ALUMNUS, DIPLOMA IN INTERACTION DESIGN
SCHOOL OF INTERACTIVE & DIGITAL MEDIA
Jackson Aw today runs a multi-million dollar company that designs, makes and ships handcrafted designer toy collectibles to more than 50 countries around the world.
Not bad for a young man who remembers falling in love with, and collecting, toy figurines as a boy.
“When I was young, I used to love watching Biker Mice from Mars - a science fiction action animated series, and of course, I bought loads of their toy characters. Now, I never have thought that I’d be doing this for a living!” laughs the 28-year-old.
He started Mighty Jaxx in 2012, and it was very much a one-man show at the start. Jackson recalls how he had to learn about production processes and techniques such as hand-sculpting and moulding from scratch. At the beginning, he handled every aspect of the business himself, but today, Mighty Jaxx employs 20 people.
Best known for their XXRAY figures, which features some familiar characters in all their guts and glory, his company also produces art figures in collaboration with artists and brands worldwide including James Jean, Clogtwo, Jason Freeny, New Balance, Warner Brothers, and more.
Jackson credits Nanyang Polytechnic, where he studied Interaction Design at the School of Interactive and Digital Media, for giving him the design and technology skills he needed to get the business off the ground.
“Through good guidance from inspiring teachers, I found an appreciation for art.
“There is also this awesome lecturer called James Lee. Both of us loved photography, but he inspired me to explore beyond taking photos, to get curious about the mechanics of a good camera and how cameras work. That got my mind thinking. And since I loved toys, it translated into me thinking about how toys are made too!”
He says that he still comes around and talks to Mr Lee from time to time: “The NYP family is close-knit one that always looks out for one another. We are connected to the industry and get many opportunities to grow. I hope to always contribute back to my alma mater.”
When asked what the future holds, Jackson is optimistic. He wants to create even more original content, develop more merchandise, and maybe represent artists on a global level. He added: “It’s a niche market in the creative industry, but there is actually a very strong community worldwide that shows appreciation for original content.”
His advice for aspiring entrepreneurs - “Always remember that money is but a by-product of success and that success is achieved through a relentless pursuit of your vision. That’s where you’ll want to be.”