Noticed a new comic strip in The Star2 lately called Welcome To Agency X? That’s what cartoonist Sam Hepburn’s childhood dreams were made of.
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FEMALE: When did you decide to become a cartoonist?
Sam: “I was a copywriter for seven years and not satisfied with what I was working on; since I had a childhood love for drawing cartoons, I thought of taking it up again. I’m still in a transitional phase but I’m slowly doing more cartoons and trying to break into cartooning.”
FEMALE: Did you ever think of seriously taking up cartoons?
Sam: “The thought was in the deepest recesses of my hopeful heart, but I didn’t think much of it; I was just hoping to go into cartoons eventually.”
FEMALE: What were some of your fears?
Sam: “Fears of not being good enough, of being laughed at, of being embarrassed… I think I could just go on and on!”
FEMALE: One of the obstacles you face in your new job is…
Sam: “I’m not a morning person, so mornings are a big obstacle. [Laughs] Compounded with that is the fact that I always sleep late, so mornings are even more difficult for me. It seems like something trivial but it sort of snowballs cos you start off late, and then you finish late. It’s just a vicious cycle.”
FEMALE: Has your work ever been rejected? How did you handle that?
Sam: “It has, recently too actually. I have two comic strips I’m working on; one was chosen by a certain company and the other one wasn’t. I often question what’s wrong with the latter but what I did to overcome it was to pretend that comment didn’t exist; I ignored it and just moved on.”
FEMALE: What inspires you to keep your dream alive?
Sam: “Seeing other people in the same field trying to get into the world of cartoons and those who have struggled for many, many years, and then finally made it – that makes me feel more confident and less scared. I think there’s a lot of pressure for people to succeed when they are young, and for me too. So knowing that some people only became successful in their 30s or 40s makes me feel calm.”
FEMALE: Are you satisfied with how your career is coming together?
Sam: “Yes, I’m quite happy with the way things are right now. But if you mean satisfied as in, is it enough? Then I’ll have to say never.”
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