Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Evacomics at Xiamen International Animation Festival 2017

One of my acquaintance was an organiser for an animation festival in China, so I was invited to represent Singapore for their IP business matching and exhibition.

It was my first time staying at a 5-star hotel! WHEE~~~😍 Amenities were very fancy and there were USB chargers all over the room. Flight, accommodation and meals were fully paid! The only disappointment about the hotel was the average buffet food 😐

We were given free booths to display our leaflets and comics. Both artists and publishers from the S.E. Asia region were invited.

I was sharing space with an artist from Thailand. He recently signed contract with a Korean publisher to have his work about Muay Thai translated and published in Korea!

There were a total of 7 artists invited from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

One of the program on Friday was drawing a piece of artwork to congratulate the festival's 10th year anniversary. Behold what I found? Pirated COPIC markers! The only catch was that they weren't brush tips, so it's closer to the Classic range.

I seldom draw traditionally nowadays... so draftsmanship wasn't as good as the other artists... Hopefully I get to practice more after I finish my 4th book next year!

Completed artwork!

We were also given a slot to share our experiences as female comic artists and situation in our countries.

Group photo with the other artists!

Because this segment was held on a Friday, there were not a lot of audiences. In fact, the whole convention hall felt very empty. I asked the volunteers and they said because people were either working or studying, so they would usually visit over the weekends. I was quite surprised because in Singapore and Malaysia, working adults would take leave and students will drop by after school if they want to attend the convention on a Friday. It seems that if you apply for a leave to attend a animation convention in China, your boss will view you as being playful and irresponsible.

Sadly maybe because of the sudden weather change and waking up early for consecutive days, I suddenly caught a cold. I felt miserable and had fever throughout the night. My host became worried and brought me to the hospital to get some medicine. There are no family clinics in China so you got to visit a hospital even for just a flu. A typical treatment for flu/cold is a drip (as shown on above photo) but luckily I didn't have to. Instead, I was sent to do a blood test to determine if it's bacterial or viral infection.

Medicine from hospital was a mixture of western medicine and traditional chinese medicine!

Because I felt so sick, I had to skip going to the island Gulangyu for sightseeing. Instead I just walked around my hotel (which I booked myself because of the extended stay) located just outside the popular Zhonghua district. I was pretty amazed that they used mascots all over the place, especially for eateries. Payment via mobile phone was also very common. Overall the streets looked clean and it was actually very pleasant to walk around! You also had to bring your own plastic bags to buy groceries! I'm surprised that they are putting in major effort to recycle!

My host escorted us to the airport. I was very thankful for his invitation and taking me to the hospital. China is very different from 10 years ago when I last visited. The way they do business is advance and they are starting to use mascots as much as Japan (well not at the Japanese level yet, but more than Singapore). I wish Singaporean companies could use more cute mascots too for business and use locally designed characters instead of licensing from Sanrio and Marvel all the time. Of course, I understand they have a much wider fan base but it doesn't help grow the local creative scene at all.

I enjoyed this trip a lot and learnt a lot about the comic industry in various countries (though I wouldn't say we have a industry in Singapore...). Hopefully I will be back again to Xiamen to do business :)

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