Interview with Professional Illustrator, Comic & Pin-up Artist Chun 'lltoon' Leong
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Marcin: Hi Chun, welcome and congratulations on your contest win. I must admit your image really just oozes with sex appeal, well done!.
Chun: Thanks! I wasn't sure who was going to win that contest, all of those entires were quite good!
Marcin: Can you tell me a little about yourself, how you got involved in the art scene.
Chun: Well, I started drawing on a regular basis since I was 11. At around 19 I developed a taste for drawing the female form and I haven't looked back since. Posting my work online was probably one of the luckiest decisions I've made because it allowed for so much exposure with people who may enjoy that style of work. I mainly draw for my own amusement, but I do occasionally work freelance when I have free time.
Marcin: What’s your favourite media to work on and what are your favourite tools to work with?
Chun: Starting out traditionally, I can say that nothing quite beats the feeling of a pencil on paper, but I am slowly moving to more tablet based pictures. When I do work with traditional medium I use my trusty 0.5mm mechanical pencil, kneaded eraser, solid eraser and my ruler.
Marcin: All of your work has that certain fun,sexy style, have you always had it or did it evolve for you?
Chun: Haha, my first attempts were the ugliest things one could ever lay eyes on! It took me a few years to figure out what exactly I wanted to see in girls and in my drawings. I talked to people, found out what physical features they found attractive and made my own collection of reference material of girls who had body types that I would like to represent in my drawings.
Marcin: All the advice seems to have paid off! Do you remember how you got your first paid gig?
Chun: I have been offered some major projects involving offers to work for a small games company and another making small sketch cards of Dean Yeagle's Mandy, though I had to turn them down because I was still in school. I consider commissions a form of major project that I can easily do in my free time, the earliest being a cover page for an erotic comic being published online.
Marcin: Do you have one image or project you are most proud of?
Chun: I have an image called 'Push Button, Receive Bacon' which featured a character and her pet which I had designed. I was particularly proud of it becuase I had made without using any reference material, which was rare. The angle of her body was challenging, but I managed to pull it off, I consider that a stroke of luck! See image at www.bit.ly/msYeEr
Marcin: Chun, in your opinion what is the most important and vital element of a Sexy image?
Chun: In terms of sexy things, I suppose you need to have a rough idea of what you want to draw. I can't really pinpoint a vital element that would make a successful image because there are many things that change from one picture to another. I suppose if I have to choose something they share in common, is that they all have a certain theme going on. Think of a theme and work with it and add to it.
Marcin: I’m sure you have your favs, but can you name your dream job and your dream mentor?
Chun: In a perfect world, I would love to be an animator working for Disney and being under the apprenticeship of Glen Keane. My work isn't exactly Disney material, but if I could learn skills from him, I would take toon pinup art to a whole new level! I would love to give the girls in my sketches more life like how Glen does his.
Marcin: What’s one piece of advise you can give to any artist, whether they’re a beginner or expert?
Chun: You must have an interest in improving and always trying to outdo yourself. Sure, your first image might not look the way you want it to, but with many tries later you'll get a feel of what you and your audience will like and not like, with the result of a better picture each time. It sounds like general clichéd advice, but I cannot stress enough how important having this mindset is for being an artist. My personal preference of improving is that I run my pictures through a gauntlet of other artists to see what their critiques were. Some people might have fragile egos but you have to eventually let it go, I take what they have to say in a list, apply some of the ideas they have to my art process accordingly and discard the ones that I disagree with.
Marcin: What are the top 3 websites you visit?
Chun: I visit a variety of sites for my work. Mostly it's just my blog, random pinup sites and various artist blogs. Sketchoholic though, jokes aside, has recently made it into my top 3!
Marcin: Thank you Chun for allowing everyone to get to know you. To see more of Chun’s amazing artwork or to get in contact with her...visit Sketchoholic.com/LLtoon and....??
Chun: Well, my email is email@example.com,...and thanks for the chat Marcin! I see so many talented contributors around here, it's great that through this site and the magazines you guys are launching, they are finaly getting the exposure they need!