Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New Studio

This past weekend, I've done nothing but manual labor. I've moved to another apartment and it has caused 2 days of work purely on my own bedroom. Luckily, I have two friends coming over to help pack the house and right now I'm left with 40% more to go.

So here's a look at my new "studio" which I am EXTREMELY Happy. I've ditched lots of unwanted stuff and packed whatever I need. In these two years, I've accumulated lots of unnecessary stuff: stationary from friends who left school, food that my mum insist on mailing me, tonnes of sketchbooks filled with lousy drawings, crazy stacks of paper with my sketches that doesn't make any sense, etc.

I'm glad I took the opportunity to move to a new place. Its like starting afresh and I've decorated my walls with some of my own artworks and those that I've been inspired. Now that I'm slightly settled in, its time to WORK!!!

I've significantly increased my desktop space with just two fold-able tables. They are extremely heavy but durable. My idea of the room is to be as "Minimalism" as possible.

Another view of my working desk.

My Okami wardrobe! They are packed to the inch. Unlike my girlfriend, I don't have a wide range of clothing so packing the wardrobe was really easy. If I'm given a choice, I'll choose my idol, Steve Job's simple wardrobe style in the future: Just black/white long sleeve shirts.

The other end of my room is simply my floor bed, wooden cabinet and drafting table. I couldn't take a better angle of the entire room but you can tell that I have a lot of room space. (^__^)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Alicia in Lalaland Sketches

Hey guys! Have been really busy for the entire week! (Actually every week (-__-) Wish I have more personal time to work on my own project~) Got some breathing time today and took the opportunity to jump straight into the making of Alicia. There's a possibility that I might be at Baltimore Comic Con! Crossing my fingers. Will keep my updates more frequent!

pages 1 & 2

pages 3 & 4

pages 5 & 6

pages 7 & 8

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Alicia in Lalaland

Hu Ha! BUSY X 100000. I've been working on an NDA project with Mircosoft Studios and haven't had the time to draw any comics. So today I manage to grab some time to work on the travel comic that I had intended to do. Its about my experience and trip to comic con in both an artist and fan's perspective. There are a lot of things I want to cover in this travel comic. Hopefully it'll give a fruitful experience to those who couldn't go and encourage them to. Here's the cover!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Post SDCC 2012

Hey everyone! I just came back from San Diego Comic Con 2012 last week and has been tied up at work! Sorry for not posting any update as my workload has been piling (significantly) up to the point where I had to stay in the hotel during one of the Comic Con days to work. I am so fired up to work from my SDCC trip and the experience is just overwhelming! This trip has been extremely fruitful and radically different from what I've heard by artists/friends: The fact that SDCC has become a convention for movies and film. (which I think isn't totally true)

First off, I met a few great people one of them being Jason Caffoe, (who remembers me!) a SCAD Alumni and current lead production artist for Kazu Kibuishi which some of you might know is my idol that I've been a fan of since a decade ago. (Yes, right where he started his first comic strip "Copper") Unfortunately, Kazu was sick and couldn't make it to the con. Jason was too kind and gave me a portfolio review. Seeing how much a true geek fan I am, he gave me an uncorrected proof copy of AMULET 5!!! IT LOOKS REALLY GOOD and since I'd already ordered my copy via Amazon, I can't wait to see the actual colored version! You can pre-order Amulet HERE. Highly recommended! I've posted reviews of Book 4 before HERE which also includes an interview of Kazu talking about story.

 Jason Caffoe and me with the Amulet 5 proof copy! SWEET!

I also met Tom Richmond who is a MAD Magazine artist and got a sketch from him! He came to SCAD this year and I've gotten the opportunity to talk to him. So meeting him again was fun!

Tom Richmond  drawing me a sketch. I requested for a cupid drawing.

I also went over to Sean Galloway's booth (better known as CHEEKS) to show my geekness! He too gave me a portfolio review full of encouraging words. I bought 2 prints for him which comes along with a FREE TOY! MUAHAHAHA

Me and Sean Galloway. He is HUGEEEEeee

A lot of SCAD students/alumni was at San Diego too and we hung out for a beer session. It was really fun meeting all the gang and I had lots of great convention tips from great friend Phillip Sevy who taught me about what to do during the conventions. Check out his work! I also met a few Alumni whose works just blew me away.

 The Sequential Art Department Gathering at SDCC.

There were also lots of panels at SDCC but the unfortunate thing is that you have to que up for almost an hour to get into them. But its well worth the wait because some of the panels had really good content.

The Blizzard Panel which was mainly about products with no trailers.

I wasn't prepared for any portfolio review but I had my iPad with me and decided to join in the fun. As usual, I had different kind of responses towards my work ranging from extreme positive to negative. I'm glad I went for the reviews which gave me an opportunity to talk to Oni Press that might lead to possible follow-ups. Crossing my fingers and toes~~~~ 

There was a guy in cos-play that came for portfolio review and 
reacted like a madman to each of the editor's comment. 

And finally, tonnes of free swag from shirts to posters to comics and bags~!!! Some of the stuff require queuing and trying out games while others were up to grab. 

My SDCC treasures~!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

CFSL.NET Artbook 06 by Café Salé

Publisher: CFSL Ink Publishing, Edition: 1st (May 10, 2012)
Format: Softcover (304 pages)
Collection: Café Salé
Language: English, French
ISBN-10: 2359470302
ISBN-13: 978-2359470307Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.5 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
Price: $30 (EURO) ($28.50 EURO on Amazon.fr)

CFSL.Net is an online french community website that has its own forum, gallery, online shop space showcasing (you guess) french artists. For a number of years, they have been publishing this series called CFSL.NET Artbook and Book 6 just came out in March 2012. It took me around 3 months to hunt down a second hand version which costs only $19 USD. Specifically for book 6, there are 3 main sections of the book namely 1) Environments, 2) Character Design and 3) Misc (which includes things like vehicle concepts, robots, etc.)

The book is thick and huge containing I guess more than 500+++ images. There isn't a whole lot of text going on in the book and the only place you would find them is at the preface, initial spread page of every section in both French and English. The images of the artwork contains the artist's name, the title of the work and the year it is created. There is a great section at the end of the book with an index that features the various website of the artists mentioned in the book which is a really neat feature that allows you to track your favorite artist down. 

I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 score.

  • Lots of artwork in from Environments to Character Design and Vehicles.
  • The feature works are fairly recent created mostly in 2011
  • The huge amount of varying art styles from cartoony, realistic to futuristic designs.
  • The Character Design sections include animals not just human characters
  • Some artworks are really small with some pages having as much as 4 illustrations.
  • Wish they would add more of the misc artwork which includes vehicles and robots.
Amazon.com |  Amazon.co.uk Amazon.fr | CFSL Ink

Saturday, July 7, 2012


For the past few weeks I've been working on this indefinitely. This is the first time I feel so nervous when creating comics because it has to be professional and I'll need to send this to my editor. I've heard my peers talking about sending their comic pages to editors and have seen them stressing out while working on those scripts. I never understand why they stressed out because 1) they are a bunch of freaking amazing artist 2) they draw so fast that meeting deadlines shouldn't be an issue.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Are we really driven by money, power and fame?

As I crossed out the amount of tasks I have to do in the upcoming weeks, I can't help but ask myself the very same questions that I've been asking my whole life.


For many of you who have been reading this blog, you'll probably notice that I've been doing a lot of stuff that doesn't quite translate to the same amount of self benefits. For example, doing interviews, book reviews, etc. Sure, in the course of these reviews and interviews I definitely learned something but isn't there a better way to learn these things without me doing it? If so, why did I still bother to do all these things? What enjoyment do I seek out of it? I've been pondering about my actions for a long time as to why I react and work this way. During the course of such pondering, I start to look at others and wonder why, they too, do the things they do. And there is a huge part of this that I really don't understand because it conflicts with the basic human need and one of the most powerful and essential tool these day.

MONEY - Am I driven by money? Definitely yes, I mean who doesn't? Long gone are the days of butter trade. Everything requires money these days: your house, food, water, entertainment, transportation,etc. But here comes the problem, in today's 21st century context, its not about IF you're driven by money, its about HOW driven you are as an individual. It might not be money and to a certain extend, money will drive you away. Here's something to consider. 

In the traditional sense, this is the logical path in life : You go to school --> study hard --> get good grades --> graduate as one of the best --> therefore resulting to possible hiring by a great company--> work harder --> have better performance at work --> therefore resulting in salary increase climbing up the food chain. 

This is a very simplified concept that I believe an average modern 21st century 10 year old kid can fully understand. But does it work? I have friends whom are super talented, draws faster, better than me and yet they reach the above formula and stop growing for some reason. These friends that I'm referring to are pursuing their masters, some pursuing their bachelors, some already in the work force. Yet I don't see them driven to work by money. Most of them ain't even driven at all. Why? Some of these friends complain about work, about not having enough, about their bosses not appreciating them. They are extremely unhappy about their situation. But they never ever do anything to it because its always about "I'm too old to do this" , "I have a family to look after", etc , etc. 

They never bother to find out WHY they don't have a drive in life.

In these cases, they are clearly driven by something else, not family, not age, not even money, power, fame but FEAR. What amazes me is that most individuals have lots of capacity but they start losing it because they couldn't figure out what their genuine motivation is. They go to a job, get comfortable and stop improving and start complaining. I categorize this symptom as "The Elephant Concept".

The Elephant Concept - An elephant is the largest land living animal on the planet. At birth, an elephant calf  weighs typically 105kg. I weigh about 55kg. I'm a full grown man. An elephant calf can OWN me. So why is it that an elephant in the zoo is so harmless? Well some might say because they are friendly and nice in nature. I think most animals have self protection instinct and if you go up to a full grown elephant in the jungle and threaten to cage it, I bet it will stomp you to death. What happens in the zoo (from what I know), is that when a baby elephant is born, they ground their legs so that they couldn't run. And after repeated failure attempts, they give up and as they grow, they give in to the environment and adapt despite having the capacity to fight back. Its pretty much same with any animal in the zoo.

When you get comfortable in a scenario and stop using your talents because someone doesn't pay you what you think you deserve, you're starting to lose all motivation and drive. You go into a carrot and stick situation where you only move if there is a carrot, you lose all ability to fight.

I really don't want to be an elephant, nothing wrong to be one but it takes life and energy away. It is actually ok to be an elephant. You just have to recognize it, accept it and that way you'll be happier. If after reading this, you DON"T WANT TO BE AN ELEPHANT ANYMORE, find back your drive in life. 

If you don't know how,
Buy THIS BOOK and read it. 
It might just help

[Edit: There is nothing wrong if you're driven by money, power and fame. It is not the preferred  philosophy for me but be a man (or woman) and don't constantly complain about how under paid you are or  how much you're worth]

Monday, July 2, 2012

14 page color comic DONE!!!!

Finally finished coloring this 14 page comic. 1 down 7 more stuff to do! Also, just bought a new 12 gray copic marker and will start playing with them soon. I finally decided to give them a shot after seeing Cassandra Poulson's artwork during Heroes Con. Alright, off to more drawing.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Jam Packed Summer Schedule.

My schedule is so packed that I literally have no room to breath. Its almost like the finals, I have interview questions I have to send, A few other book reviews I want to do, finish up my 14 page comics (which I delayed significantly) continue a short web comic that I was working on, and start my class homeworks + prepare for San Diego Comic Con.