Last week, my company organised a little lantern design competition for the employees to celebrate the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival in advance. In order to take part, we would have to form teams of 3, but participation was completely voluntary. While lanterns and painting materials would be provided, we were free to bring our own art materials too to add some uniqueness to our designs.
Initially when we saw the email notice, a colleague of mine was very excited and asked to partner up with me for the competition since we both also won 2nd and 3rd places in the previous National Day games at our office. So we started discussing ideas for our lantern design. I suggested that I would bring my own paper craft materials to turn the lantern into a 3D bunny design. Then my colleague saw some sample pictures of minion lanterns online (he isn’t a local Chinese thus isn’t familiar with or into those traditional Chinese style designs) and thought it was cute. I said why not! I could even add two bunny ears made of paper on top of the minion’s head, some cotton wools at the back for its tail and changed the logo on his blue jumpsuit to our own company logo to make it a little more relevant to the Mid-Autumn theme. The minion could then be a representation of us employees who work tirelessly for the company lol.
However, on the day of the event when we were about to submit our names for the competition, we were told that actually we were not allowed to choose our own teammates, meaning that the names would be picked at random to decide who you would be grouped with. Disappointed after knowing that my colleague and I might not end up in the same group, we decided to completely give up the idea of joining the competition and went out to get a drink instead.
But the idea of making a fun quirky minion lantern was too tempting to resist and not wanting to let the materials that I had already brought with me go to waste, we went back again to check with the organisers after buying our coffee. As we found out that there were not enough people to form the last group of 3, we managed to persuade the organisers to allow us to be grouped together with another colleague and we started painting our minion lantern right away!
The process was filled with fun and laughter as we made our minion lantern idea come true into reality. In addition to the bunny ears and the bushy cotton wool tail, I also added a pair of minion hands made of coloured felts that I brought along too! Looking at the other lanterns that the other teams painted though, our painting skills were honestly pretty sucky and messy in comparison. I was pretty amazed and impressed by the hidden artistic talents that my other colleagues actually possess. Most of them painted images like Chang’e, bunny, moon, cherry blossom trees, panda etc and even added related Chinese greetings for the Mid-Autumn Festival written in calligraphy style. Ours seemed lacking in terms of relevance to the festival.
After the time was up, each of us was given a star sticker and we were supposed to cast our single vote for our favourite lantern other than the one that your team made. Presumably not everyone in my office voted and sadly, our minion lantern only received 1 vote, ending up in a tie with 2 other lanterns which also received 1 vote each, for the 5th place. As only the top 5 lanterns from our office would be able to move on to the next round to compete against the other top 5 lanterns from our other office, the organisers eventually decided to cast their final crucial vote to us, the Minion Bunny! Count ourselves really lucky. I was quite discouraged by the employee voting and did not pin much hope on winning already if it wasn’t for the last sympathy vote that probably considered the extra effort we put in (for bringing our own additional materials) and the uniqueness (or silliness) of our design.
The next day, the competition was held at our other office branch where the other top 5 lanterns from their side were also selected. Finally putting together the final top 10 lanterns from both offices, our judging panel that made up of our own company directors would then pick the final top 5 winners based on the grading rubrics that included criteria like creativity, delivery of message, design skills etc. Very luckily, our Minion Bunny lantern narrowly managed to clinch the last winning spot yet again and won the 5th place! All thanks to the novelty of our minion design that kind of stood us out from the other lanterns, I guess.
And our prize? A $15 Foodpanda voucher to be shared among my team of 3 lol. Time to order food delivery to our office for lunch with my colleagues now! 😀
This morning, just a day before Mid-Autumn Festival tomorrow, I stepped into the office and was pleasantly greeted by the top 5 lanterns from our office being displayed near the entrance. I seized the opportunity to take a video showing a 360 degree look of our minion bunny lantern this time as I didn’t manage to capture how it looks like at the back with the rabbit tail in my photos earlier on. So here they are!
Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival and Happy Chuseok! <3