Russell Seah
Creative Director / Elementary Co.
Corporate Sponsor I:
Ong Foundation
Corporate Sponsor II:
Silver Bullion (Singapore)
Singapore Cancer Society
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Who are you? Tell us a bit more about yourself!

Armed with a keen eye for visual design and having already played an integral role in branding numerous hospitality clients and publications, I am now the Creative Mind behind Elementary Co. – a branding and marketing collective that I started about a year ago together with my sister, her husband and a group of close friends. I come from a large and loving family and have always considered myself blessed to have grown up in a country that has cared and provided well for us.

What’s your story? Tell us about a life-changing incident.

There was a point of time in my life that I was tangled in some pretty dark places. It was at this point, I felt that my life had absolutely no meaning and direction. From the mess of my addiction, I discovered a part of me that I wasn’t sure at the time existed anymore. I discovered a discipline to overcome all the temptations that pulls at one’s soul. As design goes, so much is about knowing how to resist the temptation of self-indulgence. That period of my life taught me that there were other people that I had to consider in my life.

Now armed with that knowledge, in every design that I pull out, I am able to do so more willingly because of the transition that I took into becoming who I am today. Design to me right now, is about exercising the discipline that is required to find the balance between satisfying the need for aesthetic expression, and meeting the needs of the people I’m designing for.

Why 50for50 and why now?

50 FOR 50 is a meaningful project and it allows me to give back to society in an impactful manner, together with my friends and family. It is also an opportunity for my Elementary Co. team to come together and use our combined talents and energy to do a passion project, instead of just chasing the dollar trail.

What gets you up in the morning?

My alarm!

Why this cause out of so many causes?

Almost everybody we know has had a friend or family member that’s been afflicted by this disease. Previously when we were growing up, Cancer was still something quite rare but it now feels like it’s inevitable that you or your partner will end up with it. The costs for treating Cancer can come up to a lot and victims of the disease don’t always have next of kin that they can turn to for support and care. I want to be able to help these people in whatever way possible.

Any experiences with charity or non-profit work before?

Besides the mandatory flag day for school, nope!

What kind of change are you looking to bring about as a changemaker?

To show that every ordinary person is able to make a difference, that no contribution or effort is too small. I also hope to change the perception that fundraising is something that only older people can do.

What is your big idea on how to raise funds for 50for50?

We want to do a combination of big and small, as well as serious and also humorous activities. One of the activities involves us rolling up our sleeves and getting our hands dirty in the kitchen to learn how to cook a number of Singapore heritage foods which we will then serve at a tea/dinner party to our donors. Another more light hearted activity sees me and and the rest of the guys in the office taking part in the upcoming Hello Kitty run where we will dress up to complete the race, while the girls cheer us on! Talk about role reversal!