How did the idea of Flabjacks come about? And where did the idea come from?
I have always loved doodling.
In the beginning, Flabjacks was never a job, or something I did with an intention. It expanded organically three years ago when I started an a-doodle-a-day project on to help unwind from a pretty intense advertising job.
What was it like growing up for you and how did it affect you, artistically?
I grew up in Hong Kong, New Zealand and England. I sucked at school in Hong Kong; my first primary school was convinced I had some form of autism and eventually I was kicked out. I was a muted child who didn’t speak much. So instead of making me “do well” according to the local school systems, my mom was always looking out for alternative ways for me to express and learn. She basically surrounded me with art supplies for as long as I could remember. I feel like this actually reflects in what I am trying to do in my art today… it’s never about creating perfection, but largely representing what feels right and good. It’s meditative.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Free-style. Outwardly minimalist. I find the simpler the aesthetic is, the easier we find relevance and connection to it.
How would you describe your fascination with art?
I never studied art. I am far from familiar with the common rituals and practices of art as an industry. But I do find that the art world can be accidentally alienating… traditionally speaking at least. During my final year as an Anthropology student, I fell in love with the idea of individual perceptual experiences being super key in our relationship with art and everyday objects. The work I create is not so much about making something pleasing for the eye; what I try to do is create expressions that are as simple as possible - to encourage a relationship between the doodles and the observer. The story I wish to tell from Flabjacks is just as important as the story you try to tell from it. My greatest happiness with what I do is seeing people find relevance or a common connection with the chubby creatures.
What do you do away from work, during your free time?
Doing nothing is a great feeling.
What is the hardest thing you have to deal with on a daily basis?
Not having enough time, but that’s everyone’s problem isn’t it... “Life is too long” - says no-one ever.
Doodling your face and turning it into a giant piece of fudge.
Shanghai or Hong Kong?
Shanghai, for work and living and space (physical and mental head space). Hong Kong, for family and loved ones and glorious fishballs.
What’s your impression of Peppertint?
The only pair of sunglasses I have that doesn’t seem to run away from my face and rebel against my head shape. I am thankful for it.