In the Peranakan-styled art that he is now best known for, Desmond is totally self-taught, although a strong influence from Modigliani, Rousseau, de Lempicka and Art Deco is prevalent. He has won many national prizes – for playwriting, poetry and prose – but not (yet) for painting. He paints for the sheer pleasure of the colours… and for the sheer freedom offered by pristine canvases. While his day job has totally to do with words (he is a communications and branding consultant), his passion for painting totally takes up the other side of his brain in his free time. It is a passion that has grown for nearly two decades, and has yet to abate.