: May 23 (Sat)
Time: 2 pm
Venue: Kinokuniya @ Ngee Ann City