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.