Webtoonist interview -Seaweedtheking<Oh I Forgot My Wallet>
[Oh I Forgot My Wallet]
Seaweedtheking | Daum
Till now to become webtoon writers
Thanks to my two older sisters who liked cartoons and drawings more than me, there were many comic books such as Slam Dunks and One Piece. As a result, I was constantly interested in cartoons, but unlike my two sisters, I did not give my serious thought towards cartoons or drawings. However, I have had a habit of drawing for fun as if scribbling since school days. For example, in middle school, my history teacher let me memorize history and I studied it by drawing in order to memorize in fun way. Also, I used to scribble a lot when I took notes in class. It’s like scribbling has become a part of my life. However, I haven’t learned drawing in any art academy, or the painting was not formally taught to me. In fact, both of my sisters attended art academy to prepare college entrance exam and eventually graduated College of Fine, but even at that time, I was not interested in art. Perhaps I had a prejudice that the art field would be definitely a route towards hardship.
So, unlike my two sisters, I went to college and took a double major in psychology and sociology. When I enrolled, I thought that I would get a job after studying in college, but after I graduated, finding a job was harder than I expected. Also, I hadn’t prepared a lot for job employment so I’ve got nothing but a Korean history certificate. I had no experience of doing intern job that everyone else did. Still, I tried to go through the job employment site with my resume which everyone did, and none of the jobs listed there were anything I wanted to do. I spent my time preparing for my job employment while doing a part time job. It was a time I was worried about what to do. At that time, I remembered what I did during my college vacation.
I continued scribbling I used to do in my middle and high school even when I came to college. I remember it when I was sophomore when I was in college. I was drawing a picture in my notebook because I had free time and got nothing to do during summer break. Then my big sister who saw my cartoon suggested to post the drawing to online community website and I did. That piece is ‘Picnic.’ I uploaded till episodes 8 because I got annoyed. And suddenly, I recalled this while I was preparing for job employment after I graduated. I wasn't confident that I would be a competent office worker so I decided to work on drawing. The fundamental reason is probably because I enjoyed drawing ‘Picnic’ a lot at that time.
The version I uploaded when I was in college was really roughly drawn in pencil, so I thought I should add more this time and added a brush. There were tools such as ink, inkstone and brush because my dad used to learn calligraphy. So I began to use the tools at home with ease and I added a calligraphy brush. Also, I had lots of paints since my mom is a painter. I developed my previous work, ‘Picnic’ and eventually made “Oh I Forgot My Wallet.” ‘Picnic’ was a simple story where the Grim Reaper came to pick up the dead girl but then freed her soul in this life after feeling pity of her so the girl is able to meet other girl with long hair and so on.
There was no such setting related to mother. I redrew my work and started posting it to the online community site. I posted it on Ruliweb site and Challenge of Comic Naver, but the reaction was the best in the first community site. I did not publish it serially but posted one by nine or ten days if it took longer. At that time, the creation itself was slow. After 10 months of continuous series, I’ve done the first part of 24 episodes. While I was about to continue the second part, the contest on Ruliweb site and the contest on Olleh were announced, and I luckily won the Ruliweb contest.
About the process of working
Please tell us detail process of working
In Part 2 of my webtoon, the overall scenario was planned so I can start working right away. Then I paint it with ink and watercolors, if necessary. I use calligraphy brush for important paintings. After scanning the painting, I work on Photoshop, and complete it. I usually put dialogue through Photoshop and sometimes I edit facial expressions on it.
What are the tools when working?
I work with my desktop and Intuos tablet. I use only Photoshop for a program. My drawing brush is Pentel. I am thinking if I buy Cintiq. I’m planning to make the whole process digital.
What do you do when you get stuck with your idea?
Actually, there hasn’t been any moment like that. Well, sometimes I can’t think of some jokes to put in between. Then I go to sleep. My sense of humor becomes alive after I get up and refresh myself.
What do you do when you feel you don’t work?
I have a nap
What is your schedule for a week?
On Monday, I close the Kakao page and start writing new episode by writing lines and 15 cuts. On Tuesday, I close the Daum webtoon and start drawing another 15 cuts. On Wednesday, I have a break time. On Thursday, 15 cuts, and on Friday, 15 cuts are continued. Then on Saturday, I check overall drawings, wrapping my work up with some edits. I rest on Sunday and usually go hiking with my dad. When I rest on Wednesday, I play my Nintendo games, sleep, or go out to see my friends.
Posting on Kakao page is already the works of 3 weeks preview. The deadline has never been late.
My working hours is set so my daily routine is regular. I wake up at 9 in the morning and immediately start working or sometimes, I rest till 10 or 11 o’clock after I get up and start working. But the time schedule is usually regular. I’m not the type who work at late night.
There is a certain way of mine to check my progress and proficiency; I have put a dice on the snoopy doll I made myself. On weekly basis, if I’m done with my work, I flipped the dice. For example, if today is day 5 of my one-week working day, the dice will show 5 on it. If I am done with day 5’s work, then I turned the dice to 6. By doing this, I feel proud of myself that I have done best today.
If you are preparing next work, please tell us how you come up with your idea.
Whenever I come up with my idea, I write down the characters and the story on my sketchbook with pencils. These writings are fragmented. But if I continue doing this, all these ideas are piled up and I can think of main stem of the story. This is the way how I build up my story for cartoon.
About the work
From idea to serial publishing, tell us the steps you take
I started with impromptu ideas at first. I decided to put many jokes which are depressing but can lead to sudden uncontrollable laugh. If the jokes are just depressing, this would make myself and my working process just depressing. In terms of joking, I set the initial jokes as depressing and changed them when I work with Photoshop.
After I come up with big picture of the story, I promptly worked on the storyboard of part 1. This is how the episode is completed. For instance, if there are two main characters, Sujin and Hyeju, I drew Hyeju as skinny and Sujin as fat. Naturally, I thought it would be better if there is chicken restaurant, so I drew it.
Finishing part 1, while I was resting, I roughly planned on part 2 by writing down the story with specific lines and story’s situation. I was going to work on saving manuscript, but I had to publish my work on Kakaopage as well. So, I could not spend much time on saving manuscript.
How much were you prepared with the whole story when you start publishing?
My story was already completed when I submitted my scenario on Daum Cartoon website at first. Before publish, there were already most of the back stories about characters and I edited a little bit of details while publishing. Gitae was initially darker character but I changed him into a brighter one. Also, his uncle was supposed to commit a suicide but I changed the setting. Additionally, I revised the details of supporting roles slightly.
Have you particularly studied or researched on psychological parts for your piece?
My major of psychology helped a lot. Also, when I was in college, I was involved in counseling programs that graduate students practice their counsel and participated in group counseling as well. This helped me a lot.
Thematic aspect is quite clear in your work. Did you plan it from the beginning?
Initially, I wanted to work on the story where many female characters appear. I wanted the story where the women are put in the center because it seemed most stories are male-oriented. Maybe I’ve specialized in sociology, I think my interest towards social issues are reflected in my piece. I believe these social issues in my story are the reflection of my characteristic.
Does your real-life experience appear in your work?
I had some experience of working in a veterinary hospital and a café as a part time job. (I was not the kind of best worker.) For instance, my experience in veterinary hospital is reflected slightly in the preview of part 2. There was a cat owner who left her 5 cats in the hospital. But then, when the owner came back, the fees were too high to take all the cats back so the owner had to leave some of the cats in the hospital. This is the motif of Chulsoo’s episode. The veterinarian in that episode is the same veterinarian of the veterinary hospital and he is taking care of the remaining cats. In this way, there are some parts where my experiences are embedded in the episode.
How did you make your title?
I used the expression because I actually forget my wallet many times. In terms of context, I can’t say more because it would then be spoiler.
Drawing is unique. How did you make this style of drawing? How did you practice darwing?
I guess the drawing style is from when I started scribbling. The style is not fixed so there are some changes whenever I draw. I repeat practicing drawing till I feel satisfied with character’s facial expression. Still I like drawing animals rather than humans.
Cut and Setting are distinctly free from original cartoons. How did you make your own style?
I just did what I wanted to do. My mom says I need to draw in a way I want because there are so many talented people in drawing. It seemed her advice helped me.
I think my drawing style has become unique because actually, I had no idea on cartoon and did not know the formula and standard of it.
Cute and smiley elements on top of depressing theme harmonizes well. Would you say you are intending to concern the tone of your work?
I just like puns. Because if there are no jokes at all while working, I myself become depressed.
Are those jokes impromptu? What do you try to build up your jokes?
I tend to look up the board on Internet website where all the puns are uploaded.
How and when do you make each episode’s title?
I look through the work before I submit and borrow the expression after I search the key words of the name of the book, movie, and music on the Internet.
Do comments and feedback influence your work?
Due to payment service and saving manuscript, I am already working on 5 episodes ahead of now. So, I am not really concerned or influenced by the comments.
What is the most bothering part of your work?
‘Whether my work is meaning story’
The thematic part in my work is vital. I believe this is working till now. I want to tell the story of the meaningful part of the world I believe.
What is the most difficult part of your work?
Headache and backache. I stand half of my time of working because of them.
What is the best episode?
Recalling episodes of Sujin and Kyungja. Well, their episodes are just drawn as I like and intend. In Kyungja’s episode, the Lord’s Prayer appears and at the end, there is telephone number. That is the end of the episode and I like that.
In Sujin’s recalling episode, when Sujin enters the door and Sujin of present time period appears for the first time. I liked the scene.
Seaweedtheking’s recommending webtoons top 3
NeonB, Caramel Dieter – Fun and practical. I started watching them because they are popular. I like the description of bad publicity that fat women receive and the emotions of women. Also, I liked sparrow character.
Chun Gaeyoung, Dresscode – this webtoon explains dresscode in an easy way. In the process, I was impressed that the relationship between her mother and the artist was reflected on her dress.
Kangdangun(Ho yeon), Pottery – I was impressed and thought it was fun to see different stories with pottery in each episode with her simple pictures.
Do you have any life works or things you really care about besides webtoons?
My favorite story is the fairy tale, Olivia. Olivia is not a good child but a childlike girl who does and says what she wants. While kids like to wear princess clothes, the protagonist wants to wear something more diverse. This makes the protagonist distinct from other characters. The story ends in line, saying ‘What do I want to be at the end? I ended up wanna be a queen.’ And I really like this line. It was queen, not the princess, she says. Of course, the drawing is also warm.