Tuesday, June 7, 2022

The Comic Embassy - An Interview With Local Sketch Artist Collin Yap

The comic book scene in Red Dot Island may be small, but dig deeper and you will discover a surprisingly long list of local writers and artists. To offer a spotlight to emerging and established local comic book artists as well as student groups, a new local artist communal space called The Comic Embassy is currently being set up at Tekka Place. More details about the site, its founders and the upcoming programme are coming soon.

The Comic Embassy will host two artist ambassadors each month. For June, one of these ambassadors is Collin Yap, who by the way, is a full-time tennis coach by profession! Though not formally trained, Collin has been taking notes from the masters of the industry. He also credits having a good mentor who challenges him to constantly improve himself. That mentor is local freelance creative director / artist/ art educator James Leong, who will be making his appearance together with Collin as the other artist ambassador.

To get to know Collin even better, Red Dot Diva lobbed some nosy questions to him. Check out the Q&A below:

Red Dot Diva (RDD): How did you get into drawing sketches?
Collin: Drawing has always been an interest to me since I was young. I only got into serious drawing in 2012 when I got older and had a bit more spare time. Since then it has not stopped.

RDD: Where do you draw your artistic inspirations from?
Collin: Being a comic reader, my artistic inspirations include Jim Lee, J Scott Campbell and Marc Silvestri. My art style has bits of influence from them. More recently, artists like Jorge Jimenez and Peach Momoko have also caught my eye.

RDD: What are your most favourite things to draw? What about your least favourite?
Collin: My favourite things to draw are superhero team ups, for instance, all the Wolverines or the various Batman teams. My least favourite thing to draw is backgrounds.
RDD: Haha. I’ve heard the same thing about backgrounds from a number of comic book artists I have interviewed!

RDD: You seem to be quite prolific in your sketches. Please share with us your time management secrets concerning your art vs family, social interactions and other obligations?
Collin: My job allows me the time to draw during the day, and drawing is like a therapeutic escape for me. I usually draw in the morning when my wife and daughter are working so I'm undisturbed. I am also able to differentiate and plan the time I spend on art versus the time for other obligations, e.g., family, friends, work.

RDD: You have contributed to a few local comic book collaborations and have also worked closely with George Jorgimoto of Pink Ponk Comics. What else do you think the local comics community can do to get creators noticed, and connected to the audience as well as potential collaborators?
Collin: George is a good friend and a strong advocate for local artists. You can see that very clearly when you visit his shop – something that may not see in other comic book stores. I feel that our local comic stores do not generate enough interest in local creators, as such, these talents go unnoticed. Apart from Pink Ponk Comics, most don't even have a dedicated local comics section.

RDD: What do you enjoy doing if you are not reading comics or drawing art?
Collin: I’m an outdoor person and I enjoy going for brisk walks (I do that every week) and of course, playing tennis. I love music and listen to different genres. and you can find a variety in my Ipod (Rock, dance, pop, KPop and even Bollywood music). I also like watching movies and serials, both in the cinemas, Netflix, Disney+, etc.

RDD: By the way, because I’m quite nosy... do you have any pet peeves?
Collin: One of my pet peeves is people looking at their handphone while walking and oblivious of their surroundings.
RDD: I’m totally on board on that one!

RDD: What can we expect from your participation at The Comic Embassy? Will there be new art prints or published works we can look forward to?
Collin: I am grateful to be given the opportunity to participate at the Comic Embassy. I would also like to announce that there will be a second volume of my first comic ZODIAC, which we target to be ready by the 3rd quarter of this year.

Collin Yap will be appearing together with fellow local artist James Leong at The Comic Embassy for its soft launch this coming Saturday. Make your way to the brand new artist space, and show your support for our local talents and their endeavours!

Where: #B1-01/02 at Tekka Place, 2 Serangoon Road, Singapore 218227
Date: 11 June 2022, Saturday
Time: 3 PM
Admission is FREE

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