Benny Ong (also known as SCONG) doesn’t just doodle – he doodle noodles. While that may leave you scratching your head at first, have a conversation with SCONG and checking out his art, and you’ll start to get an idea of what “doodle noodle” actually is. We spoke to him to find out more about his doodle noodling and how he juggles his time between art and being a full-time architect.
Tell us about yourself and what you do.
I am Benny Ong. I have been working in the construction industry for over 10 years, but it’s all a disguise for my true passion in life, which is to doodle noodle! Taking up the moniker of SCONG, I doodle noodle to create illustrations that matter to me and hopefully to you as well. SCONG represents my rebellion against the sham and drudgery of a terrible profession!
Where did your pen name come from?
I wish I had a really cool story to tell, but it’s just the initials on my army uniform’s name tag –”S.C. Ong”.
You’re a full-time architect by trade. How do you balance time between your personal comics and commercial projects?
When you really need to doodle noodle, you will find a way to doodle noodle.
Your quote on your website – “If I do not doodle noodle, I’ll die!!” – how accurate is it? How often do you doodle and draw? Do you drive your spouse crazy?
I thought it sounded funny. Like, if I do not doodle noodle, I’ll die. So, how can I live if I do not doodle noodle!? I actually doodle the most during meetings and lectures. A couple of my new prints were by-products of forcing me to sit through a lecture that is of no relevance to me. My wife is pretty cool with my doodling and I must say she has been extremely supportive of SCONG. Without her, I would certainly have doodled myself to death!
What are some of your favourite themes in your comics or artwork, and why do you love them?
I came out with this idea of a Freak Parade many, many years back, just so I can draw weird, cute and creepy characters. I draw freaky versions of gas mask babies, freaky versions of Monkey King, freaky versions of cats, freaky versions of anything! There is no escape from the Freak Parade! I also enjoy Brazilian jiu jitsu, which inspired me to create EROJITSU, a sexy amalgamation of Brazilian jiu jitsu and doodle noodle.
Your illustrations vary a lot in terms of themes, but visually they are very distinctly you. Does it come to you naturally? Do you have any secret sauce to spill for us on how to maintain that consistency?
I think it’s done through years and years of doodling. You just have to keep doodling and trying out stuff, copying stuff, mixing stuff up until you somehow come out with your secret doodle noodle sauce. It’s not a natural thing – you just kind of develop it over time.
Tell us more about your latest products. What can we expect at IAF 2018?
I recently printed a four-colour risograph ‘zine. It’s a compilation of the dog creatures I have been drawing since the beginning of the year to commemorate the year of the dog. I completed 24 different breeds and have them printed on shiny postcards as well! I also have a number of new risograph prints, stickers and poster prints.
You can find Benny and his doodle noodles at Illustration Arts Fest at Booth E3.