On February 4 at Neighborhood Comics, Wook-Jin Clark, cartoonist and illustrator, was interviewed about his new Gudetama book “Love for the Lazy” and gave aspiring artists some tips for their future. Clark has been a professional artist for approximately ten years. 

Q: “Why Gudetama?”

A: “I just love that character. When Sanrio mentioned the egg character, Gudetama, it was more of my wheelhouse, and it’s just fun. Hypothetically, an egg? You can’t go wrong with that.”

Q: “How did the license work for drawing from another series?”

A: “License is technically anything that you don’t own that someone else created. They give back in royalties on the books. I did ‘Adventure Time’ and ‘Regular Show’ books. The way that works is that Cartoon Network would license the publisher and give me permission to do new content, though everything has to be approved, and once that was done Cartoon Network okayed me and so did the publisher.”

Q: “What made you want to do cartooning?”

A: “I grew up loving the Ninja Turtles, and when I realized that it has a comic and not just a cartoon show, I thought, oh it’s just made by two people? That sounds fun. I’d like to try and do that.”

Q: “Who are one of your major idol artists?”

A: “Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, the dudes that did the Ninja turtles. Outside of that, it was Marvel and DC stuff until I got out of college.”

Q: “How did you find your art style?”

A: “I took the things that I loved. I grew up loving Dragon Ball Z; the first couple of years I would draw Dragon Ball Z art...then you layer them on top of them learning the basics of storytelling and anatomy. You will pull it in, whether you know it or not, and it’s about finding things and learning about what you like about them. Try to apply them and be okay with it when it doesn’t (work).”

Q: “As an artist, are there some challenges you’ve had to overcome along the way?”

A: “Yes, for me it was frustration with myself and partly spite because people are telling you, ‘Oh you’re not good enough.’ It just takes practice, and as time went on, I wanted to get better and when I saw myself get better it made me happier. So, just time for me learning to be patient was the biggest thing.”

Q: “Why Savannah?”

A: “I went to school here. 18 years ago, I graduated from SCAD in ‘06 and moved back to Atlanta then moved to Portland, Oregon for awhile. I just missed the South. My girlfriend and I wanted to be closer to family as we are getting older, and I just love the city because it’s easy and laid back.”

Q: “What would you give to any artist that is trying to come up?”

A: “If you are going to go to school, look for many opportunities in scholarships and grants as possible--it saved me in the long run. Take a moment and think briefly about is this really what I want to do or is this what my parents want? Or you can get a degree in something outside your art as not necessarily a backup, but (something that) will help you and not worry about bills.”   

 

Wook-Jin Clark will be at the Neighborhood Comic shop signing his latest Gudetama book called “Love for the Lazy” this weekend February 8 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. If Saturday doesn’t work for you, you can pre-order a signed copy on Instagram at  @onipress. 

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