From being part of Talent 100 to being an indie exhibitor; from being an artist to being an entrepreneur

Text/ Stanley Chen  Photo/Creative Expo Taiwan

 

The Licensing Hall of Creative Expo Taiwan at Taipei Expo Park- Expo Dome can be said to be the distinguished gathering of the IP industry. Various IP characters would be present and competing for attention. Success did not come easily for any of the characters. They all have their “before” times. Now we’ll tell you a story of an indie brand founder that started from Talent 100, and gradually evolved to be an entrepreneur.

 

The creator of “Lazy Rabbit & Mr. Chu”: Find a way that suits you, and you’ll gradually find your way to success.

 

 

 

Do you have “Lazy Rabbit & Mr. Chu” in your LINE sticker collection? Eighteen sets of stickers have been published since its initial launch in 2014; there are more than a million of downloads, its Facebook fans exceeds 40 thousand. The IP brand enjoys great popularity.

 

The artist is a girl in her 20s. She’s nicknamed “Lobster”, and the nickname has been with her since high school, all the way through to now. When asked about the incentive of creating these characters, she said it all started with notebooks. Back in her junior year in high school, she was crazy about notebooks, and enjoys expressing emotions with drawing.

 

She adores rabbit, so she used the animal to represent herself. Halfway through drawing, she thought it looked a bit lonely to only have a rabbit in the picture, and wanted to create another interlocutor for the rabbit. The first idea that came to her mind was a chicken, and Mr. Chu came into being just like that. In the beginning, she only shared those drawings on Instagram. Then under the suggestion of her fans, she tried creating LINE stickers. To her surprise, it received huge popularity. “Approximately when the third set was launched, I felt that it seemed more people knew about me.”

 

In 2016, she was recommended by LINE Original Stickers and was included in the Talent 100 section of Creative Expo Taiwan for the first time. At that time, she had only just graduated, and the IP industry was a foreign territory for her. It was not until she was in the exhibition that she started to learn about it. There she also met a lot of artists that share the same profession with her, and became friends with them. In retrospect, she commented, “There were more visitors than I thought there would be, which was really a surprise. That also motivated me to continue to draw. I think Creative Expo Taiwan helped me a great deal. If all I did was draw, I probably would never know these things.”

 

As stickers gained popularity, requests of collaborations in IP started to knock on their doors. What’s curious is that none of the merchandise bears existing images from the sticker sets. It turns out it was on Lobster’s insistence: “I don’t want to use existing images from the sticker sets. I prefer to create new ones so that it would be more diverse.” Because of that, her works received good reviews and she has accumulated a loyal following. From her sticker sets and IP licensing, she was able to have a certain financial foundation. That also allowed her to make up her mind to work as an artist full-time and established her own studio last year. So, for her second time at Creative Expo Taiwan, she progressed from participating as part of the Talent 100 to as an IP indie brand. She rented a larger exhibition space to “try to do a bigger and more complete display.” Apart from that, she also hopes to find partners to create new character merchandise (such as action figure) to fulfill the fans’ wishes.

 

When it comes to running a fan page, Lobster confessed that she felt defeated in the beginning. She was following what most illustration artists did (designing a thematic post that can get the most resonance from fans). It wore her out after trying for just one month. Therefore, she decided to do what she did best and focus on creating illustrations. She created background image for phones for fans to download for free. In doing this instead of following others’ patterns, she consolidated her group of fans. Once part of Creative Expo Taiwan Talent, her advice to arising artists is “Maybe you won’t be able to succeed quickly by doing what you do best, but whatever suits you is the thing that you can continue to do. Don’t rush, take your time.”

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