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8 ways to DAFA this Chinese New Year!

What better time to share on our newest huat project, DAFA, then the festive month of February?

DAFA (Digital Arts For All) is MTC’s exciting venture to bring inclusivity to life. Seeing the value in both digital literacy and digital art, our DAFA team decided to take things up a notch and tapped on these two touchpoints to stitch the community together with the Media Literacy Council in 2018.    

With Singapore’s rocketing smartphone penetration rate and the public sector’s increasing focus on combating online falsehoods (cue The Green Paper discussion shared in January), digital literacy has never been more essential. How else can we reduce the barriers for a safer environment online?

On the other hand, the rapid development of digital art has enabled everyone with the tools to be creative. We no longer need to wave out degrees in the Fine Arts nor have Picasso’s works memorised at the back of your mind to be included in the conversation.  

Holding our hands in-between these two touch-points, DAFA calls for isolating walls to break down as participants create digital art with the DAFA DNA of being smart, safe and kind as a way of life.

With a few more workshops coming our way, DAFA has positioned itself to provide value-added sessions pertaining to the interests, lifestyles and surfing habits of its community.

Nearing the Chinese New Year, it is also a timely reminder for us to spend quality time together while keeping our loved ones safe.

Prosperity comes in ways more than one. Here are 8 ways to DAFA this Chinese New Year:

1. Guard your heart

Digital and Media Literacy is the discernment of how and why we create and receive content online. As we create content online to share on Social Media platforms and micro-blogging sites, be it an illustration or text created from scratch, it is always optimal to include a watermark so as to preserve the copyright.

Other than that, we can be safer online when we protect our connections. Hiding your friend list on Facebook helps to reduce the likelihood of others leveraging on your existing relations for potential scams. As we tend to trust our known connections a lot more, many of us are much more susceptible to such invitations to give personal information.

2. Filter your emails with discerning eyes

Other than these external platforms, our own personal email accounts have to be observed with discernment as well. It is not uncommon for spam emails to flood our inboxes, with some having compelling messages such as the winning of a lucky draw.

3. Double check the credibility of mass-sent/forwarded texts

Often underestimated, personal messaging apps are a common avenue likely to cause widespread panic. Again, the messages forwarded from our loved ones naturally gain higher credibility, so when they forward news of “cosmic rays hitting the earth” or a “SGD 400 NTUC Fairprice voucher”, many are quick to believe.

Not only should we remind ourselves to fact check these texts with other credible news sources, we should also take the time to remind those around us as well.

4. Look at the source before giving details

Furthermore, DAFA’s master trainer for digital literacy, Carol Loi, also underlines how It is important for us to take note of the url and site domains before we key in our personal details as well. This is because there are look-alike sites with urls similar to the large, trusted organisations, posing to urge their audience into giving them personal details such as account passwords.

5. Explore what the digital sphere has to offer

Digital art is defined as art created or modified using a computer of other digital mediums. The rapid development and proliferation of computers and softwares have brought about the rise in artists venturing into this space. DAFA workshops use the Procreate app, a detailed-oriented application that boasts of a diverse range of tools, brushes and options to create specific curves, shapes and colours.

6. Remember how the process is just as important as the end-product

Besides, the Procreate app also has a time-lapse recording function that films down the process taken to generate the artwork. Popular with numerous artists, time-lapse videos are great to illustrate the perspective behind the scenes. DAFA’s master trainer, Carlos Diaz, uses this function to exemplify his own sketching process as well.

7. Anticipate a rapid flow of ideas

DAFA’s workshops also encourage an open-space for ideation to happen. Participants can take a photo of themselves and sketch out the outline, or trace out some ideas from their research online. By adding a few more details, there is so much potential for creativity to manifest. It is also easier for people to create art digitally, enabling it to reach a wider audience than its traditional counterpart.

8. Share the joy across multiple platforms

In the world of social-sharing today, there are also fitting options to share the artworks after the workshop. Highly accessible, digital art is a great sphere for facilitators and participants to share their thought process and experience in trying the tool for the first time. Who knows- this might be the beginning of many great conversations to come.

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