Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
I was born and grew up in Morong, Rizal, Philippines.
Schooling? Art training?
I’m a graduate of Bachelor of Technology Major in Drafting Technology in University of Rizal System, Morong Campus. I took this course to help me improve my drawing skills especially in perspective, backgrounds and buildings. But generally I’m a self-thought when it comes to drawing animal and human characters. I practice drawing comics constantly while I’m still in high school and college, until I managed to attend GHG Comics/Manga Seminar 2006, and it helped a lot!
How long have you been working professionally in comics?
I haven’t worked in professional comics yet. When I was still studying, I attempted to participate or form an independent manga artist group but failed because I needed to focus on my studies. I was a scholar and I needed to keep my grades up in order to maintain my scholarship grant until I graduate.
What things -- both in art and otherwise -- have you worked on besides comics? Are comics a full-time gig for you or part-time?
While I was in college, I was able to accept several small-time commissions like mural paintings, styro-cutting, painting, logo designing and few other works related to my course from my acquaintances. I haven’t worked as a comic artist in a real business yet, but I’m looking forward to work full-time.
Talk about how you broke into the business --was it easy? Hard? Ups? Downs? Any interesting anecdotes? When you held your first published work in your hands, how did you feel?
The difficult part was that there were some people who discourage me. They would often tell that I should have taken engineering or architecture or education, and sometimes they underestimate the profession of drawing comics. I almost gave up because I thought that I won’t be able to find profession for drawing comics here in the Philippines until I learned about GHG. I don’t have a published work yet, but I’m looking forward to have my works published.
Did you work as an assistant to any other artists? If so, please talk a bit about those experiences.
I haven’t worked as an assistant yet nor did I assist anyone. But I’m willing to do so if necessary.
How did your parents take to the idea of working in comics?
At first, my mother was worried but she supported me otherwise, although she wanted me to work in other field, but I was just too stubborn. My father was worried at first but now he is very supportive.
How would you describe your workspace? Is it part of your home,
or do you go "to the studio"?
I work at home. I have a space in our house with my drawing table and computer. Adjacent to them are my cabinet where I usually put my drawing tools and materials, some books and novels of my favorite authors, anime magazines and comic books, other books and magazines for photo references.
What job are you proudest of? What's your most embarrassing?
I have no published work yet but I’m proud that I was able to finish a one-shot manga posted in my Deviantart gallery. I usually get embarrassed of my old drawings I kept hidden for a long time then after seeing them again, I’ll realized how much they suck!
What are you currently drawing? Comments on that project?
Nothing yet, but I’m looking forward to have one.
Talk about your family: Parents, siblings, home situation. Are you married? Have kids? Names? Anecdotes about married life, how does it relate to your busy schedule, etc. If you have kids, do they understand your job? What do they say about it? Do they read comics?
I’m single. I have no kids. I live with my parents, a younger brother, two dogs, one puppy, three cats, and a hen with chicks. My mother told me that she used to read local comics she borrowed from her friends in the old days but not anymore because she believes it’s not in the trend any longer. Those local comics she used to read are not comics anymore but primetime teleserye in the television nowadays. When I draw comics, I would always bug my mother to say her opinion about my output even though she’s not interested. I would know whether my comic illustration is effective if a non-artist person like her would or would not understand what are being drawn on those pages.
What projects do you hope to work on in the future?
I would enjoy working on project that involves vampires, horror-sci-fi, and werewolves. I’m a fan of James Patterson’s Maximum Ride, someone else got to manganize the book though. (^^)
Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
I’m not sure if I could get married and have kids. Well, I can’t tell. I’m too engrossed in drawing comics and I still prioritizing on helping my family….not sure if I could earn a good name in comic industry either.
What is the interest in comics where you live? Do friends and neighbors know you draw comics for a living? How do they react?
I learned that more or less 15 years ago, here in the Philippines, people love to buy and read comics because it’s cheap. But the way I see it now, most Filipino would prefer to watch television and only few would buy comics, mostly those who have the money. Life is hard here in the Philippines, so base on what I know the Filipino would always do, they would priorities buying basic necessities rather than comics even if they wanted to. Very few know about manga as well. It is only now beginning to be known here in the Philippines…That’s what I think.
When I was in high school and college, most of my friends and my family only know that I draw comics as a hobby. My friends would suggest that I should work in comic business as they already understand my passion. Other people who are aware about manga or anime style comics that saw my works for the first time thought that I was already working on the business but not yet actually.
What's 1 thing you'll always find in your refrigerator?
We don’t have a refrigerator yet. (^^)
What's your favorite food?
I have many favorite foods. In past food, I like spaghetti and cheese burger. I love fried fish, sinigang, and minudo as rice partners, mango and buko are my favorite flavor of drink. Grapes and mango are my favorite fruits. Chocolate is my favorite desert.
What are your favorite interests --Movies? Music? TV? Any hobbies? Sports?
My favorite movies are “Sleepy Hollow” where Johnny Depp is the main cast and some other of Johnny Depp’s movies; “Van Hellsing”; most of Stephen Spielberg’s movies; “The Reaping” is unforgettable and “The Invasion”. I love movies involving vampires and werewolves and sci-fi, too!
I love books as well. I’m a big fan of Neil Gaiman and I’ve read his “Neverwhere” and “Anansi Boys” and watch the movies based on his books like “Mirror Mask” and Star Dusk”. I’m a Stephen King fan as well. I wish I could collect all their novel’s and books; also the books of James Patterson’s Maximum Ride. All in all, I love fiction books.
I also enjoy watching anime and reading manga in the internet.
I’m a fan of L’arc-en-ciel, and Nickelback. But I also love to listen to different kinds of music base on the mood I want while drawing. I love Chopin’s “Nocturne” and “Fantasia” as well.
I’m not much into sports but sometimes I watch wrestling on TV. (^^)
Have you ever thought of writing your own stories?
Yes. I was inspired by Neil Gaiman’s work. But I’m not confident about my writing though, ---I’m worried with my grammar and spelling; I’m not even sure if they’re cliché or not. Still, as another hobby, until now I’m writing when I have extra time. I write in my dream journal, too. But I wish to publish a manga base on my own story. (^^)
Have you ever been in a gang?
Never. Will never be.
What's an average day in your life like? Walk us through a typical day.
I usually wake up in the morning around past 6:00 or 7:00, no matter how late I went to sleep the last night. It’s probably my body clock. I prefer to draw during daytime because I favor the provision of natural lighting. Though sometimes I attempt to draw during night time, it’s hard to sleep in daytime especially when everyone around you is awake.
Do you know any funny or interesting anecdotes to tell about the comics market?
Do you have any great, unsold projects in your files that nobody's got to see published?
There are some. You may see them in my Deviantart gallery.
If you weren't a comic-book artist today, what would you be?
I would probably a draftsman or an architect or a graphic artist and would work abroad.
Have you ever taught comic-book art or had any assistants? If so, talk about that.
No. Though sometimes I share something about how I draw comics to some curious acquaintances.
The single thing you'd most like to be remembered for in your life is...?
I would like to remember as a good person, a good daughter and someone who had reached her goal.
Any closing words to your fans?
If I have fans out there, persevere, reach for your dreams, and if you reached them, always keep your feet on the ground.