Eyo, I’m Kai. I am an illustrator and a graphic designer by profession. I spent most of my years designing for various companies with local and foreign clients. I finished Multimedia as an elective but with a budding interest in illustrations. Now, I am exploring the vast freelance realm.

I tried giving out the comic-making journey a go last 2010. I am the one behind the Patintero Comics titles. That was nominated in the Komikon Awards. Which was also featured also in the Sulyap Komiks Anthology. Also made the webcomics Livin La Via Experience & The Panda Within.

Current projects? I am doing Friendly Potato - a small project (not a comic) with friendly and positive potatoes giving out good vibes and positivity. You can also find mental health care stuff and motivation out there.

And of course, I am doing creative live streams (Twitch) and sharing my cartoon stuff around. You could check out what’s the on going project on my stream channel.

You can see more of me and my work on: my website, Twitch, Instagram, Facebook, and Friendly Potato


Q: Everyone has an origin story. Could you share with us the exact moment (or moments) wherein you realized that you wanted to become an artist?

I started drawing when I was a kid. But I didn’t pursue art until post-grad. Although I finished a Multimedia elective, it didn’t occur to me that I could turn drawing into a full-time career. So I went on to be a web & graphic designer for various local companies and foreign clients. That was my employment career for 8 years. I then discovered a site called Deviant Art, but I explored it mainly for graphic design inspiration. I saw some illustration pieces that reignited my interest in drawing. Then, I discovered local artists there too. That was probably the start of it all.


Q: From that moment, and throughout your journey as an artist, what has been your biggest struggle?

In terms of career, my biggest struggle probably has been widening my network. Since most of my friends from school don’t share the same interest in art, it’s very hard to enter a community where I don’t know anyone. I didn’t even get the support of pursuing art from most of them. I don’t have the luxury of a large audience. Maybe because, I’m not the one who approaches people first. I’m the one who observes from afar. Even though they say you can interact with them, I’m mostly skeptical to do that. It got worse when I became a home-based employee a few years back.


Q: How have you been able to cope with (or overcome) this struggle?

I’m still struggling with doing that. But thankfully, there’s social media nowadays that I can use. They have been a very big help. Communication is easier than before.


Q: What would you consider is the ONE thing that REALLY helped you level up your skills?

In terms of skills, I would say, the internet! (lol!) It’s indeed a very big help. Information is just a search away. I read a lot of articles about creativity and the business side of it. They really help.


Q: What is one thing you’d wish you’d known before you started your artistic career? Why?

Hmm. like what was mentioned above. Probably having the luxury of having a large audience that supports you in your endeavors. Even if you’re just starting, if you have people behind you supporting you, you’ll get far.


Q What drives or inspires you to continue making your art?

Seeing that people appreciate what I do gives me the motivation to work on what I have, and share it. It gives me this feeling that I have a place in the art world. I also don’t want to have regrets about not doing art.


Q: What does your average day look like? (And when do you fit in the time to create art?)

Nothing fancy. I do art everyday so here’s my day: Wake up. Take coffee. A short work out, and then a bath. Then a second coffee. Then off to the workstation. I usually stop doing computer stuff by late afternoon. Then, I take a rest or have a walk, then go back at it again.


Q: How do you deal with distractions or challenges that you encounter while you’re working on your art?

Distraction is always there. It’s up to you if you will indulge it (hahaha!). Having a certain schedule can give you a guide and learn to practice discipline. That’s very important in freelancing.


Q: What do you do when you feel just completely uninspired or burnt out? How do you motivate yourself to start working again?

If I feel completely uninspired or burnt out, I indulge in distractions (lol). Usually I take a day off on my schedule before I have the energy or drive to resume. I know that’s not good, but it gets the job done! 


Q: What would you say has been your most EPIC win so far?

If we’re talking about the past years - maybe getting my title (Patintero Comics) in TPB format. Right now, I just upgraded my internet connection, so it opens doors to more opportunities for me! Which includes doing creative live streams! You can say that I am enjoying it!


Q: What would you say has been your biggest failure?

Losing a job. I was expecting that I would have stayed with that job for a very long time. I even had plans for the future, which were all scrapped - for now. Then I went on a job search and I once got a response that they had an age requirement (28yo and below). That hit hard. And then I got a couple more of the same responses, and that did it for me. The burden of the pressure was real back then. It made me lose my confidence - career wise. I also began to regret doing design work. I also lost confidence in my skills. That might also be one reason why I pursue cartooning now.


Q: What, for you, has been the best way to promote yourself and your work to potential fans, clients, or publishers?

Social media. Easy to use! Deliver the artwork to the viewers with just a gadget in their pockets. That’s also one consideration I see when talking with other artists/creators. Now they format their artworks to fit into the social media dimensions. Because that’s where the eyes are. The chance to be visible in a crowded world - and it’s free.


Q: What has been your game plan throughout your journey? What’s the BIG picture here? The ultimate dream? The end game?

I plan to do more cartoon artworks. I want to do it full-time. Hoping I can make a series for my own to publish online. Not a very elaborate one, just a simple one,  but that’s the dream. I love creating cartoons, that’s why I want to do more of those. My hope is that people will see my art worthy to be followed or supported. And of course, to get back to those scrapped plans and fulfill them.


Q: What, for you personally, has been the source of your ideas, creativity and talent?

Nowadays, it’s been a lot of inspiring pieces online. I still watch cartoons on TV. I also check out new cartoon stuff online. There’s this one challenge going on online which is “#drawThisInYourStyle” where you draw a character of one artist on your own rendition. Seeing different approaches of different artists/illustrators really gives you inspiration and drive!


Q: What is your big “WHY”? Why do you feel the need to make art? Who are you doing it for? What’s the hidden reason behind your big dream?

I know I’m not an established cartoonist yet. I want to be one in the future. Having people that support you and love your work. I want it to be the main thing that I do - to create. And of course, being able to provide for your love ones while doing the thing that you love? Now we’re talking!


Quick-Fire Questions

Q: What 3 stories (comics, movies, documentaries, novels, etc.) would you say influenced and inspired your work the most?

Hana-Barbera Cartoons - really one of the roots of my cartoon inspirations.
Disney’s Hercules & Lion King - movies that inspired me to draw.
The Hardy Boys Mystery Series - gave me the opportunity to let my imagination run. (nope, I didn’t finish it)

There’s also a series of illustrated novels that I saw as a kid. They’re all in a box set. The titles were Ivanhoe, Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island, Robin Hood. Those are very amazing stories.


Q: What are the top books, art books, blogs, podcasts, or workshops you’d recommend that helped you level up your skills?

I usually listen to podcasts or online videos - from respected artists - regarding art related stuff. I can say, Chris Oatley’s podcast gave me a lot of help. Will Terry’s advice, and Will Terrell & Dan Ekis stories. You can search for all of their channels right away.


Q: If you could work remotely, from anywhere in the world, where would your office be? Why?

Somewhere with a fast internet connection. I made a vlogtoon about that in the past - Internet of Our Country. Which explains why things are difficult here locally if we work with the requirement of an internet connection.



Q: Name ONE artist/writer that, if you could, you would pick their brain and find out all the hidden secrets behind their amazing work?

Right now, any writer/animator doing cartoon shows. But for the comic medium, maybe Sean Galloway or Jon Sommariva. They have very dynamic poses in their artworks.


Q: Who do you consider your biggest mentor that helped you improve your skills?
(Doesn’t have to be someone you’ve met personally. Can be someone you look up to, or someone whose art has inspired you to get better, over the years.)

As mentioned above, I only had artist/creator friends by attending conventions. A few of them I ask for feedback. The others, are really based on what I learned from the lessons of those creators I mentioned above.

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