1. Why are you interested in drawing?
I wanted to become an artist at the age of 11. Since I was little I have always been drawing with my pencils and crayons on paper. Maybe it's because I don't have many childhood friends and toys to play with so I suppose drawing is a door for me to communicate with myself (sounds crazy huh? Maybe I should give myself a call later...).
Drawing makes me happy. I can express my quirky thoughts, my emotions and imagination on paper or the computer.
2. What is your personal favourite drawing style and art tool?
The weird and distorted style in Dark Series and the ink-stroked fashion drawing style are my current favorites. Tool wise, I like mechanical pencil and Japanese ink brush but I'm very flexible as it really depends on what I have on hand.
3. Show us the very oldest drawing in your collection and one good recent one.
~1998: That was the time when WALLPAPER brought back illustration to fashion. But thanks to Wallpaper lo. If not there won't be so many fashion illustrators now. They were such pioneers at that time. Then all other magazines started using illustrations so all the new illustrators started coming up.
My latest comic. "BLANC"
4. Which artists do you study and admire. And what can you learn from each?
I do not study a particular artist but I do have a few whom I admire. They are not solely illustrators, but their work spans from fashion to typography, and in different media. I guess it's the multitude of things they do that inspire me a lot, making me want to be like them – by simply letting one's imagination run wild and work without boundaries. Which is why I don't like to defined as an illustrator because it sounds restrictive to me. :P
a. Jaime Hayon
b. MM Paris
c. Madame Paris
e. Alberto Seveso
f. Mark Ryden
g. Richard Gray
h. Kazuo Umezu
i. Itō Junji
j. Gustav Klimt
k. Hussein Chalayan
l. Nagi Noda
5. What did you have to do to become a full-time illustrator?
a) Compile portfolio.
b) Send it to advertising agency/magazines, local or overseas
c) Do some follow up call or email after a week and, if possible, try to meet up and show more of my portfolio.
Actually i started with magazines first. So i approached a lot of magazines so I could keep exploring on my own and keep trying different styles, so that my portfolio will have more variety. Only after a year or 2, i then started to approach advertising agencies. i didn't intend to work full-time in illustration, just that, when the chances came, I took them. As simple as that. I didn't even have a scanner at the beginning and was using my friend's imac to do illos. How i sent my sketches to the client.. it was all taken by my lousy bulky camera, I then sent the fotos over. Was so not pro last time. All these things you will learn afterall lo...to be professional. We all came the long way man!
6. What were your early projects like compared to what you do now?
Not sure, but there's always room for improvement. Overall I'd say I have more freedom now in pursuing what I really want than following directions.
7. What should a budding illustrator practice/focus on to be ready for commissioned projects?
Develop more on your skills – be it hand-drawing, computer, communication skill or the right working attitude... it's about the whole package that sells you as an illustrator at the end of the day.
8. “Show and tell” your studio.
Nothing much to talk about my working space, it's just a table with a computer. I called it a working space instead of a studio because I sleep here as well!