Interview: ilovebooks

Hi guys! As I write this, menacing clouds are gathering outside in anticipation of a heavy pour. It’s been raining almost every day here due to the monsoon season and I must say that it’s done nothing but make me sleepy when I should be working. >.<

Anyway, today we speak to ilovebooks–an ebook platform by MediaCorp Singapore that offers readers more options online to read their favourite books and more! Apparently they are on the lookout for writers who want to sell their books online so I’ve managed to secure a short interview with them to find out all about this newly opened platform and what it can offer Singaporean writers! =3

Enjoy!


Tell us all about ilovebooks.
ilovebooks.com is a digital initiative by MediaCorp, devoted to the love of the e-word. ilovebooks.com allows book lovers to buy e-books choice from any country in the world. From mystery to medicine, humour to horror, there is an e-book for every palate. With more than half a million e-books, ilovebooks.com is one of the leading e-bookstores in the region.

What inspired MediaCorp to start ilovebooks?
With digital publishing gaining traction around the world, ilovebooks.com aims to promote and grow the love of e-reading among its members. Besides an impressive library of books, it also makes it easier for book lovers to read by creating a MediaCorp e-reader app that allows e-reading, anywhere, anytime on a tablet or mobile device. Understanding the need for an e-book store that is skewed to the Asian market, ilovebooks.com also serves as a platform for international and local publishers to offer their e-books to Asia-based readers.

When did ilovebooks officially open its online doors?
ilovebooks.com started operations on 11 May 2012.

How has the public response to ilovebooks been so far?
We are very encouraged by the response we’ve received over the past 6 months. The support we have received locally has shown that ilovebooks has a definite place in the literary circle. Membership numbers are growing daily and we are seeing strong interest from book lovers from other parts of the world.

What type of books are most popular with your readers?
Popular genres include fiction, romance and young fiction. We are also proud that our readers are extremely supportive of Singapore authors and titles. We have seen positive responses to titles like “Return to a sexy island” by Neil Humphreys and “ Memoirs of a DJ” by our very own Vernetta Lopez. From time to time, we also run offers and special promotions on specific titles and these have been well received.

Do you host author/artist related events to promote your books? If so, tell us about them.
We take great pride in our efforts to collaborate with our authors in using digital media as an interactive communications channel. We’ve conducted several video interviews with authors such as Adeline Foo, Neil Humphreys, and Vernetta Lopez, which are posted on ilovebooks. In May, we’ve organised a Meet-the-Author session featuring local artiste Edmund Chen where we promoted his e-book Little Otters to the Rescue. In October, we hosted a live author ‘meet the fans’ online question and answer session with local author Daniel Wong, based on his book The Happy Student. For Singapore Writers Festival 2012, we are also working with authors to launch two books – Tabungan Alysha (Alysha Saves the Day), an interactive book app for the iPad; and Adeline’s new e-book The Diary of Amos Lee 4: Lights, Camera, Superstar!

What’s in it for writers/artists if they distribute their titles with ilovebooks?
As part of MediaCorp , ilovebooks offers authors the opportunity to market their titles across an entire range of platforms spanning television, radio, newspapers, magazines, movies, digital and out-of-home media. As Singapore’s first international book store, we are enabling titles to be sold to a growing worldwide audience.

Interview: Xiao Yan

There goes another week! Which means it’s time for yet another interview with an inspiring and AWESOME creator! =3

Today, we speak with Xiao Yan. To be frank, I only discovered her when Michelle from Epigram gave me a preview copy of her collaboration work with Dave Chua. It’s called “The Girl Under the Bed“, which is a supernatural tale set in Singapore during the Ghost Festival when all ghosts come out to play. Bwahaha. I love the story, and I love the illustration even more. Truly worth her salt, I gotta say! Hehe. Well, hope you enjoy the interview then!


Who is Xiao Yan?

I’m studying graphic design at the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM) in Nanyang Technological University (NTU), ’cause they don’t have a major for illustration here and I was interested in both animation and a bit of graphic design… And it’s like, illustration is applicable to both. But anyway it’s nice that they teach painting and figure drawing in my school; and they welcome anybody to take these courses so that’s good enough for me.

What does being a comics artist mean to you?

I can’t really answer that ‘cause I just started as one. Before this project I was just drawing my own stuff, some school posters which I had a lot of fun with, and a few commissions now and then. Sonny Liew happened to teach my comic book class last semester. I showed him some work one day and I asked, ‘Could you give me any pointers for self publishing?’ and he said, ‘D’you wanna draw for a comic?’

Turns out that Epigram Books was trying to push for a graphic novel initiative, with local artists and writers showcasing Singapore-based fiction, and Sonny asked if I wanted to be involved. So I said, ‘Okay.’

I guess, being a comic book artist just means pushing out your own (or others’) stories and hope people like them. Or not. Or they don’t know how to feel about them. Any of the three responses is fine by me.

What is your creative process like?

In this book? It’s my first time teaming up with an established writer, so I really didn’t know what to expect? Before this I had only worked on my own self-initiated stories and pet projects. Anyway, Dave provided the dialogue and storyline and trusted me to work out how everything translates across the panels. I also helped him out with fleshing out the characters and some aspects of the plot.

I’ll do thumbnail sketches first and then I’ll run through my storyboarding with a friend, and he’ll point out what could be improved, or what to put in to make the pages more interesting, or if there’s any plotholes or weird jumps between panels and he’ll suggest solutions to iron them out. I think it’s good to have an outside party reviewing the story… in that sense, he’s sort of an unofficial editor for the book. I feel it is important to work with someone who is able to critique the work constructively while being aware of and contributive to the creators’ artistic intentions.

What is it like working with a writer like Dave Chua on “The Girl Under the Bed”?

Dave is cool, he’s not tyrannical with what I’d do with his story, and he’s open-minded to my visual interpretation of how it plays out.

Of the works you’ve done so far, what is your favourite and why?

I don’t really have a favourite, I’m forever wishing there’s so many things I could improve on my drawings, the more I look at the amazing stuff other people could do. But then again, to each their own.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about being a comics artist?

I came across an interview with American comic book artist Becky Cloonan (who drew Demo, American Virgin) sometime ago, and she said this that really drove the point home:

“Comics are hard work. Comics are relentless. Comics will break your heart. Comics are monetarily unsatisfying. Comics don’t offer much in terms of fortune and glory, but comics will give you complete freedom to tell the stories you want in ways unlike any other medium.”

To most people a career in comics seem really bleak unless you made it out there, but it’s a special kind of creative freedom you can enjoy, and for a price…

How can a comics artist appeal to a publisher like Epigram Books?

I can’t really answer this personally for myself, since I was recommended by Sonny. But I think most importantly before approaching any publisher you gotta have a solid body of works to show.


Xiao Yan’s work can be found on her website at thirdtentacle.net. Do keep an eye out for this very talented artist! =3

Interview: Drewscape

Christmas is almost upon us! Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I think I’ve said it before but time really passes too quickly for my comfort. Anyways, today we chat with Andrew Tan…otherwise or perhaps more popularly known as Drewscape in the artist community. Andrew was formerly an advertising art director but he now makes his name doing commercial illustrations and storyboard visuals.  He will also be launching a graphic novel through Epigram, a whimsical yet dark anthology about monsters, miracles and mayonnaise. It’ll be retailing at $20.22 (after taxes) so don’t forget to support local talent by buying his book! Hehe.

Enjoy his words of wisdom, folks!


Tell us about yourself. What got you started in comics?

I’ve always liked to draw since young and I would draw my own comedy Star Wars comics  in my primary school exercise books (All lost now). I studied mass communication and got into the advertising industry where I became an art director. After 8 years, I quit to become a freelance illustrator. All the while, I’ve always had stories in my head that I wanted to express in the comic form. I liked the comic form because it was cheaper and quicker than producing a film. And I didn’t have to compromise so much if I was working alone on it. So I’d keep drawing my own comics in my free time. I did a series of short comic strips while I was in advertising called Blur King. It’s about a blur boy based more or less on me (I was very blur.) And then progressed to do comics with a more mature style as my skills improved. Presently, I’m still a freelance illustrator but I create comics as a fun hobby.

What is one thing that the public doesn’t know about Drewscape?

My nickname was “blur king” when I was in primary school. Whenever I move to a new class every year, I’d never tell my new classmates what I was called. But I would always end up being called “blur king” eventually. I was a pretty good daydreamer. I’d like to think I still am.

Monsters, Miracles & Mayonnaise

How will you describe your art style?

It’s a mix and match of all the artists that I like. Like most kids, I grew up with spiderman and transformer comics. Then I was exposed to manga(Appleseed) which I really thought was fresh and exciting. I started watching Robotech when I was in secondary school and kept trying to perfect my manga style. Later on, when I started working, I was attracted to art books by Aya Takano, Amano, James Jean and Ashley Wood to name a few. I’d study these and try to figure out how they achieved their respective looks. If they used a certain pen, I’d find that pen and try it out. If they drew a nose in a certain way, I’d try it out too. More recently, I became more aware of french/European comics because they offered a very fresh look that was different from both American and Japanese comics (eg. Comics by Brecht Evens, Bastien Vives, Christian Cailleaux). So I began learning from those comics too. I’d try out their styles or techniques but I’d never copy their character designs. I’d always draw my own characters but in their styles. That was my way of improving and not end up drawing exactly like them. That’s how my style evolved. Most of these styles are very different from each other. But because I studied all of them and I like all of them, I find myself switching styles often.

What is your secret to getting published as a comics artist?

I’d say that my “secret” is not to focus on getting published. Focusing on that would just make me too self conscious to produce anything spontaneous and fun. I just focus on writing and creating good comics for my own entertainment and to show my friends. As I create each comic, I learn and get better at storytelling and drawing. And I think, like me, when you have a body of work that you can show in your website or blog, and the content is readable and has a good standard, publishers will ask to publish your work. But I feel the goal shouldn’t be a getting your own book published. It should be able just enjoying the art of creating comics and getting better at it.

Who is/was your biggest inspiration and why?

Because comics are a combination of art and story, I’ll give two.

Art-wise I’d have to say Ashley Wood because I found it hard to figure out his drawing techniques. I took a few years to figure out how he added and coloured those nice grungy grains in his drawings, what pens he used, how he managed to change a line colour in unusual ways. It wasn’t as straightforward like watercolour drawings. Just by trying to figure his techniques by trial and error, I learned a lot about mixing digital and natural media in an illustration.

Story-wise, I could say Haruki Murakami. I like his blend of reality mixed with strangeness.

What do you think makes you different from the other comic artists/illustrators?

The same thing that makes us all different from each other- My preference for certain art styles , my personality, my lifestyle, and my personal experiences growing up.


Want to know more about Andrew and his work? Then don’t forget to visit his blog at drewscape.blogspot.com or drewscape.net! =)

Interview: Shawn Siow

Hi guys! It’s time for yet another Awesome People interview. Today, I chat with Shawn Siow, a local artist whose comic representation of himself reminds me nostalgically of the Mr Kiasu comics back in the good old days. XD

Shawn is the veteran of many a comics-related events like seminars, workshops and courses, lending his knowledge and experience accumulated from his long years of providing graphical services and solutions. He is also one of the creative minds behind Project Red, a comics series about a government-cultivated group of superheroes. =)


What is Shawn Siow like in real life?

The real life Shawn Siow is really not that much different than an average “boy” next door, stealing a glance to the pretty lady passing by, and gossiping with friends when time allows.

How did you discover that you were meant to be a comics artist?

It is a story of clichés, the young kid likes drawing, met a bunch of other young kids who likes drawing, continues his passion while other young kids gave up drawing, and the young kid becomes who he is today, which is not much difference, still drawing.

But there is one fundamental difference in the question; I never felt that I was meant to be a comic artist. To me, it is a matter of want, and the desire to be a comic artist. Everyone can draw, and many tell better stories than I can, but yet I have seen lots giving up pursuing their dreams due to numerous reasons. But if your desire is strong enough, none of these reasons should be good enough to stop you.

What factors do you think are essential to being a successful comics artist?

You’ll need a certain appeal in your art style, good story telling, a whole lot of exposure, and most importantly, perseverance. Being a comic artist can be a very tough job, especially locally. As we do not yet have an industry, means that there are many things you have to do it yourself. Comics production is a team’s effort, but locally you may have to produce the whole book by yourself, to work while you draw until the title kicks off, doing your own marketing, or even everything mentioned above. Without perseverance, this will be the biggest hurdle to overcome.

Who do you think are your biggest supporters and why?

My supporters are pretty spread out. Independent artist really supports each other locally, because they understand how difficult it is, and how much effort is needed to continue pursuing their work of interest. And through my experience, foreigners seem to be more open and willing to try my work of creation. They respect the effort you’ve given and feel that artist is worthy of the support. And not to mention there’s a bunch of local readers who always support local production hoping to see us having our own industry in the future.

In your opinion, what do you think is lacking in today’s young artists?

The passion and perseverance, Singaporean lifestyle can be pretty hectic and fast paced. After a day of hard work, many would prefer to conduct leisure activities rather than doing something that will drain their mental away. They would give themselves reasons why they couldn’t begin, continue to procrastinate and wait for opportunities to knock on their doors, or giving up after one single failure. But if you are really passionate about it, these are not reasons at all to stop you from trying, and when you endure, there will be results, no matter how minuscule it is. So stop procrastinating and start acting, and persevere.


Shawn’s work can be found on his website at http://www.drawslowly.com. Or you can be his fan at Facebook.com/DrawSlowly. One can never have too few fans! XD

Interview: Rhys Leong

Hi guys! Today’s post is a little late, but I bring you Rhys Leong who is the creative mind behind White Chans–two books about white rats who have a unique outlook on life and Singapore. =D

Hope you’ll enjoy his words of wisdom!


If you had to advertise yourself on a poster, what will you write on it?

Creator of White-chans the three white Singapore mice

Why and how did you get started in comics?

I’ve been drawing comics since I joined the LianHe Zaobao’s Comics Fastfood team as one of the student comic strip artist. Reading and drawing comics has always been my passion since young, evident from all the doodles all over my textbooks!

How will you describe your personal artistic style?

I graduated from Engineering and don’t really have an Arts background, so I won’t say I draw very well. So I know my limits, that I can’t draw DC or Marvel kind of comics, but at the same time, I do know how to make people enjoy laughing at my simple single panel or four-panel comic strips.

Where do you get your ideas from?

While my comics may be simple to draw, like the White-chans, how difficult can it be to draw three white mice? But it is not easy to come up with ideas that can actually make people laugh. In a Batman comics book, you can draw a few pages just of Batman jumping from one building to another then punching some bad guys. But in my White-chans comic strips, I have to make my readers laugh within four panels. I guess being observant helps a lot. And also letting my mind run wild all the time.

What is your most successful marketing strategy that got people to pay attention to your work?

Same as the U.S. Presidential Election. Social Media. I just promote like hell on my blogs, on the White-chans Facebook page, and on Twitter. And then cross all my fingers.

How should an amateur artist go about gaining exposure for his/her work?

I’m still new in launching an ebook, with only two launched to date. So I’m not sure I’m the best person to advise on this. But I guess drawing more and posting more on the blogs help!

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White-Chan Living in Singapore is currently on sale at Kobo, an e-book platform. You can also visit Rhys’ blog to catch up on the latest news! 

Interview: Travis Low

Hiya guys! Were you good during my absence? Well, I was away in Taiwan for a trip and boy, was it fun! In one of my adventures, I actually stumbled into a shop that sold yaoi and hentai manga. And porn. =x

In fact, other than the shopkeepers, I was the only female around. Haha. Okie, anyways…today our awesome guest is Travis Low, the dude behind Funics. I’m sure our local comics artist will know him very well. In fact, he is the one organising the Comics Star Awards. =)

So let’s read on to see what kind of advice he has for you aspiring comic artists then!


Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get into comics in the first place?

I start to read and doodle comic since young. When I was 14, I start trying to send my comic to the Chinese newspaper, Lianhe Zaobao and the takes about a year for my first comic to appear in the newspaper (and it takes another year for the second comic to get published in newspaper.)

At the age of 16, I joined 联合学生通讯员 Lianhe Xuesheng student correspondents and switched to their Student comic club, Comix Fastfood漫画快餐 later. During the days in Comix Fastfood, I get to know many local comic artists and started to get involve in producing comics with a themes for newspaper too. I’ve also become Zaobao’s comic columnist in the later part. I was in Comix Fastfood for 14 years before I left the club officially.

Why did you choose to expand into China?

China has a big market with more opportunities and lower cost. Most importantly, it is a young and upcoming market. In contrast, cost in Singapore is very high, and the market size is smaller and diverse. If I continue to stay in Singapore, I’ll see myself earning a living as a comic course operator and providing illustrations and comics services for commercials, while doing comic in an “interest” basis, but that is not what I want. I wanted to produce original comics and learn the professional ways to market it.

You have done so many things from being the Founding Chairman of Nanyang Academy of Arts to organising events like the ComixJam 24 hours Comic Competition in 2005. What inspired you to take such an active role in promoting comics and art?

We have not yet establish a comic industry, there are so many things we can do. I hope to see that one day we’ll have a comic industry in Singapore, local creators can go into professional field make a living out of it and local talents & creations are able to stand side by side with comics and creators of any other countries. So whenever there is an opportunity, I’ll try my best to do something that I feel it’ll do good to our local comics scene.

Last year, I started the Association of Comics & Creative Industry Exchange, Singapore whose main aim is to establish a network of local comics and creative talents and to help promote and showcase their works and talent locally and globally. I am more familiar with the great China market, so there is a part I can play in bringing good local comics to other markets. For example, I’ve got a local comic《朝九晚五》by 无语 to get published in a China comic magazine 《幽默大师》 starting from this January. And I’ve also imported the Comics Star Awards星漫奖 to Singapore. Comics Star Awards is organised by Tencent, one of the largest web portal in China. They have a structured platform and scheme to groom wannabe into a professional and they are willing to give Singapore creator the equal opportunity. So I help them to bring it here.

In your POV, how should a writer or comics artist market themselves in order to be successful?

The best way is still to make your creation speaks for you. In my POV, when someone needs to market himself, he is providing a service. If you have a product(creation), you market your product. For creator, you will success when your creations are well received by the market.

What is the best advice someone has given you as a comics creator?

The best advice I had is from Mr Terence Choi, founder of Malaysia Gempak Starz. “做好的漫畫,只有不斷地畫畫畫畫畫畫…….作品不斷問巿.成績一定會出來的。一年基本要3至4本作品問巿,才可能集人氣、集讀者群。” The only way to produce good comic is to keep creating and get them published. One need to publish at least 3 to 4 books in order to get yourself known and build your readership base. This is fundamental, we know it but not many of us are practicing it.

The 1st Singapore comic character that made it into MMS and mobile comic in China

Most of us wanted to be a professional comic artist, but don’t draw that much because they treat it as a hobby. Some are productive but they have problems getting their work published. Some published their work, but when the sales is no that good, they stop drawing. So I think if you are serious in becoming a professional, Terence advice will be useful.

Is there anyone (writer or comics creator) that you think I should interview? =)

I’d like to recommend the secretary of our association, Rhys Leong, to you. She was once a comic columnist but stop drawing for many years. Recently she started to pick up drawing and created 100 comic strips in 3 months time and published it to ebook, available for android, kindle and IOS. I think she is one of the pioneer in local comic scene who create specially for e-platform. P/S: and to create and produce 100 comic strips after work is not easy, but not impossible.

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Travis Low (Comic Creator) is the multi-talented comics artist who has achieved many a title under his belt. He’s the:

  • Managing Director of Funics (Singapore) Pte. Ltd and Funics Creative (China) Co. Ltd
  • Founding Chairman of NanYang Academy of Fine Arts, Character Design Club
  • Adviser of Taiwan Comic & Animation Culture and Creative Industry of International Development Exchange Association
  • Mentor for Noise Singapore, Apprenticeship Programme 2007
  • Organiser of Character Design Carnival 2005 and ComixJam 24Hrs Comic Competition 2005 & 2007

Impressive, right? Heh.

Interview: Mukul Deva

Hiya! What have you been up to lately, guys? Me? I’ve been writing postcards. Postcards, you ask? Yes, postcards to all over the world. If you’ll look to the right sidebar, there is a banner to the Postcrossing website. The idea is simple. You’ll get 5 different addresses to snail-mail your postcards to and for every postcard received, you’ll receive one of your own! The addresses can be as far-flung as Iceland or even as near as your own home country if you so choose. What an interesting idea, right? I personally love writing postcards as it allows me to practise squeezing whole paragraphs of what makes Singapore interesting into the small space that the postcard affords. LOL. After a while, you’ll start to realise that there ARE fun things about your country to wax lyrical about. =)

And the replies you get from the people you sent postcards are fun too coz they’ll also share a little of their lives on the other side of the world. XD

The “Liselle” postcards I bought from Lisa Lee seem to be pretty well-received by my Postcrossing recipients~! Hehe…maybe I should start creating my own Rainy Skies postcards myself. XD

Okie, on to today’s awesome guest: Mukul Deva! I first saw him at a APSS meeting in 2011, and I really wanted to chat him up. Unfortunately my natural shyness took over and I didn’t manage to get to know him. As fate would have it, however, Karen Leong not only chatted him up…she also eventually formed a partnership with him! It’s like such a lucky break for me. @_@

Anyways, Karen introduced me to him and we hit it off immediately. You wouldn’t guess it from his authoritarian air, but he is really a witty man of vast knowledge. His no-nonsense stance comes from years of being in the Indian military, which naturally provided the fuel for his bestselling military action books like  “Salim must Die” and “Tanzeem”. Impressive, huh? But then again, I usually interview impressive people. HEHEHE. Alright, enough of my random musings and on to words of wisdom from this man!


Tell us something about yourself that doesn’t appear in your public profile.

Are you sure you have the space…:) because there is a lot. It doesn’t say that I quit school pretty early in life – on realizing that education (not learning) and me were mutually exclusive commodities. It doesn’t say that I’m a die-hard romantic. And lots more juicer stuff which I’m keeping for one of those barely concealed biographies…:)

You are able to write and publish 10 books over the course of your writing career on top of establishing a security company & establishing yourself as a trainer/mentor/coach, how do you manage to find all the time, energy and inspiration to do all these?

It’s pretty simple actually.

Time – doesn’t need to be found. It’s right there – in touching reach – all rhe time. we have to learn to respect it and manage it wisely. Energy is inherent when you find that which inspires you. So all I would say is that we need to dream a dream and have the passion to live it. Everything else happens pretty much on its own.

Would you say that it’s important to live first before writing? Will reading widely suffice as well?

Not really. There are no set rules for any creative process – which is what writing is. Each of us has a unique perspective – we simply need the courage and discipline to share it with others

Where do you get the material for your books?

I guess I have a rather fertile mind – and ‘naughty’ too – which really helps since I write lots of thrillers..:) And of course I am a keen observer – of life and people.

How do you get readers to pay attention to you out of so many other writers of your genre in the world?

I guess I tell my stories well…:)

How will you advise a writer who has been writing for a long time but has yet to find any commercial success?

Keep writing…:) Practice DOES make perfect. And understand that writing is as much a science as an art – there is a process – by following which we enhance quality, quantity and speed. Learn to separate the WHAT and the HOW – that will make your job easier and the book more interesting

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Mukul will be making his appearance at the Singapore Writers Festival 2012 in the following events:

  • Multi-Hyphenate Writing Talents | 4 November 2012 | 10:00 am – 11:00 am
  • How to Write a Best-selling Novel and Screenplay By Mukul Deva | 9 November 2012 | 9:30 am – 10:30 am
  • Plenary Session with Mukul Deva, Lynette Owen and Malcolm Neil | 9 November 2012 | 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm

moon

Interview: Cheeming Boey

Good day, everyone. How quickly time has passed! Will you believe that it’s nearly the end of October already?! It’s like I’ve barely gotten used to September before October decides to roll around and give me a shock. =.=

Well, I’ve been busy with my freelance writing but no worries, today I am still going to do my best to entertain you with my awesome people series. =D Today’s guest will be, as previously mentioned, Cheeming Boey~!

Commonly known as Boey, this very talented Malaysian artist has a dry sense of humour that reflects brilliantly in everything he does. From his styrofoam art  for which he is best known for to his book of cartoons “When I was a Kid”.  In fact if you visit his Facebook page, you’ll find this rather droll description of himself:

boey is a malaysian animator/artist/author best known for his art on foam cups. he wears V-necks and he is also handsome (subjective)

Cute, right? And yes, Boey. I’m sure you have plenty of female admirers, no need to be so modest! LOL. Ok, enough talk. On to the interview!


In your opinion, what will set an artist apart from the rest of his peers?

Marketing. if u market yourself well, even stick figures can be YOUR style.

I would say, “think different”, but then it would be exactly what apple said, and I may get sued.

You first started out studying Advertising in university, what made you switch to computer animation instead?

Understanding that it wasn’t just a one man job. I thought when I watched Beauty and the Beast, that one guy did it all. The amount of work he did, turned me off.

You were the lead animator and game designer for Blizzard Entertainment where you worked on games like World of Warcraft and Diablo II, how is it different from creating cartoons?

Completely different. One takes forever to tell a story, the other, in a few hours. I prefer cartooning and I also work for myself. No more corporate ladders to climb. Sweet.

Your cartoon style seems to be vastly different from your other work like the styrofoam art, why the difference?

Because I can. because if I had a style, it would limit my audience who loves other styles of art. Art as a career is hard enough. Why limit your audience.

What inspires you the most in your artwork?

Daily life. The chance that i may draw something much better every time I start on a new piece, inspires me.

Knowing what you do now, how will you encourage or advise your younger and inexperienced self as an artist?

Failing math isn’t the end of the world. Quit crying, and go get some exercise you fat ass.

Ya. Exactly that.
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Love Boey’s sense of humour? Then proceed to his website at iamboey.com for a heavier dosage of humour and witty observations of life. And if you still can’t get enough of him, buy his book ‘When I was a kid” here. Oh, and he’s holding an open call for girlfriends. XD

Interview: Lisa Lee (Fashion Artist)

Hi guys! Today’s awesome guest is going to be Lisa Lee, the fashion artist behind fashion icon “LIselle“. I met her at the STGCC where I bought a few lovely postcards from her. I’ve interviewed all manner of comic artists and writers but this is the first time I’ve met a fashion artist. XD

You can tell that she has quite the entrepreneur streak in her by the way she has successfully marketed her designs through fashion platforms like merchandising and licensing. So read on if you want to attain commercial success for your own art too! ^_^

Tell us about your journey as a fashion artist. How did you evolve from being an artist to a savvy entrepreneur?

It was back then Lisa Lee3 years ago, after my completion of my studies in UK, I started to venture back to M’sia to start up my fashion brand career, Liselle. Liselle is a feminine fashion character I depicted while I was studying in UK. From the surrounding and sentimental atmosphere in UK, I depicted Liselle and her lifestyle around her. During my exposure of Liselle, it started to caught attention from my professors and also others collaboration partners in UK.

And slowly these has led me to more opportunities of career development of Liselle and eventually turning her into a substantial fashion art brand. Through the process of developing and managing Liselle, I began to being exposed to many industrial professionals that has been there to guide and also influence in a way of how I should carry a great work with me. There I met a lot of different professionals, and involving with projects and events that has eventually engaged me to learn how the real industry is all about.

Why did you decide to become a fashion artist?

I decide to become a fashion artist because ever since young, my mom has put me on to many beautiful clothes, and I was always being curious how I can actually express my thoughts and feeling deep inside me of a clothing or dress. So I guess these nature of being a fashion artist eventually began a root to me.

ImageWhere did you get your inspiration for Liselle from?

I depicted Liselle when I was in UK, therefore, it can be observe my inspiration truly derive from the atmosphere and surrounding that has been influencing my artwork of Liselle.The coming years, I will travel to Vienna and Paris to continue my second series as again, a great atmosphere is good for originality.

What made you decide to brand Liselle as a viable marketing tool?

I still remember how my professor used to tell me “What do you want to do with that beautiful artwork of yours,..think again.”There’s when I realized, to express a good artwork needed more than just plain depicting it. There’s a long journey I see in front. Today, Liselle artwork is for licensing business, Liselle is a platform for fashion event and show and also for merchandising product application.

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What are some challenges that you met while developing Liselle?

People. In Malaysia, it’s always a challenge when you start to do something people never really tried. But my greatest challenge is how I continuously believe and influence people around me that a fashion artist can be more than that if you believe in what you are creating. From a fashion artist to organizing, managing, event planning and communication,-it’s all a package if you want to do something real to you. And now, I have established my own company “Lisa Lee Creative” as a creative platform for me and Liselle.Lisa Lee Creative is a design company for me to run my design and creative business to corporate clients, manage and developing Liselle as my in house brand and also providing fashion workshops.

What are some of the most memorable moments you’ve experienced on your journey as a fashion artist?

Being really daring to challenge myself to make an event or idea come true. Many people might think I have experience in business or experiencing in managing an event as often you see me out there. But honestly and truthfully, everything is a first time. Initially, I do hesitate and scared deep down but I know if I don’t try, there’s no opportunity at all. There’s when I believe we do not need to do something with experience. Just do it if you want to, but you got to believe and find solutions. There’s where my tagline of Liselle came about –“Dare to Dream, Dare to Shine”.

What is the one golden advice that artists should remember if they want to establish themselves as professionals or make a career out of their art?

“Dare to Dream, Dare to Shine”

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You can visit Lisa’s work at her office and showroom at: 

B-3-18, BBT One, Lebuh Batu Nilam 2, Bandar Bukit Tinggi, 41200, Klang, Malaysia.

Website: http://www.liselle.com.my

Enquiries: enquiries@liselle.com.my | liselle_lww@yahoo.com

Interview: Dave Chua

Yoyo! How’s your day today? Hope it’s been a fabulous one so far. =) To my American readers (if any), I know yesterday was the anniversary of the 911 tragedy. I know nothing I say will negate the pain and suffering of the ones who went through that awful episode but I have only the best wishes for you guys. Be safe, always.

Okies, today’s awesome guest is going to be Dave Chua! Born in Malaysia, he is the author of Gone Case that also happens to be a graphic novel adaptation collaboration with Koh Hong Teng. Gone Case also won him a Singapore Literature Prize (Commendation), which is like…super awesome if you ask me. His literary works include The Beating and Other Stories, The Divers, and Father’s Gift, which made him the joint winner of the SPH-NAC Golden Point Award for the short story category in 1995.

If you love Dave’s work, then you should go stalk him at the Singapore Writers’ Festival 2012. He, like Jason Erik Lundberg, will appear at a couple of events there. Just don’t be…like…creepy or anything. =x


Tell us about one memorable event that has been most fulfilling for you as a writer.

I would have to say when Koh Hong Teng approached me to do a graphic novel adaptation of Gone Case. It helped to inspire me to take fiction writing seriously again.

You’re a freelance writer who has worked with publications and productions, what made you decide to take a foray into fiction?

I took part in the Golden Point Short Story contest in 1995 and took first prize, which encouraged me to join the Singapore Literature Prize later on.

How has your experience in various media such as sitcoms, films and children’s shows helped you in writing fiction?

I would say that I didn’t have that great an experience writing for television here, where production companies make changes and cuts as they wish. For writing you control the storyline and can do what you want on the page, which is great.

“Gone Case” was adapted into a graphic novel. Why did you decide to collaborate with Koh Hong Teng and what was the process like? 
Hong Teng approached me about adapting the graphic novel, with the key word being adaptation. As he was adapting the story to a visual form, I wanted to give him more freedom, and as long as he kept the framework and the aims of the story, I was fine with it.

You’ve done many things and been to many places, what is the one piece of advice you wished someone had given you when you were still an inexperienced writer?

Read. You can’t be a musician without listening to music, and you can’t be a writer without reading.

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Dave will make his appearance at the following Singapore Writers Festival 2012 events so if you love his work, don’t forget to get your tix!

  • The City as a Character | 3 November 2012 | 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
  • The Malaysian in Singaporean Literature | 3 November 2012 | 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

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