Monday, May 18, 2015

Perception of Comics in US, Japan and Singapore

Perception of Comics in US, Japan and Singapore cultural difference webcomics manga
When I tell people I draw comics in Singapore, they often think it is for kids and say they want to buy my book for their kid or friend's kids. My speaking slot at a local book festival was also assigned to a day where they focus on authors and artists who write and draw children's books so parents can bring their kids on that day and see which books to buy. Although of course, I don't mind kids reading my book, I hate it when people classify comics as for kids only. I hope with my comic strips about different cultures and yoga, adults will also fall in love with reading comics and understand that comics are not just for kids and teenagers only, it's for everyone.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Breaking the myth that artists do not have to eat!

Contrary to what one might believe, we artists like anybody else, need to eat and drink to survive (FYI, water in Singapore is pretty expensive too). So I post commissioned comics on my FB from time to time but sometimes readers just can't tell that they are commissioned work (i.e. we work with what clients want). If you come to think of it, it's not possible to survive by posting 100% free webcomics all the time right?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Wedding gift packet rate in Japan and Singapore

This comic was inspired by a Japanese acquaintance who told me that she mistakenly gave SG$300 to her colleague's wedding without knowing that she could just give $80-100 instead. So yup, do find out from local friends if you ever invited to attend a local wedding! And if you are invited to a wedding in Japan, you can check out my guide here!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thoughts after my talk at ITE Central

I met this young student at ITE Central during my presentation with Wacom this morning. He was very enthusiastically taking photos before my talk so I thought he was the student photographer. Later on, he even volunteered to be drawn into a comic character for my live 15mins demo (seen above).

After my presentation, he asked very politely if I have time to talk. Seeing that he was holding a few notebooks in hand, I figured that he must be an aspiring comic artist and wanted to ask me some questions on how to draw or how to make it in the "industry" (it's in quotes because I don't think we have a substantial local comic industry to talk about). So we chatted a while and he showed me his comics that he did some time ago as well as some recent work too. I could see a huge improvement but he credited that to a manga-drawing course that he was attending. His passion reminded me of the time when I was just a student who did not care whether or not my drawings could earn money and just draw lots of them because I loved drawing (I think many artists started like that, with pure passion and love to draw).

In the end, I had to go, but he did not have questions for me like the other aspiring young artists, instead, he told me NOT TO GIVE UP, KEEP SMILING and KEEP DRAWING. I think it was because I revealed during my presentation that I gave up drawing comics for 10 years because I saw how great my classmates could draw. It was an unexpected parting dialogue and I was very moved that we have young students like him who are very passionate and encouraging. I have been drawing webcomics for the 8th year and witnessed many fellow artists come and go. Drawing comics as a hobby or as a career are very different. As a professional webcomic artist, you need to post updates at a fixed schedule, be it rain or shine, healthy or sick, without getting paid at all. We uploaded our work because we love to draw, wanted to gain some fans and hope to be discovered by a publisher. But 100% of the time, it did not happen. There was also no Patreon at that time to allow loyal fans to support us. Many times, artists have to juggle with daytime, part-time or freelancing jobs to earn a living while updating webcomics. Unfortunately, this marathon race is not for everyone and many had to give up updating new comics and move on to focus other more important things in their lives. So I am one of the few who managed to get this far with a lot of effort and time put in, it is not easy, so please be supportive to the few local webcomic artists we have right now.

Special thanks to all fans who had supported me by buying my book, merchandise (even $1 bookmark is good), commissioned me for artwork, and of course my supporters at Patreon ;)

Monday, May 4, 2015

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