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August 5, 2007
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Recollecting SDCC 07

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 5, 2007, 8:20 PM
Looking back and looking forward

It is finally over and we are home again, feeling exhausted and excited at the same time.

The past few days I've been trying to catch up with my works, leaving me very little time to think about the trip until today, I can finally sit down and recollect my thoughts. Honestly I don't write often, but the experience I had for this Comic-Con was definitely worth writing for.

This year we had 8 imaginary friends attending the conference. It was my 2nd SDCC, but it was my first time traveling with such a big group of friends. Edmund, Kunkka, Kai, Junkman, King Mong, Sunny, Stephen any myself setting off to San Diego 2 days before the event. Our luggages were packed with the new Imagine Prime artbooks to be given away to the people we planned to meet along the way. The books were heavy, but our hearts were light, as we knew that it would be fun to share our art, which we had poured our heart and soul into, with others.

We've met so many people during the 4-days event. Ed and Stephen were busy running around setting up meetings with our clients. The rest of us went from booth to booth to our favourite artists and gave them our new artbooks. Many of these artists were our childhood heroes and we grew up reading their books or seeing their art on movies posters, inspiring us to be artists. It was a thrilling experience for us to meet them face to face, showing them our book, sharing with them our passion in art, not just as fanboys but as artists too who work in the same industry handling similar projects. However, what surprised me most was not how much they love our works, which we were very honoured as we heard that, but it was how humble and approachable they were even though some of them were recognized as the art legends of the industry.

That really got me thinking for a while.

Looking at how much IFS has grown for the past 2 years. From a small setup of 4 partners to a total of 40 men studio in both Singapore and Jakarta, the growth is tremendous and sometimes scary. On one hand it had shown that our approach to this industry is right – to come together as a group of artists, sharing our strengths and working together as a studio instead of individuals. On the other hand it has also given us, as employers, a greater challenge and responsibility to take care of the team and meet their needs.

We know that in this creative business, artists are the key assets and they are as important as our clients. As artists ourselves, we also realize that we are an emotional bunch of people that requires special attention. No matter how professional we are as artists, often the quality of works are still greatly affected by our emotional state. Although some people may find it being emotional is being unprofessional, I personally feel that managing our feelings well will result in creating artworks that touch people's heart rather than a mere eye-candy.

As a studio living by the motto of "By Artists, for artists", we ensure maximum transparency and honesty within the team. Just like our name suggests, we are working like a group of friends rather than colleagues that share common passion and vision. Since inspirations often come from our experience of life, we are interested in each other's life and always ready to share the joy or offer a helping hand when called for. It is a studio culture we value a lot and it is what makes us unique.

Looking back at this year's comic con, one thing that caught my interest was how the artists chose to relate themselves to the industry. Some artists preferred to go solo and were happy to be at their own table doing their own things, enjoying occasional chat with the fans and artists next door. Some if them got fancy looking booths with sale agents like the presidents' bodyguards, introducing the artist's works with a money tag. However, what impressed me most was seeing great artists like Justin Sweet, Marshall Vandruff, Vance Kovacs and John Dickenson come together as a studio, without fancy banners and signages, situated at a suburb location of the con. Looking at them was like looking at a yearly reunion of friends.

They were so friendly and approachable. When they flipped thru our book, they did it carefull and full of curiosity. In front of them, we felt like a group of art amateurs eagerly waiting for the masters' words of wisdom. However, the way that talked to us was so encouraging and filled with respect. It made us feel like a part of the community.

I was telling myself, if we have a chance to go back to SDCC twenty years later, probably it will be our 20th year as exhibitor, can we be still as approachable to others like Marshall? Will the success that we achieve along the way blind us or build us stronger in relationship? Can the founders of IFS still believe and respect each other and remain the same level of transparency? I strongly believe we can, if we consistently check our hearts and not taking each other for granted. At the end of the day, what is to gain if we win the world but lose our souls?

I am very excited about the cool projects that are coming to our way and I am looking forward to build a studio with everyone in IFS that makes both "imagination" and "friends" shine to their brightest. :)

info@imaginaryfs.com


:iconshern: :iconartgerm: :iconkunkka: :iconukitakumuki: :icontorei: :iconkingmong: :iconjasonlan:
:iconbenqwek: :iconscabrouspencil: :icondcwj: :iconmarcwashere: :iconwhoiszid: :iconpsychedelichic: :iconhideki:
:iconarf: :iconadmirawijaya: :iconsami-b: :iconerufan: :iconthegerjoos: :iconshuqing: :iconkiiiat:
:iconwraithdt: :iconchesterocampo: :iconmischievousmartian: :iconpumpkinbear: :iconluches:


MY DA INTERVIEW

For those who wanna know a little bit more about me, you can find the interview here:

news.deviantart.com/article/20…

Written by :iconthunderstatement: <--- Thank you!
  • Mood: Excited
  • Playing: DotA
  • Drinking: kopi ais
Add a Comment:
 
:iconlittle-kaiyou-kame:
Little-kaiyou-Kame Aug 6, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"what is to gain if we win the world but lose our souls"
Well said~:clap:

It's so much fun working in IFS, i was really inspired that day :lol: *comes to your office more often* haha...
Reply
:iconderivitive:
Derivitive Aug 6, 2007   Traditional Artist
*claps* That really inspired me, thank-you so much.
Reply
:iconhideyoshi:
Hideyoshi Aug 6, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
Wow, very interesting and remarkable insights! I appreciate your sharing with us! :)
Reply
:iconkomikino:
Komikino Aug 6, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I was there and was wanting to stop by but I came down with the flu for more than half the con and was laid up in the hotel room sleeping most of the time. I'll see you next year! Glad you at least had fun at the con! :)
Reply
:iconkieren024:
that's really beautiful. congratulations to all of you and i also wish everybody the best of luck, more blessings and a much more beautiful relationship! :#1:
Reply
:iconkosa01:
congratulations broth, i know that you'll be grown so much more on the next years, you and the IF. Happy life broth keep it up...
Blessings
Reply
:iconmadmagnus:
Nice report Mr. Lau.

The way you convey your team now suggests that you will not have to worry about such hasty things to come.

It is so great that your favorite artists have given you the treatment you were seeking and probably better.
When you spoke of them, those are the examples that you want to portray for not only your group, but your fanboys as well. That's right Stanley... you have fanboys. Treat them exactly how you expected your childhood heroes to treat you.

Although emotions and wants of worldly things can get in the way sometimes, there is a part of you all that still needs to maitain a "this is a business/company" aspect.
However, showing your friends that you are pationate and care for eachother is a huge part of friendship... and if your group of friends still show these traits after 4-5 years, then you can probably believe it will stand the test of time.

Whew, a long winded Journal makes for a long winded reply. LOL. Sorry about that, but you did raise some interesting issues. Also, great report about your experience at the con. I hope to have a booth next year. My group and I at Popsknot.com are kind of like you guys in the beginning, however, we are always individually open for outside contract work or commissions (hint hint, XD).

Take care and I wish the best for you and your IFs.
Reply
:iconchlora:
Very inspirational and soulful words indeed. Mr. Lau, I'm working towards working for you and IFS one day :happycry:
Reply
:iconkeithsith:
Great group of artist like IFS really gave me, oh! Not only me but the whole young artists to dream big. Big enough to break the unwanted doubts of the reality. If we can only believe the power behind those dreams, maybe we can change the course of the future and make those people around us to believe that we can change something in our own artistic way...

You really rock guys^^ Keep inspiring us young artists
Reply
:iconmrcontroversial:
mrcontroversial Aug 6, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
what is to gain if we win the world but lose our souls? Powerful scripture right there man. Anyways, enjoyed reading what was on your mind. Very inspirational and encouraging. :)
Reply
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