STGCC 2018: Manga, comics, and the weather. A conversation with Li Yishan.

STGCC rolls around again and as with my yearly tradition, I’m here with another interview with another artist. However, instead of interviewing one of the many big names in western comics that came down. I decided to sit down with Yishan Li, a UK/Chinese manga artist based in Shanghai and have worked with notable publishers like Top Cow, DC, and Darkhorse.

STGCC 2018 Interview Li Yishan 02

I pose this question to all artist I interview, who or what inspired your current style?
I actually started with manga when I first started drawing. My publisher was American and British so they didn’t want a style that was too manga so a lot of times I went with style that is more akin to western comic. So as time went on, it slowly become my own unique style because as you can see, my style is kind of in between (manga & comics)

A lot of comic artist have other ways of creative expression besides creating art. Do you have other avenues of creative expression besides creating art?

Well, unfortunately I’m not very good at singing, dancing and even writing. There is nothing actually creative out of me except making art. Although I basically spend my spare time partying and travelling which takes up the rest of my time. It’s pretty busy being an artist anyways.

On the topic of travel, is there a particular place you like to go?

Well, I’d go anywhere I’ve never been to. Like here in Singapore Comic Con (STGCC), I never been to Singapore before and it’s great to be here.  I really love the fact that Singapore is truly a multicultural society with everybody speaking English and a majority of the population speaks Chinese – which makes things easy for me. The people here are also very nice but I don’t really like the weather here *laughs* It has been raining ever since I came here but other than that it’s beautiful.

STGCC 2018 Interview Li Yishan 02

A lot of artist have their own unique ways of dealing with the dreaded artist block. Do you have any unique ways of dealing with it?

Yes! Well…I just sleep. Seriously what else can I do? Retail therapy? No…that cost money! You might as well just sleep through it. It’s probably because you are too tired. You might as well just go to sleep…Seriously

What do you hate about the life of an artist?

Simple…Back pains and neck pains. I even lost the natural curvature of my neck because you’re always hunched over your table drawing and there’s nothing I can do. The doctors told me to lay down and rest, and I told them no way. It’s not like I’m in an office where I can stand up and walk. It’s not like I can stand up and draw.

Thank you for your time!

Photos by Ken Koh

By Kenny Chen

© POPCulture Online 2018