Con Etiquette: A few tips before coming to say “Hi!”

Whether it’s your first time coming to a Festival or your 72nd, it’s always good to keep some pointers in mind. Here are what we recommend doing to make the booth owners’, panelists’, organizer’s, and most importantly, your experience that much enjoyable.

1) Transactions

Gif by Sarah Coldheart, from

Shopping is part and parcel of the festival experience, but don’t let money matters get in the way of you enjoying yourself with these pointers:

Have cash on you – Most of your transactions are going to be in cash, so you’d want to be ready. Some booths may take PayLah or PayNow, but it’s always safer to keep cash on hand.

Have your cash in small change – As much as possible, unless you have the intention to buy a lot from a single stall. It’ll make the transaction go smoother and move the line along so that the festival doesn’t get a choked-pipe situation happening.

The nearest ATMs – Nearest ATMs around LASALLE can be found at Rochor MRT Station, Sim Lim Square, and Burlington Square.


2) Safety

The event organizers and location staff do their best to ensure that the crowd control is at its optimum. However, you can also help matters by taking note of the following:

Always take care of your belongings – What you carry on you and what you bring to the festival or anywhere is your responsibility. It might get crowded and fast-paced, so keep an eye on your stuff.

Take care your surroundings – Like we said, it might get crowded and messy. Take care to keep the traffic moving, especially when you’re just doing a quick browse. You can always head back later – your safety and the safety of others are important.

Recognize the volunteers – IAF has volunteers around to help if you need to look for a particular location, if you need help within the festival, or just for the bathroom. Say hi and thank them for their help when you can!


3) Market

Ah, where the heart of community is at. Also, where all the merchandise and artists gather. Walking through an artist alley is always fine, but there are some things to keep in mind to help support our artists:

Like what you see? Promote it! – Not with sales tweets or what not, but it wouldn’t hurt to recommend the IAF Market to your friends, especially when you see something they might like. More support for the artists you love mean that they’ll be able to do what they and you love for a longer period of time.

Bargaining is off the table – Artists work hard to give you the best price that will cover their costs but still remain accessible and affordable to their audience. At the end of the day, the prices are the prerogative of the artist.

Ask about their work! – If you’re interested in their art, and the artist is that their booth, ask about their other works, or tell them how much you like their work. It’s a great avenue to connect with other artists or creators you love.

Ask before taking photos of work – While we’re on the subject of asking, please ask the artist for permission before you take photos of their work – it’s both out of respect for the artist and for various copyright or censorship issues. Regardless, it’s always better to ask before you snap a photo of a specific piece of artwork or line of products.

Commissions take time – Should you be fortunate enough to commission an artist to draw something for you, ask if they take payment upfront or later. Know that commissions will take time, even sketches, so walk around a little while longer, listen in on a panel, or come back at the end of the day.


4) Panels

At the Illustration Arts Fest, we have a few panels and programmes for interested festival-goers. Apart from the fact that each panel is ticketed, here are some other aspects you’ll need to know:

Know which panel you’re going to – Different panels, different topics, different locations. While our volunteers are more than happy to help you with where you need to go, preparing and heading to your correct panel means you wait less.

Listen – This also means keeping your phone conversations outside (if you really need to), your devices to silent, and staying engaged with what the panelists want to say.

Ask questions – One of the ways to show your support or to show your interest in the topic. Just be sure that you’re asking a question and not telling your life story.

Log in to for updates and news about our exciting festival, or send us a mail to if you have any queries!
Article written by Joelyn Alexandra

Guest Artist Spotlight – Fishball

Web comics have presented a new platform for many comic artists looking for an avenue to express themselves. Whether or not they see the Internet as a place of serious business and opportunity, or just want to use it to communicate and share their stories with friends near and far, you cannot deny that many of these web comics are great as a quick read, or a nice story on-the-go.

I met Fishball (not her real name) in real life during last year’s Illustration Arts Festival. Putting aside the fact that the Tiger already knew her personally, we were booth neighbours during the event. Previously, I had only seen snippets of her work turning up on my Facebook feed, but I can now say that my heart jumps with that bit of excitement whenever I see a LINE WebToon notification for her web comic, My Giant Nerd Boyfriend.

Here’s a glimpse into what she had to say when we met:


Congratulations on hitting over 100 strips on WebToons! How does it feel producing the comic strips now as opposed to when you first started with this series?

Thank you! When I started drawing My Giant Nerd Boyfriend (MGNB) strips, I drew them solely at my own pace, though I tried to update as frequently as possible (which was once per week). Now I have to churn out three entries per week, which is quite daunting at times!

And has your process changed so far?

Quite drastically, I would say! I used to draw whenever a particularly funny idea came to me, but nowadays, I jot down any ideas that comes to mind in a sketchbook that I bring everywhere, so that whenever I’m short on ideas, I could refer to them for inspiration.

To date, we’ve seen strips that depict your day-to-day lives, a particular event, character “backstories” (like when you have an entire strip dedicated to introducing us to your brother or mother), how did you end up managing these strips and requests?

I would say instead of just solely boyfriend-girlfriend interactions in my strips, readers would like a small break from couple strips and have something different for a change. Since my comic strips focus on relationships in general, I think these odd few strips of my brother and my mom (and friends too!) offer something different for readers to relate to, and I’m glad that they enjoy them as much as my usual couple strips! Special occasions, requests, and events could also spice up the strips a little, because let’s face it, if MGNB is completely about me and my boyfriend doing couple things together, it’s going to get boring real fast.

And which kind of stories are your favourite to tell?

These slice-of-life strips are my favorite type of stories to tell! Although I would love to try a different genre some time 🙂

How have your readers been to you? I’m sure there have been a crazy variety of them.

Oh yes they do come in all shapes and sizes! They have been really kind to me, not to mention very enthusiastic! Sometimes they even gave me ideas for my strips, which I am really grateful for.

That being said, I know both you and your boyfriend have been asked the craziest questions at events, what has been the weirdest question so far?

“Are your boobs really that sharp?” – GUYS! It’s just my way of depicting my lack of boobs, really!

Okay, many of us know the story behind how the strips came about, but I think many of us would really want to know – how many outtakes were/are there?

Plenty! Sometimes I could hit a specific tone in my strips quite easily, at other times I struggle to convey what I really want on paper… which results into a lot of different takes of a single panel. Sometimes I scrap the entire idea and start a new strip because I don’t know how to properly conclude a strip. It could take me from four hours to finish up a strip, to a day just mulling on the execution/conclusion of a particular scene.

Any tips to give to people who are on WebToons or considering posting their work on WebToons?

DO IT. WORRY LATER. Also once you have fans, do listen to what they have to say about your work!

And finally, I think some of us will be interested in this – What is the status of the Pikachu t-shirts in your closet?

They are steadily growing in numbers, you can be sure of that 😀


Tickets on sale now IAF2018 

A height difference of 30cm and above might seem adorable to some, but it usually causes a lot of minor inconveniences. Follow Fishball as she navigates the Malaysian life with her 199cm-tall, geeky boyfriend. Fishball is a freelance artist based in Malaysia. She lives with her (literally) huge boyfriend, and really likes her banana leaf rice drowned in a pool of dahl. You can check out her comic, “My Giant Nerd Boyfriend”, on her WebToons page.

This feature was written by Joelyn Alexandra and reposted from her blog series – Stories with their Tellers.



Guest Artist Spotlight – Jackie, the Fingersmith

All artists are artists, but not all artists work with a brush and paper. Join us as we have a sit down at The Fingersmith Letterpress’s (a.k.a. Jacqueline Goh) studio and pick her brain on how her works go from concept to press.

Tell us about yourself and what you do…

The Fingersmith Letterpress is a letterpress printing studio specializing in illustration and hand-lettering. We churn out kooky works and do not take ourselves very seriously.

Why ‘The Fingersmith’?

I like how it has the connotation of someone being very deft with their fingers. After a week of sleeping on a company name, I woke up one fine day, mumbling ‘The Fingersmith’ randomly.

So what have you been up to since the last IAF?

Since the last IAF, I’ve added seven (7) more destination postcards to the ongoing travel series and ‘Sexidents’ zine, which are now stocked in Lisbon, Porto, London, New York, and São Paulo. I’ve also started a new design studio, the 8-Eyed Spud, with another illustrator to produce collaborative prints and work on projects that infuse both our styles.  

What are some of your favourite themes in your artwork, and why do you love them?

All of our creations contain a sense of crazy humour that is signature to The Fingersmith. That, or maybe you can say that it’s a reflection of my kooky (or as some people might say, weird) sense of humour.

Tell us more about how you combine letterpress and illustration? Or is it a trade secret?

There’s no trade secret. My style of illustration is usually simple, with minimal colours, and I reckon it complements pretty well with letterpress printing – it adds depth to the design and end-product as well.

How do you balance time between your personal and commercial projects? How much of a business person do you have to be?

You simply have to make time for personal projects because you’ll never find the right time to work on them. I think you have to adopt some sort of a business mindset if you want to sustain your passion. As quoted from Benjamin Franklin, “If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.”

What can we look forward to (from you) at IAF 2018?

I’m excited to share a couple of new travel postcards – not saying from where =) – which will debut at IAF 2018. I would also like to share a series of prints produced by the 8-Eyed Spud. We name this collection, “Business in the front, party in the back” – basically a two-sided print.

Use this space to promote yourself in 50 words or fewer, go!

Come buy, I mean, by our booth!

If you’re interested in what The Fingersmith has to offer, check out their booth at the IAF2018 Art Market on 22-23 September. Or, look at what they’ve been up to here.

Article written by Joelyn Alexandra

10 things we miss about the Illustration Arts’ Festival

Now that we have less than 100 days to go before 2018’s Illustration Arts’ Festival (IAF), get into the mood for some festival by diving into last year’s highlights!

These are the 10 things we still miss experiencing from last year’s IAF.

1) Salted Egg Yolk Chicken Rice

Photo by Peiwen.T on Burppler

When you’re involved in a convention, you have a convention diet. Usually, that includes chips, cookies, baked / dried goods, or fast food that you can get around the market / festival area. Since LASALLE is in the middle of many food places, our visitors and booth owners had the potential to be spoilt for choice.

That being said, someone started recommending salted egg yolk chicken rice from the 2nd level of the nearby Sim Lim Square. Soon enough, we started seeing the familiar plastic takeaway boxes on the laps of various stall owners.

So thanks, whoever made the first recommendation of this chicken rice.

2) The lovely LASALLE Green

Where else can you find an artists’ market in a location that’s surrounded by affordable, delicious food, accessible, and still great to look at?

Again, many thanks to LASALLE for their location and all their help with the logistics of this festival.

3) Variety of the Art Market

Rad and mad artwork by Kristal Melson

Cute and endearing drawings from Geraldine Toh

Out of the world sticker artwork by Erikartoon.

As with many markets, the variety is always what keeps people lingering – not only with the products sold, but with the personalities behind the booths. 

A collector? Meet the illustrators with their artbooks, prints, and canvasses. How about a comic fan? Say hello to all the indie comic artists, and zine makers. Looking for a good story instead? Lots of stalls there waiting for you to have a look. More of a knick-knack person? Don’t forget the many merch stalls we see in every con.

Which brings us to our next point…

4) Con Culture and Environment

Whether you’re a first-timer or a veteran booth manager, there’s always something to learn or to be intrigued by at every convention.

New faces at the market means new contacts, new content, and people to share experiences with. The same faces meant looking out for each other again, sharing food, time, and reminiscing about previous conventions.

5) Creative Energy from the Panels

Local and regional heavyweight illustrators giving talks and presentations are one of our IAF staples! Tell Your Children, ICINORI, Sonny Liew and more take to the stage and set fire to it as they share with us about their journey about being artists and illustrators.

6) ELCAF’s Support

The East London Comic Arts Festival has helped us bring in talented artists like Jean Jullien, Mattias Adolfsson, and Isabel Greenberg to conduct talks and workshops. They also ran a mean booth, with illustrated goodies from afar!

7) Guests from Taiwan

Sublime depictions of Asian myths and legends by Chiaos 角斯角斯

Not to be outdone by their European counterparts, Taiwan had a strong presence with Chiaos 《角斯角斯who draws lovely illustrations of Asian monsters and spirits, as well as the Taiwanese art collective Taiwan Illustration World 《插畫界

8) Amazing Ice Cream

(above) Salted Butterscotch and Earl Grey by Merely Ice Cream

(below) Speculoos Cookie Butter by Creamier

Thai Milk Tea and Cookies and Cream homemade ice cream definitely played a part in helping visitors and booth owners get through the warm afternoons. Not least when they’re made by names and people we trust – Merely Ice Cream during the first IAF, and Creamier during the second.

Certainly looking forward to having them around again this year!

9) Dan’s Dulcet Voice

An advantage of a more compact event space would be how the visitors can stay up to date with all the happenings of the day, not least when the person on the other side of the microphone was none other than A Good Citizen’s Dan Wong.

Announcements for coming panels? He’s got your back. Market stall recommendations? He had them every couple of hours. Inappropriate joke? Umm…

10) Fishball’s Empty Table After the 1st Half of Day One

Speaking as Fishball’s neighbour over the course of both days, seeing all 45 copies of her book (the amount she brought for the festival) fly off the table by 1PM on Day One has to be the greatest sight I’ve had the pleasure of encountering through my days behind the booth.

Despite knowing she was hugely popular in Singapore, it still takes my top spot among other convention experiences.

(Note: Fans who didn’t have the chance to say hi? Fret not! She’ll be coming back this year!)

Have anything else you miss about IAF? Fret not! Leave them in the comments or stay tuned to more updates on IAF 2018 here or on our Facebook Page.

Illustration Arts Festival returns for 2018

It’s official! The Illustration Arts Festival, which celebrates the illustrative works and artists in Asia, is returning this year at the Lasalle Macnally Campus from the 22nd to 23rd of September.

Jointly organised by the Organisation of Illustrators Council (OIC), and Lasalle College of the Arts, the IAF believes in showcasing originally created content and narratives by talented independent illustrators who work in diverse styles and art forms.

This year, our talks and workshops by established artists from around the world have returned. Our popular art market, as well as OIC’s flagship portraits event will also come back, bigger and better than before. Stay tuned as we announce our star-studded line up in the weeks to come!

The Illustration Arts Festival is a platform for illustrators to share with our audiences the excitement and passion we have for illustration! Want to get involved?

Drop us a mail at if you are an institution, organisation, agency or just an interested individual that wants to find out how we can work together.

Thanks Yanrong ( for creating the new look for this year’s festival!


The Mermaid Who Became A Champion – Book Signing by Anngee

Get your copy of The Mermaid Who Became a Champion signed by the illustrator, Anngee Neo at IAF 2017!

About Anngee: 

Anngee’s works include illustrations for The Crane and the Crab, written by former President SR Nathan, and The Rock and the Bird, which won the Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award in 2015.

About “The Mermaid Who Became a Champion” 

In 2008, a 16-year-old swimmer made history by winning Singapore’s first Paralympic gold. Her name: Yip Pin Xiu.

How did she do it? Pin Xiu has Charcot Marie Tooth, a disorder that leads to a progressive weakening of the muscles. By four years old, she needed an ankle-foot brace to assist her with walking. By 13 years old, she could no longer walk and started using a wheelchair.

Today, she has three Paralympic gold medals and a silver to her name.

In this beautifully-illustrated book, Pin Xiu shares the story of her remarkable journey, from being bullied in school to becoming a champion at the Paralympic Games, and of how she overcame obstacles and met life’s challenges. It is a story of resilience and determination.

Time : TBC ( see programme page for latest update )

Venue : Book Signing corner at LASALLE College of the Arts ( McNally Campus )


From Kid to King – Book Signing by Darel Seow

Get your copy of From Kid to King signed by the illustrator, Darel Seow at IAF 2017!

About Darel:

Darel is a visual storyteller who illustrates the tales of the natural world through his unique brand of wry wit and whimsy. He believes in the draw of storytelling as a means of engagement, creating experiences that simultaneously excite and educate. Particularly interested in museums and culture, he has worked with the British Museum (UK), Asian Civilisations Museum (Singapore) and other cultural institutions to encourage learning through the power of imagination and play.

About “From Kid to King” 

The Joseph Schooling Story is a look at
a young boy striving to beat the odds in order to achieve
his dream, despite of all the hardships and challenges he
faces along the way. This book is inspired by Olympian swimmer and gold medallist Joseph Schooling who won the 100-metre butterfly competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Schooling was not only the first Singaporean, but also the first South-east Asian male athlete to win an
Olympic gold medal in swimming.

Time : TBC ( see programme page for latest update )

Venue : Book Signing corner at LASALLE College of the Arts ( McNally Campus )






Book Signing at IAF2017- “The Ollie Comics” by Drewscape

Get ready for the launch of the eagerly anticipated “The Ollie Comics” by Drewscape!

About Drewscape:
Drewscape is one of the co-founders of OICsingapore in 2006 and a professional illustrator since 2004.
He is the illustrator for the popular series Sherlock Sam and his short story “Moving Forward” in his first graphic novel Monsters, Miracles & Mayonnaise was nominated for an Eisner award in 2013

About “The Ollie Comics” 

What happens when a brand new human enters your life? Find out by joining a comic artist dad and his wife in their initial 2+ years as parents. Adventures range from handling a baby’s diaper bombs to navigating a toddler’s growing independence.

Rather than a how-to book, this comic journal gives parents-to-be a peek into the future, lets experienced parents relive the discoveries, and helps those without kids understand their exhausted friends a little better.

Time : 2 to 3pm , Saturday 12th August 2017 ( see programme page for latest update )

Venue : Book Signing corner at LASALLE College of the Arts ( McNally Campus )

IAF2017 Exclusive – Talk by various comic artists “Singapore Comics Beyond Charlie Chan”


Something that many of us artists are concerned about and need discussion! Sonny Liew was 1 of our guest speaker for IAF2016, he has won three Eisner Awards recently. But Singapore comics is more than just The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye. Let’s find out more from our artist friends active in the comic scene!

Moderated by Lim Cheng Tju, this panel engages up and coming comic artists, Dan Wong, Benjamin Chee, Derek Chua, Tanky, Shen Zo and Pixin to talk about their new works.

Happening next Saturday 12 Aug 2017 at LASALLE College of the Arts ( McNally Campus ), F201 (second floor) from 12pm to 1 pm.
FREE entry, FREE seating!! Come early and Chope fast!


About the panel:

Lim Cheng Tju –
Comic critic and historian Lim Cheng Tju is one of the key member helping out in the programming for Illustration Arts Fest. He is currently the country editor (Singapore) of the International Journal of Comic Art. He co-founded the 24-hour Comics Day in Singapore, and co-edited Liquid City (Vol 2), an Image anthology of comics created by Southeast Asian artists. He writes comics sometimes too.

Dan Wong / A Good Citizen –
Illustrator Dan Wong started the A Good Citizen Movement in late 2012. Since then, it has grown to comprise a community of like-minded creatives seeking to promote the values of Good Citizenship through a unique brand of art and humour. He was “decidedly not afraid to enter the controversial realms” of politics, religion, or gender issues. Many of the issues explored by the collective are global in nature, while speaking through local satire.

Benjamin Chee –
likes drawing comics: it is often painful, but it helps organise his thoughts, and express them coherently. Following his adoration for food, he has self-published several books set in the Charsiew Space food-centric universe. He also has short comics collected in the anthologies Liquid City Vol. 3, LONTAR Issue #5, and Asian Monsters. Find him online at

Derek Chua –
Derek Chua graduated from art school with a Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Animation. Although he was formally trained in Animation, Comics remain his greatest passion and preferred medium in storytelling. Since young, he has always aspired to become a recognized comics artist.

Tanky –
Kwang Yang (aka “Tanky”) is an illustrator and comic artist based in Singapore. An avid digital artist he is also the creator fronting Big Egg Comics.

Shen Zo – 
Shen Zo is a freelance comic artist, designer and co-founder of publishing platform STORYZER.COM.

Weng Pixin –
Pixin is an art-maker and registered art therapist born and raised in Singapore. Upon graduating with a first class honours in Painting, Fine Arts from the LASALLE College of the Arts in 2004, Pixin spend the next decade immersed in her personal craft practices, ran Doinky Doodles!, a studio which curated artworks handmade by local crafters and art-makers, as well as create short-form comics that were published in international comics and illustration magazines. She works in a wide range of medium: from painting, drawing, making comics to sewing and constructing using recycled and/or found objects. She is the organiser for all the Zine workshops with OICsingapore for 2017.