Sam Hep­burn

Time Out Kuala Lumpur - - Dare to do -

THEN Copy­writer NOW Comic-strip artist, ‘Wel­come to Agency X’

Be­fore be­com­ing a well-known car­toon­ist, Sam was be­hind a desk work­ing in ad­ver­tis­ing as a copy­writer un­til she took the leap to be­com­ing a full-time artist. ‘I felt some­thing was miss­ing; I came to the point where I wanted to communicate my own mes­sage and speak in my own voice,’ said Sam, who took her skills and hu­mourous ob­ser­va­tions of agency life and turned into a comic strip that was picked up by The Star in 2015.

While Sam’s ex­pe­ri­ence in edit­ing, plan­ning and de­vel­op­ing nar­ra­tives dur­ing her agency years helped in­spire the comics, there were some chal­lenges that took some time get­ting used to. ‘Shift­ing from be­ing “on the pay­roll” to be­ing an in­de­pen­dent cre­ative per­son meant that I needed to have a lot more self- dis­ci­pline; I no longer had a boss breath­ing down my neck, but some­times that could be a bad thing as I’d get lazy or I’d ex­pe­ri­ence pe­ri­ods where I had a lack of di­rec­tion. These chal­lenges don’t go away, but as long as you work hard, you get bet­ter at deal­ing with them.’

To those think­ing of do­ing the same, she can’t stress enough on the im­por­tance of de­vel­op­ing your own voice and ideas. ‘It’s very tempt­ing to do what oth­ers are al­ready do­ing be­cause it’s been “proven” suc­cess­ful. If you’re struggling in comics be­cause you’re play­ing the long game – not tak­ing short­cuts, but de­vel­op­ing a loyal au­di­ence over time – then I would ad­vise you to keep go­ing at it, keep im­prov­ing your voice and your craft,’ she said.

Sam’s work can be found in ‘Wel­come To Agency X’, a 156-page book pub­lished by Keropok Comics. On sale now at Pop­u­lar Book­store, RM29.90.

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