anibee Features: Foo Swee Chin (FSc)
The comics and manga industry is a challenging one, with local artists especially facing many challenges in their struggle to gain recognition. Foo Swee Chin however, is one that has managed to fight the good fight, having become one of the most successful locally grown comics & manga artists, being involved in several projects such as popular comic series Nightmares and Fairytales and video game, LIT!
anibee managed to get some time out of her busy schedule to ask her a few questions, as well as obtaining some valuable advice for budding local comic/manga artists!
anibee: Tell us a bit about yourself, as well as a brief run through of some of the works you have done!
FSc: My name is Foo Swee Chin or FSc for short. I've been making comics for around 20 years. I illustrated the first 12 chapters of Nightmares and Fairytales for Slave Labour Graphics (SLG). Last year I did an 8 issues manga called "Clairvoyance" for Otha Shuppan. I also have a doujinshi/ webcomic titled "muZz" etc.
Kodansha_BOX book illustration
anibee: What were some of your earliest inspirations?
FSc: Among many, animes like Akira and Ghost in the shell, and books written by Dianna Wyne Jones and Neil Gaiman.
anibee: What tools do you normally use?
FSc: Copic markers and drawing pens, G pen, Maru pen, water colour and guache, photoshop and tablet, pencils and ink etc.
Nightmares and Fairytales
anibee: 'Nightmares & Fairy Tales' has been a huge success thanks to your efforts. What advice do you have for a local artist, who not only wants to break out into the comic industry, but break out on an international level as you have?
FSc: Thank you, but I think the success of Nightmares is all thanks to Serena. Without her and SLG there won't a story at all.
As for advice... just keep drawing, and don't give up dreaming! The comics industry is a relentless one. It is 60% hard work and 40% luck.
anibee: You have also done art for video games, such as Wayforward Technology's LIT. What do you find different about doing art for games as opposed to comics? Do you prefer one over the other?
FSc: I like both very much and would very much like to have more opportunities to do more of such work.
Comics is about creating a world and telling a story.
Art in video games on the other hand, is very illustrative and design based.
anibee: What are your thoughts on the local manga & comic artist community?
FSc: I'm 70% hikkikomori-NEET. I'm ashamed to say that I'm not very familiar with the local community.
But, it has grown considerably bigger compared to 12 years ago when my friends and I first travelled all the way to LA to sell out works and meet other anime and art enthusiasts from all over the world at Anime Expo.
There are so many professional comic artists and game designers in Singapore now, and we even have our own conventions and stuff. (I've read about them in the newspapers ^_^))
I'm sure it will keep on growing. :3
Zombie and mermaid
anibee: It has been said that internet forum interaction played a big part in helping you to obtain exposure and popularity. What are your thoughts regarding the usage of such media?
FSc: I owe a lot to the internet!
I also found that I need to keep up with it or be left behind.
It is a good media to gain knowledge, as well as to connect to all the people I know but unable to meet in person.
Otha Shuppan_Clarivoyance ebook cover
anibee: What are your plans for the future?
FSc: I would love to continue making more comics and various artwork in Japan and all around the world. If anybody wants them.
I've been making art for too long - to stop would be the death of me!