When Thomas Yang was at the tender age of three, his mother walked in one day to find him on the living room floor happily doodling away. Since then, she’s found Thomas to be happiest when he has a pencil in his hand and paper in front of him.
So it came as no surprise to her, or to anyone else, that Thomas would eventually complete his education at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1992.
Obsessively passionate about drawing, design, and ideas, he discovered advertising after he graduated. And there, he found his true calling.
Thomas’s big break came in 1998 when he won Best New Art Director at the Singapore Creative Circle Awards. After which he went on to bag over 400 regional and international awards at major shows such as D&AD, The One Show, Cannes, Clio, AdFest and The Spikes. In 2011, besides winning The Creative Director of the Year in the Hall Of Fame award, he was also one of the top 10 highest-ranked creative directors in Cannes.
Thomas believes that strategic thinking precedes craft. And that the mark of any great art director is flexibility – having a design sense that is unrestricted by a particular style.
For the last 25 years, he has been earning his stripes with stints at Lowe, BBDO, Ogilvy, M&C Saatchi, 10AM Communications, JWT, before landing his current position at DDB Singapore.
As a Creative Director at DDB, he has forged relationships with both clients and within the creative department with one goal in mind: To create work that does wonders and delivers results in the marketplace. During his time at the agency, Thomas has helped create work that has made DDB the most awarded Singapore agency at Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, Spikes Asia, AdFest and the Creative Circle Awards, three years in a row.
Besides winning awards, Thomas is a fan of giving them out to worthy winners too. He has helped to judge at shows both regionally and globally. In 2012 alone, Thomas has judged at The Cannes Lions Festival (France), The Kidlat Awards (Philippines), TOP Awards Asia Design Packaging (Japan), ADOBO Design Awards (Philippines) and The Citra Pariwara (Indonesia). He has also judged at one of the biggest stages in advertising and design show – D&AD in 2014. Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity and London International Awards in 2017.
Yet, this through and through local boy has never forgotten about the hand that fed him. A fierce supporter of the Singapore advertising scene, Thomas has been consistently judging and supporting local talent for the past 15 years at the Singapore Creative Circle Awards and the Crowbar Awards.
In his life outside the advertising world, Thomas is a hardcore cyclist. In an attempt to blur the lines between the two, he has combined his love for the sport and his passion for design into a collection of limited edition cycling-related prints. “100copies” (www.100copies.net) is already a runaway hit winning The Grand Prix in Asian Creative Awards held in Japan and the Award of Excellence in Communication Arts for illustration both in 2015.
But above all the accomplishments in his life and everything that can be said about him in his biography, Thomas firmly believes he will never be prouder to say that he is a father of two lovely daughters – the Grand Prix of his life.