Art jamming has been all the hype lately, with various studios popping up all over Singapore. From painting with cats to glow-in-the-dark art jamming, the options have become aplenty.
However, art jamming might be intimidating for first-time artists with zero background or knowledge in painting as they find it a challenge to try filling a blank canvas.
Ricardo Sentosa and Adriel Ho, founders of Motion Art Space, noticed this pain point and decided to start a new art jamming experience.
Nestled within a stretch of shophouses on Arab Street, Motion Art Space is the first and only art jamming space in Singapore that allows visitors to create masterpieces with the help of physics theories.
Combining science with art
At Motion Art Space, all it takes is a small push for gravity and inertia to do its work. Visitors can create abstract art using tools like a pendulum and spinning station.
The two co-founders were interested in starting a business in the art and experience industry, when they came across the technique of pendulum and spinning art created by Canadian artist Callen Schaub.
Upon entering the studio, we were greeted by cheery staff, old school music, and an interior that was splattered with colours of all sorts. The walls were also adorned with abstract paintings created by studio staff and customers.
There are also round tables that spin, pendulums that hang from the ceiling, and a myriad of tools that one would not associate with painting.
To ensure that it does not get overwhelming, the co-founders came up with a handy instruction list highlighting the whole process from start to finish.
“We wanted to create a very efficient system — like what McDonald’s has — and implement it at Motion Art Space,” said Adriel.
“At the start, we didn’t have any processes in place and we had to figure everything out ourselves. Now, the customers can learn the process very quickly,” he added.
After putting on an apron to ensure that they are safe from paint splatters, customers can head over to pick out some tools and paints to begin creating their masterpiece.
Visitors can equip themselves with squeeze bottles and wooden trays, as well as toothpicks and ice cream sticks to fully unleash their creativity. The studio even provides customers with a tripod, so they can record their entire painting process.
80s dance music were blaring in the studio, and customers were seen happily experimenting with paint. It really doesn’t matter if you can’t paint, because gravity will do the work for you.
The standard Newton’s 1st Law Package (S$69) comes with access to all the painting tools and equipment, and a 46cm by 55cm canvas. This also includes 400ml, or four cups of paint of your choice.
There are also packages available for children that come with smaller canvases, or couple’s packages that come with premium paints.
Newton’s Law of Motion
At Motion Art Space, gravity and momentum will do the work for you.
By attaching the squeeze bottle filled with paint to the adjustable pendulum setup hanging from the ceiling, one can create the classic lines of pendulum art.
The tables can spin too, and the spinning speeds can be controlled by a remote. These tables were built by the co-founders themselves, who painstakingly ensured that it would be child-friendly as well.
Ricardo told Vulcan Post that when the team started on their research and development process earlier in March, they were using Lazy Susans bought from IKEA and testing out the concept at public carparks.
Both Ricardo and Adriel had little experience in building hardware products as they were previously from the tech industry, and thus long hours were spent on experimentation and testing before the products were finalised.
Besides the hardware, the paint used at Motion Art Space was also heavily researched upon by the co-founders. According to Ricardo, the team uses tempera paints which are washable and non-toxic, and a lot of work was put into ensuring that the paint was of the right consistency.
Besides using a squeeze bottle, visitors can slather paint onto a wooden tray to create thicker strokes.
After the whole process, completed artworks will be left at the store to dry, and can be self-collected after two to three days.
Creating stellar experiences
Ricardo and Adriel are both entrepreneurs at heart, having been founders of tech startups. However, when Covid-19 hit and travel was halted for a long period of time, they started seeing opportunities in the local experience industry.
“Prior to the lockdown, I used to travel a lot. While being stuck in Singapore, I realised that exciting experiences were lacking,” shared 37-year-old Ricardo.
In December 2020, he met Adriel, 32, who shared the same sentiments. The duo then decided to venture into the industry together.
Due to travel restrictions, there were a lot of people thirsty for new experiences. So we went through the whole process of bouncing off ideas, and selected pendulum painting based on its probability of expanding to the local market.
Adriel Ho, co-founder of Motion Art Space
Since the studio opened to the public two months ago, it has gathered a lot of good feedback from happy customers, so much so that the team has tour operators interested in partnerships.
The duo also has big plans in the pipeline, including possible expansions across Singapore and overseas as well. The brand has already received interest from the United States, and hopes to bring the pendulum painting experience there as well.
Giving back to society is also an important aspect of Motion Art Space’s business.
Adriel told Vulcan Post that the team adopts the “1-1-1 Philanthropic Model” — where they pledge one per cent of monthly profits, employee time, and products to a good cause. Last month, the team donated one per cent of its profits to purchasing oxygen for Covid-19 patients in India.
Ultimately, the co-founders hope to be able to give their customers an experience that wasn’t easily accessible before.
“Art can be quite technical and expensive, so we wanted to let our customers easily create art at an affordable price,” said Adriel.
Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post