Illustrator Spotlight: Andie Tong


© Andie Tong

Jan. 31, 2020

We are excited to feature illustrator Andie Tong and her new graphic novel, GREEN LANTERN: LEGACY, written by Minh Lê (DC Comics (Jan. 21, 2020). Enter to win a copy!



Tell us about yourself and how you came to illustrate for children.
  
My first professional drawing gig was for He-man and the Masters of the Universe back in 2003. I got this opportunity because at my first ever Comic Convention I attended in 2000, I met Sanford Greene—an upcoming start at the time—and he recommended me for the job.

Starting in 2005, I had an assignment drawing Spectacular Spider-Man UK for the European Market. This lasted for several years. Other opportunities followed, including titles such as TekkenPlants vs Zombies and Tron. Since then, I’ve been steadily working in publishing.



© Andie Tong


Congrats on your recent graphic novel, GREEN LANTERN LEGACY, by Minh Lê. Tell us about this project and how you approached the illustration.

Thank you. It's still unbelievable to me that I'm I got to be on this project with Minh and Sarah. We get to tell a new origin Green Lantern story through the eyes of a young kid, who learns about power, responsibility and community.
  
I wanted to keep my art visually exciting and dynamic to hold the readers’ attention. At the same time, I needed to keep the layouts easy to follow, especially since it is aimed at younger readers. 

© Andie Tong


Was your road to publication long and winding, short and sweet, or something in between?

I would say my road to publication has been long and winding. It hasn't always been smooth and, like any career path, it's been a mixture of some great and not so great projects, as well as some missed opportunities.


As much as I've managed to work on some high profile projects, I feel I still have a long way to go.


© Andie Tong


What projects are you working on now?


Currently I am working on short stories for DC. I've had the opportunity to complete stories featuring the Flash, Superman and Nightwing. I hope to do more for DC in the future. I'm also currently completing a children's novel series called Soldier Dogs for HarperCollins. During my free time, I'm trying to complete a creator-owned Children's book with a friend who is a poet.


© Andie Tong



What advice do you have for aspiring graphic novel artists and illustrators?

My advice would be to keep drawing and to draw every day. You also have to learn the fundamentals. That’s something you can’t get around if you hope to draw at a professional level.
  
When you're starting out and you're trying to find a style that works for you, don't be afraid to copy. Do always give credit to your references and acknowledge your influences. After a while, if you keep at it, you'll find yourself naturally developing your own style.

© Andie Tong


In my early days, I copied many different artists. I tried copying Todd McFarlane, Humberto Ramos and Joe Madureira. It was all very amateurish, but also very helpful. My earliest influence that I can recall was seeing a Spider-man comic drawn by John Romita Senior, which I tried to emulate. Without consciously thinking about it, I was using influences from all of these artists until I eventually developed a style of my own. 

After doing this for sometime, I realize I started inadvertently using parts from one style and parts from other style and moulding it into something new.

What is one thing most people don't know about you?


Not many people would know that I use to work in the Multimedia and Design industries. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Design, and for the following 10 years, I worked on animation, motion graphics and interactive design. I also used to create designs for a clothing company that focused on popular children’s brands like Peter Rabbit and Humphrey's Corner.


© Andie Tong


Where can people find you online?

Instagram is the only social media platform I still regularly update, so look for me there. You can check out new work at http://www.instagram.com/andietong


Andie Tong’s past comic book and illustration experience includes titles such as Spectacular Spider-Man UK, The Batman Strikes!, Tron: Betrayal, Plants vs. Zombies, Star Wars, Tekken, and Stan Lee’s  The Zodiac Legacy. Andie has also illustrated children’s books for HarperCollins for more than ten years and has had the opportunity to work on multiple books with Stan Lee. Malaysian born, Andie migrated to Australia at a young age, and then moved to London in 2005. In 2012 he journeyed back to Asia and currently resides in Singapore with his wife and two children.

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8 comments:

  1. I've been reading more and more graphic novels and finding out how much I enjoy them. Congratulations on your book!

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  2. This looks like a very interesting sci-fi fantasy graphic novel!

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  3. I am really excited about this book. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

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  4. Lots of exciting projects! My grandson and granddaughter will love these books! Congratulations! Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Can't wait to read this! I love graphic novels and so do my students.

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  6. I am so excited about more Asians in graphic novels.

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