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Bringing creative ideas together under one roof – this is the mission of Sketch JB. Artists of all fields – architecture, music, drawing, and many more contribute to filling up the void of local talent by sharing their works and passion at the Sketch JB forum.

Sketch JB began as a platform for young designers to showcase their creativity. Yap Yew Peng and Yvonne Yap of Y.Architects, founders of Sketch Talks, believe in a community that creates things that evokes one’s senses. They saw how the lack of space available to express ideas was a problem; that once young designers graduate from university and enter the workforce, they no longer have the space or opportunity to present their designs and creations. As artists themselves, the two founders knew fellow artists would jump on any chance to present their works. When Sketch Talks kicked off in 2015, many people signed up to talk. To date, they still have a long waiting list of speakers.

Speakers come from all walks of life; hawkers, potters and even university lecturers. Timing is an important factor in holding successful Sketch Talks. Held once a month on a weekday after work hours when parking spaces have freed up, they see a full house crowd all the time. Talks and dialogue sessions, 10 to 15 minutes long each, are based on themes. ‘Sustainability’ was a strong one – many wanted to share their visions of a better world. University students gave feedback that what they learnt at the talk was better structured than lectures in school; new and fresh ideas etched into their minds in the brief but informative 15-minutes talk.

“Malaysians have infiltrated the world and they came back with their own interpretation of it,” said Yew Peng, who encourages young artists to get inspiration from other countries, not to replicate but to create something unique to our own identity and culture. Our community is a melting pot of many races and religions; creativity knows no boundaries when you allow yourself to immerse in it. Design is deeper than what’s pleasing to the eyes.

Championing locals, Sketch Talks intend for their talk series to be low-key for their speakers and audiences to be comfortable. Everything is completely free-of-charge; everyone also gets to enjoy truly-Malaysian RM1 Nasi Lemak that is served. It feels just like mingling with family at home.

Sketch Talks plans to conduct co-current talks with other communities around the world, discussing the same topic but from the point-of-view of different environmental and situational settings via video conferences. Learn from others, but adapt it to Malaysia – that’s their goal.