"I began to think seriously about my own design work. I started to design new items by using various types of waste or scrap wood, paper, glass, cans, and coconut shell."
"Hi, I'm Somyot Sawasdee from Bangkok and when I was a child I liked to draw and make my own toys, so I decided to study drawing, sculpture and printing at university.
"I did not work in the area that I had studied after I graduated, though I did work in design and advertising and it was an interesting experience. I earned a good income but after 10 years, I felt I needed to seriously start doing things I loved and so I decided to quit my job.
"I started doing my own paintings. My style is Thai contemporary art, whereby I mix different techniques together. I had to learn more about batik work.
"In my free time I began to create sculptures. Most of them are made from waste materials which I always thought it would be more useful to recycle rather than throwing it away. I have experience in sculpting, so I got the idea to invent robots from waste materials. I enjoyed sculpting them a lot. I also created some home décor.
"Once I entered a contest organized by the Environment Department and I won the 1st and 3rd prizes. That encouraged and inspired me to participate in another contest the following year. Again, I won first place.
"I began to think seriously about my own design work. I started to design new items by using various types of waste or scrap wood, paper, glass, cans, and coconut shell. Many people got interested in my products – I made some sculptures with recycled paper as the main material.
"I was faced with many challenges, such as being too light or not strong enough. I tried to find a solution step by step. I tried to add some cement and glue to make them heavier and finally I found the best ingredients to create sturdier pieces.
"For larger sculptures I needed to build a structure with wood, scrap wire or cans and even leftover coconut shells. Then I covered them with the mixed materials I prepared, left them to dry out in the sun, and then I paint or decorate them.
"The most important aspect of my products is that I make them with recycled materials. They are lightweight, durable, and cost-effective due to the materials, they are environmentally friendly, and I'm reducing waste.
"Nowadays people are paying attention to preserving the environment. When they see my work they love it a lot. This inspired me to share my knowledge, so I opened a small studio to train people who are really interested in learning about recycling materials and transforming them into sculptures.
"Many people have begun to see the value of waste and recycling it into different products and so earn an income. My plan is to develop my project further. I want to make furniture and jewelry too. I hope you will support and follow my work, thank you."