Pablo Bear Goes to Asia



Two years ago, I met Pablo Ientile as he was working his way across Asia for his book. Now, 2 years later and with lots of stories under his belt, he’s running an Indiegogo campaign where you’ll be able to support his first ever production of the book that brings all of his experiences together – all bounded in a beautiful comic book.

With just 42 hours left to the clock on the Indiegogo campaign, this is your last chance to be a part of his first print run – the campaign is already a success, and as of this point in time has surpassed the €6,577 needed for him to kickstart things!

I did a little interview with Pablo to find out more about the process that lead up to the campaign:

Congratulations on your Indiegogo campaign Pablo! I’m really thrilled to have you with us to talk about your process from the beginning to where you are right now with raising money for your comic book. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the project?

Thank you Amy, my name is Pablo Ientile, I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and I live and work in Berlin right now. I always wanted to make a big project with illustrations and I came up with an idea to combine it with another two of my favorites activities: traveling and meeting people. In the end, with all the ideas combined, I traveled to Asia for 6 months and met a lot of artist along the way, including you, Amy!


How did you get the idea to come up with having yourself as the main character in your comic book?

I needed someone to tell the story so I had to be the main character, but I didn’t want it to be a human being – so I decided I will be a bear and that’s how he became the main character. The words are all me though!


What was the scariest part about starting your project?

I struggled a lot before buying the first flight ticket to Kuala Lumpur, just because I was scared of the idea that spontaneously meeting artists along the way would never work out. But some of the artists I contacted before I left confirmed their participation and that made me feel more comfortable to give it a go.


How many artists did you meet on your journey, and how did you get to know them/approach them about your idea?

I met a lot of creative people, from many different fields and I featured around 40 artists in the book plus many creative meetings with young artists. It was a great decision to meet other artists along the way, it gave me a lot of inspiration and new ideas for the future. I hope I could inspire them too with my ideas.




What were the few most important lessons that you’ve learnt throughout the 6 months journey for your book?

My first plan was to show my friends in Europe how Asia looks like but at the end I was surprised at how many other people were interested in my experiences too as I went along the way. I felt I was showing Asians how Asia looks like and that made me feel very happy.


How did you manage to save up enough money to travel? Did you have any help, or sponsorship throughout the journey?

I had saved up for a long time with the idea of making a big project one day, although at the time I didn’t know what that would be! I kept myself confident that it would be an unique project. I also started my first crowd funding campaign and the amount I’ve received from that represented only a small part of what I’ve spent, but it helped to get the travel done and helped me with my struggle along the way. The trust from the funders was very important to me and gave me confidence I needed for the project.


How has your life changed after your journey through Asia for your book?

A lot! When I came back I was already thinking about future trips, so I thought I will never be able to keep myself still, but after 3 months I started to plan the book so I kept myself busy creating it. I also had a lot of new freelance jobs because the project gave me some exposure as an artist too. Now I can safely say I’m really happy with the result of this project.


What did you do after your trip? How did you put your dreams of turning your experience into a book a reality?

First of all I scanned all the drawings I had. Then I tried to figure it out how the composition would be. At first I started doing a journal-like design, mixing pictures and drawings about my days in Japan – the first country I visited, but it didn’t  look like a professional book. I kept trying new things and I found out that a comic could be a good method for telling the story of my travels, but I had no idea how to make a comic! So after 6 months of trying, I finally had the first chapter ready and I started to send it to publishers, but with no results. So I asked myself: “do you want to continue with the rest of the story without having a publisher?” and I said “yes!”. Two years later I’m answering this interview for the crowd funding campaign of my first comic book!


What is your advice for aspiring artists who look up to you as a role model?

I recommend to all new writers and illustrators that if you believe in an idea you should fight for it! So don’t give up too early, you can still learn a lot in the process. And never forget to have fun at work, you live only once.


Lastly, tell us something random about your trip! (any funny details or happenings, or even tips for traveling in Asia perhaps?)

The most amazing thing that happened to me in Asia was my experience with food! I wholeheartedly believe that everyone should travel to Asia at least once and try as much food as they can – for me it’s a big enough reason to go back.

Thanks so much Pablo!

You can support Pablo’s Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign here! (Hurry, there’s not much time left!)

My experience with starting a freelance business

Starting a freelance business Over on the Pattern Observer blog today, I talked about how I started my freelance career – having made the jump into the unchartered territory (at least for me), 7 years ago. Did you know that I also put down a mortgage for our home a month before I went solo (it was something me and Mr. T had been planning, but we never thought we’d find the perfect house – within our budget no less – so soon!) So if you’re ever nervous about making that leap, follow Michelle as she uncovers other freelancers who made the leap too!

Click here to read my interview and also, I’ve written an article where I share my thoughts on how to land your first freelance job.

Pikaland @ Bok Fair

Bok Fair 2014!

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this up here yet – social media is sneaky that way – it can make you feel as though you’ve done loads, while you haven’t covered all your bases!

If you’re in Malaysia (my neck of the woods!), come and say hi tomorrow, Sunday 22nd June at Bok Fair, organized by the lovely folks of Bok Tjuv. It’s going to be at Freespace@Kakiseni, PJ SSTwo Mall. There’s a pop-up shop (which I’ll be a part of!) and also a sharing session at 2pm where I’ll gather around with other local indie publishers and talk about self-publishing and the like.

Do come and say hello!