Zechariah Dewitt, 35 years old

I started drawing comics ever since I was in high school. Back in the 90s, the internet was for the privileged and it was difficult for me to pick up drawing strokes as I did not have enough money to buy sets of ‘How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way’ and the tutorial books were essential to develop my drawing skills. I would visit a bookstore, flip through the tutorial books, and memorize as much as I can before going back and practice on my chequered Math book.

Growing up in my own animated world, I did not have the opportunity of going to an art school as there were no art schools for drawing comic. While most universities offered Animation courses, that field did not interest me. Therefore, learning how to draw comics was more of a detective work for me, piecing together what I have learnt through time.

It was difficult to explain my passion to people back then, but with the current exposure of the internet and movies, it has become something people can easily relate to. With all the technology advancement, getting my cartoon characters published is so much easier, as I can get them posted on a digital space and other online platforms.

Despite following my dreams, I needed a stable job as a platform for my passion and my financial career gave me just that. It is quite challenging balancing the two as my work has tight deadlines; while my passion requires me to hold myself accountable for the deadlines I have set for myself.

I think I am a contender to be a full-time cartoonist despite the lack of artistic qualifications. I also understand the expectations of an artist working under pressure. There was no one who would hire artists to draw American style comics in Malaysia so I decided to start a studio of my own: ChainLink Studios, together with my writer friend.  Plus, having your own studio gives you more creative control!