SIT Student’s Space Illustrations Draw NASA’s Attention

When NASA sent Digital Communications & Integrated Media student Jarrod Chua a direct message on Instagram, that was the start of great things to come

As a young boy, Mr Jarrod Chua was intrigued by space but did not know how to put his interest into practice because science was not his strong subject. He eventually decided to make use of graphic design skills that he picked up in Singapore Polytechnic. “I thought maybe I can create a comic about space. So I combined the skills I had with my interest and ‘spaceytales’ was born,” he said.

The Instagram account ‘@spaceytales’ was created to display his space designs in June 2020. Cute, witty and informative, readers can browse a variety of posts to learn something new about space. The account attracted 1,000 followers within a month and 8,655 followers by end 2021. 

He was later contacted by famed space institution National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), saying they were impressed with his work. Mr Chua’s design was used for the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in December 2021, the largest and most expensive telescope ever placed in space, worth US$9 billion (S$12 billion). 

Designed by Mr Chua, the SpaceyTales “#UnfoldTheUniverse” James Webb Space Telescope Postcard is available for download on NASA’s website.

He stresses that his collaboration with NASA wouldn’t have succeeded without SIT, saying that the university has helped him cultivate his skills in photography, storyboarding, animation and advertising, and given him the ability to grow spaceytales into a bigger art brand. “When I was learning the Digital Advertising Branding Campaigning module, we were at the execution phase of the project and my lecturer helped me to better understand the different media aspects involved in advertising,” he said. 

Mr Chua now hopes to one day work for NASA in the public outreach or design department and share more knowledge about space. “While I can’t personally contribute much in the physics or astrophysics department of space, I hope to inspire the next generation to look up to the skies and work to become the future astronaut or physicist so that we can make progress within the space industry.” 

Ms Angela Ng Shueh Ching, Senior Lecturer, DCIM, believes he has room to unlock his full potential. “Now is the time for Jarrod to build a portfolio that will attract the interest of international clients. Jarrod is imaginative and I see him pushing his creative boundaries. There is room for personal growth in terms of skill sets and exposures, and he has the potential to grow into a great graphic designer as long as he keeps harnessing his imagination,” said Ms Ng. 

To read the full story, please go to SIT’s Digital Newsroom: https://www.singaporetech.edu.sg/digitalnewsroom/sit-students-space-illustrations-draw-nasas-attention/