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[Interview] Discussing the inspirations behind the 'Make Life Better' series with artists from SAMH Art Traineeship Programme

Thermos Singapore and Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH) collaborated to promote the importance of self-care and holistic wellness with the latest Singapore Exclusive Local Design ‘Make Life Better’ series. 

We asked the artists from SAMH Art Traineeship Programme some questions on what had inspired them to produce these stunning pieces of art.


1. What were your first thoughts when initially tasked with designing for the new Thermos® ‘Make Life Better’ series?

Jue Xin: To be honest, I think my art trainer mentioned that Thermos would be choosing the best designs, so I was thinking to myself, “I’ll just try my best.”

Grace: My first thoughts were how to design a Thermos product that is aesthetically appealing and emphasises how important our mental health is. It’s when design and mental health meet to create meaning for something I value.

Genevieve: I was excited and thought this was a good idea to learn and design something new. I would like to know whether my artwork will be chosen.

2. After learning more about the series’ theme of making life better with holistic wellness, how did this inspire and/or influence your creative process?

Jue Xin: I tried to think about things that make me feel calm and motivated.

Grace: I had thought about coming up with a heart-warming design. I imagined someone coming home from a bad day and seeing the message on the Thermos product would brighten up someone's day.

Genevieve: I was inspired to use the idea of eating healthily to create a design for Thermos. I searched for photos on the internet and Pinterest for inspiration to create my design.

3. Can you further describe to us your design and the meaning behind it? 

Jue Xin: The Bodhi leaf, to me, represents optimism. I feel it represents God's touching effort to find peace for all of us.

Jue Xin’s first sketch of the Bodhi leaf

Grace: As you can see, there are flowers and a few teardrops in my design. The teardrops represent the flowers being watered. From the perspective of the flowers, it may seem that they looked sad, question their circumstances, or even feel puzzled that nothing makes sense. But the older and wiser flowers advise the buds and young flowers that these experiences make them grow stronger and taller, which subsequently become their identity.

Grace’s first design sketch

Genevieve: My design uses some faces made with fruits. It is to remind us to eat some common fruits like strawberries, cherries, apples, and oranges to stay healthy.

Genevieve’s design of the faces

4. Were there challenges or memorable moments that occurred during the design process? 

Jue Xin: The most memorable moment is working with friends in the same room. The challenge was that I had to edit and refine the design many times.

Jue Xin’s final design of the Bodhi leaves

Final print on the ‘Make Life Better’ Optimism Ultra-Light One-Push Tumbler featuring Jue Xin’s design

Grace: The hard part of doing this design is the limitation in colours. That pushed us to think outside the box when colours are limited. Also, the thought of being "never good enough" was weighing on my head. At times, I had to take constructive feedback, which is beneficial but didn't feel that good.

The memorable moment was my thought process for the design. I imagined myself watching a skit, where the guy poured water on a lady. The furious lady started screaming, "Why?" The guy answered cheekily "You are like a flower to me. That's why I watered you." I had the skit played in my head as I was drawing the flowers.

Grace’s final design 

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Final print on the ‘Make Life Better’ Flowers Conversations Mug with Handle and Lid featuring Grace’s design

Genevieve: It was a bit challenging to arrange the fruits into faces initially, and it took me some time as I was new to using Procreate and iPad to draw. But it got easier with practice. I found the process fun. The memorable moment was when the instructor gave me tips and ideas for my design.

Genevieve’s final design

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Final print on the ‘Make Life Better’ Faces Made From Fruits Stainless King Food Jar with Folding Spoon featuring Genevieve’s design

5. What is most important to you when it comes to self-care and wellness?

Jue Xin: I feel grateful that I have my friends and family. This makes me feel better. Also, taking a day at a time has helped me a lot in getting through bad or tiring days.

Grace: Putting my needs and wellness before anybody else is really important. In a fast-paced and competitive world, I must remember to set aside time for myself and not feel obliged to meet others' expectations. Being and managing myself to the very best is all that matters.

Genevieve: Eating healthily, getting exercise, and sleeping well.


6. How do you feel about the collaboration with Thermos Singapore for the Singapore Exclusive Local Design 'Make Life Better' series?

Jue Xin: I am glad because I hope the Bodhi leaf design will inspire people to live with optimism and wisdom.

Thermos® JNL-501S ‘Make Life Better’ Optimism Ultra-Light One-Push Tumbler

Grace: It's truly an honour to be able to work with Thermos. It's a rare opportunity, and I'm grateful for that. I'm proud that the skills I have acquired so far have been put to good use in something that has so much meaning.

I hope people treat mental health as important as any other health-related problems. Through this collaboration, I hope to spread the word about the importance of mental health with the help of instructors and Thermos; on a personal level, I feel I have accomplished a lot with this milestone achievement.

Thermos® JDG-450S ‘Make Life Better’ Flower Conversations Mug with Handle and Lid

Genevieve: It was a fun experience, and I learnt new things like using the iPad App Procreate. I am glad that my artwork was chosen. I hope to be able to do more of such collaborations.

Thermos® SK-3020S ‘Make Life Better’ Faces Made From Fruits Stainless King Food Jar with Folding Spoon

The importance of self-care certainly cannot be overstated, and we want to express our gratitude to Jue Xin, Grace and Genevieve for taking the time to share their respective stories with us. 

There is much to learn and appreciate with the designs shown in the Singapore Exclusive Local Design 'Make Life Better' series and we hope that everyone will support these artists, along with their message on the importance of self-care and holistic wellness.

Find out more about this collaboration between Thermos Singapore and SAMH: www.thermos.com.sg/news-and-media/media/make-life-better-with-thermos-singapores-latest-local-series

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