Get to know: Oscar Fong!
JSM: Tell us a bit about yourself and what you’re currently doing?
I’m a manga artist and an illustrator contractor. I am currently setting up the final stage for the ongoing arc for the manga series Massively Multiplayer World of Ghosts and also some concept art for future arcs. I go by @fongfumaster for most of my social media.
JSM: What are your main inspirations and who are some artists you look up to?
Oscar - I take a lot of inspiration from all sorts of comics and manga so it’s hard to pinpoint perhaps Garfield and Naruto?. As for artists who inspired me to take up the pen, they would be Jim Davis and Rumiko Takahashi.
JSM: What are the most important skills up and coming artists should focus on acquiring first?”
Oscar: When it comes to drawing manga, being able to ink naturally and consistently to the style and tone of your story is one of the best skills to have. As someone who does more sketch drawing than inking it’s important to keep practising your inking skills. Also lighting and an understanding of colours.
JSM: What do you consider the greatest contribution to your growth as an artist?
Oscar - My friends from school and university, It was always encouraging to show them my comics. Also, my parents who have supported my artistic endeavours.
JSM: Tell me about the most difficult project you’ve worked on and how you managed to finish it?
Oscar - Probably any or maybe all the comics I’ve worked on. I don’t really have a concrete process of making comics so it sort of becomes a distraction of how I should go about making my comics. Things like skipping the sketching process to inking or pencilling my pages traditionally and then inking digitally. More of trying to find the most efficient method of creating comics usually has me in a difficult position. Especially since I’ve recently started using ClipStudioPaint so there’s more stuff to learn and understand.
JSM: In stressful situations, how do you find ways to persevere?
Oscar - Free-style drawing seems to always relieve stress. Although when I get stressed from drawing too much, it's always good to take a break and do something else like read or play games.
JSM: Are you currently trying to learn any specific skill, and how do you go about learning it?
Oscar - Learning to be more consistent with my inking, both digitally and traditionally. Especially with the manga G-pens since I want to be able to ink this way for my future comics. For practice, I sometimes find a cool panel I like from a comic or manga page and copy the artwork.
JSM: What’s been the most useful or educational resource you’ve made use of in your career?
Oscar - There’s a book I used to keep taking out from the library a while black which was Marcos Mateu-Mestre’s ‘Framed Ink’ which is really helpful for understanding composition, storyboarding, lighting and telling a story through visual methods.
JSM: What is your dream project and can you tell us a little more about it?
Oscar - Asides from wanting to create and draw more of my own stories, I would be cool to start an anime/manga-style tabletop game and make a podcast out of it. I’m not very confident in my skill as a GM (gamemaster) yet, but I seem to be hanging out with the right crowd so who knows?