Written by: Saiful Anwar bin Asri (21B8013)
Interviewer: 'Izzati Hanani binti Khairul Shaffarani (18B0125)
Mohamad Danial Basyri bin Zaman has been nominated as a Creative Inspirasee of the month in the Community Category of August 2022. He is majoring in Design & Creative Industries (DCI) under the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) and is currently twenty-one years old. He is a freelancer, focusing on graphic design and multimedia. He started his journey when he was only nine or ten years old as a hobby, inspired and motivated by his cousins. At the start, it was merely a hobby, but he got progressively more inspired to turn it into a form of income.
Currently, he is a research assistant at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), doing drone operations and photogrammetry. In the words of Danial Basyri, “photogrammetry is basically taking photos of a subject and circling around it, doing multiple levels of it and transforming it into a 3D model.” The process involves taking overlapping photographs of an object, structure, or space, and converting them into 2D or 3D digital models.
Aside from that, he does logo designs and wedding photography as a freelancer. He enjoys the adventures he goes through as a freelancer, going to certain parts of Brunei he has never been to before and meeting and talking to many people of diverse backgrounds. Danial recommends going to many places, such as Lamin Warisan in Tutong and Alai Gayuh Anak Pulau, a Dusun place situated deep in the forest, because of the nice scenery and isolated environment, far from the fast-paced city life.
As a freelancer, his favourite item is a handycam his father bought for him in 2008. It is still in working condition and he likes how the products turn out. He is also happy that the aesthetic the handycam produces is coming back as a trend.
A challenge Danial has faced in his journey is the creative burnout that comes with it. As a student working in the industry, he tends to need more inspiration as well because it is a very difficult industry to flourish in. There was one time when he got overwhelmed as he had to work seven days straight with minimal rest, which brought him the anxiety of not meeting his quality standards or having to give up the quality over the quantity. Danial also confesses that the most challenging projects he has done are always school related. This is because every semester, he has to work with someone new and they might not always be on the same page or prioritise different things.
His tip to overcome these challenges and overwhelming situations is to unplug as much as possible before coming back to work and finishing what you started. What is most important is your own health and to realise that it is not a priority to finish the work as soon as possible. Basically to de-stress and diminish the illusion of being rushed.
The person Danial looks up to in the local industry is his cousin, Milzam Morsidi who is a lecturer in Politeknik Brunei. When Milzam was doing his degree in University of Kent, he was one of the earliest people to teach Danial about 3D rendering and sculpting. Internationally, Danial likes Danny Gevirtz, a YouTuber, who has done commercials for Nike and for other large corporations, because Danial likes his aesthetics and his works.
Danial’s most proudest moments are when he exhibited his works to His Majesty, the Sultan of Brunei. The first time was a Teachers’ Day video competition back in 2018 and the most recent memory was exhibiting a photogrammetry project on behalf of UBD. He showcased a 3D model of the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in the presence of His Majesty during the Hari Raya celebration organised by Yayasan. However, his greatest achievement was getting the Runner-Up entry in the ASEAN Brunei Chairmanship Logo Competition.
On his workdays, Danial likes to focus on his work mindlessly, because at the end of the day, he will try to refine it to be the best product he can produce. On the other hand, he tends to procrastinate a lot by watching videos and finding inspiration in his free time.
He watches ‘Running Man’, movies, and YouTube videos, as well as playing games. Danial also participates in sports such as futsal, football, and swimming, in his free time. Prioritising spending time with his family and friends over work, Danial always makes sure to spend a few hours every day with his family, his parents and with his friends. He has a group of people, ironically, called UBD support system consisting of his two best friends, Arifah and Nabilah (Apel), who are basically his closest circle. Other than them, he has Hafiz, who Danial shares and exchanges ideas with. He believes that his friends and peers might describe him as someone goofy, sometimes clumsy and probably cheeky. Other than that, he might be described as someone extroverted and friendly.
To stay motivated, Danial thinks of his work as a responsibility and he will try to push himself harder and harder to complete it. The main motivation is getting to see the finished product and being satisfied and amazed by his own work.
Currently, Danial is doing a personal project, which is documenting his work as a research assistant and as a photogrammetrist to raise awareness in Brunei that these jobs and roles exist. His contracts end in September, and he is currently working on it and organising a few things.
He has little time to work on it because his Discovery Year (DY) is coming, but he shares plans that he may reveal the results of his work next year. Other than that, he is also working with people from UTB to design their volleyball shirts.
As a person and a freelancer in the creative industry, Danial wishes to accomplish many things, but his main goal is to gain wisdom and be a pioneer of the industry in the local scene. However, he believes that he is still far from reaching those goals. Danial is a person who lives in the moment and does not think much about the future, but he would like to further progress his craft and be able to work around it
in the future. His goal is to be able to make a sustainable source of income from his specialty. His words to the listeners of Inspirasee are:
“Sometimes opportunities come when you least expect it, so try to break all of your barriers and get out of your comfort zone because we never know what’s best for us.”