Glenn Song moved from Downingtown, Pennsylvania to California where he built a career out of being a software engineer. His talents led to him working on games that you may be familiar with like MySims and The Sims 4 among others.
As he has always enjoyed drawing and writing he combined those talents to produce a web comic called This Mortal Coil.
His love of pin up girl and Lolita style fashion has led to him producing his first coloring book for adults.
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Let’s get to know Glenn Song
Do you remember the first thing that you drew and if so what was it?
I don’t remember off hand what the first things I drew were — maybe The Real Ghostbusters or Garfield, but I do remember that after drawing it I’d glue each page together and made some giant, flimsy book out of all of them. It’s probably been long thrown out by now.
Do you have any formal art training or are you self taught?
I’m self-taught. I copied comic books at first, then anime, and after that taught myself anatomy, perspective, etc., using books from Drawing Comics the Marvel Way to Andrew Loomis’ figure drawing books. I learned all of the digital stuff myself too. I started with Photoshop and Painter 8 years and years ago. Today I mostly use Manga Studio for my digital artwork and a plethora of other free tools that I learned over time.
What are your favorite things/topics to draw/illustrate?
Women and fashion. For fashion I enjoy drawing Lolita Fashion since it tends to have a lot of detail. I used to draw pinup girls, but I outgrew it. Now, I mostly focus on creating original characters and creating comics/novels around them.
Where do you create your drawings? Can you describe what your work space looks like?
I mainly work digitally using my Surface Pro 3 these days. I have a small rolling desk with my Surface Pro 3 on it and move it where I want in my apartment and work. I like that the Surface is mobile so I can take it with me to cafes and libraries and work there as well. I am starting to do more traditional artwork again and for that all of my supplies are laid out in my living room, especially because I want to record my drawing process and share it on Instagram.
What is your drawing process like? Do you prefer to finish a drawing in one sitting, work on it over a number of sittings or do you switch between drawings that you are working on? Or do you do something else?
I used to do it all in one sitting, but I realized a while ago the value of stepping away from my art. I found if I did things in one sitting, I’d be rushing it and it would inevitably lead to mistakes which would create more work. These days I’ll do a pencil drawing and leave it for a while before re-evaluating it. It allows me to come back to a drawing with fresh eyes and correct errors and make better decisions about it.
Do you listen to music while you illustrate, if so, what are your musical tastes?
There was maybe a 100 or so songs I have in a playlist that I’d play over and over again. Most of them were anime musical tracks or Japanese pop songs. It was good for working because I liked the music, and since I didn’t understand the lyrics I couldn’t get distracted by it. Now I have Amazon Prime so I’ve been listening to Broadway shows (Hamilton, Les Miserables) and whatever I find on that service that piques my interest. I would say half of the time when I work, I don’t listen to anything other than the jumble of thoughts in my mind.
Does your work space/environment influence your art work at all?
Not in any way that I could tell.
You have published a coloring book/s please tell us what drew you to the coloring book market and a bit about your book and your inspiration for it
My book is Lolita Fashion Coloring Book for Adults, which is very singularly that, Lolita dress designs. If you’re not familiar with the fashion, it’s a woman’s fashion that comes out of Harajuku, Tokyo and spans the globe over. It’s inspired by Victorian and Rococo dresses mixed with Japan’s love of kawaii/cute everything. I like the dresses for their detail, prettiness, and ornamentation.
As for how the book came about: I draw a webcomic called This Mortal Coil (it’s currently on hiatus), and the main character is dressed as a gothic/classic Lolita. I wanted to explore different Lolita styles with her and ended up creating a 30 frame animated fashion turntable. My friend thought the original line art would make for good coloring book illustrations. I looked into the market, and while there were plenty of coloring books available, including ones on Victorian fashion, there weren’t many on Lolita Fashion. So I decided to challenge myself to see if I could put a book together and create a physical product out of my art.
What do you look forward to doing in the next 6 months in the coloring world?
I really only just discovered it. So I ought to get my hands on more books and do some coloring! I also have a lot of original artwork I’d love to be coloring or just making in general including a second episode of my webcomic. Lots to do!
What was the feeling like when you first seen your art work published in a coloring book?
I’d like to say it was all roses and sweet stuff, but since I self-published the book and did all of the art inside of it, when I got it I enjoyed it’s for a moment before I dug in and started picking it apart and figuring out how to make it look better. I am mostly happy with the final product and I hope people enjoy my illustrations, but I wonder what folks will think when they color the drawings.
What did it feel like to see your art work colored in by someone else?
It was really cool to see my friends color the pieces. I liked the idea that I made something that someone else could then make art with.
Do you color as well illustrate/draw/publish books?
I color digitally. For the last few years I’ve mainly done a lot of high contrast black and white artwork for my comic, which is mostly just done in black and when you can only express everything in one color it gets interesting to define shapes, shadows, highlights, etc. I started coloring my own book, but it’s only because I have so many copies of it, but even then I find that I enjoy inking designs on the pages versus coloring them. If I do color them, I like making them look garish because I feel like that’s breaking the rules.
It can be very difficult managing day to day life as well as publishing a coloring book. Can you tell us about your daily routine and how you manage your time?
I have to admit, I’m probably really poor at time management and I split my time between a lot of competing interests. The Lolita fashion illustrations were ones I did mainly at night while watching TV. I wasn’t so serious about them becoming anything. During the day I worked on my main job, which was a tiny startup my buddy and I created to make mobile games. I’m a software engineer, and I’d end up writing game code all day, with a late break for lunch and then dinner. After that I’d wind down, but I wind down with drawing.
Publishing can be a creative and a chaotic experience with a lot of learning curves along the way. Tell us the best and worst experiences that you have had creating your coloring book
I self-published via CreateSpace and yes, it was a learning curve, but I feel like I learned a lot and am better for it. I mentioned some of what I went through above, but I had never really put a book together. I used two free tools which helped me a lot: Scribus for laying out the book and Inkscape for creating the interior vector graphics.
I ordered a lot of proofs because I don’t entirely trust the digital proof in CreateSpace. I don’t think I should have a reason not too since it seemed to accurately portray the book, but I still want to hold a final proof. I really don’t know how this experience would compare to having an actual publisher. I suppose they would lay out the book correctly and avoid a lot of the learning curve I had to go through.
Above all the best experience was, as mentioned above, holding the final product and knowing I had created it.
What is your favorite treat/reward for a job well done?
These days probably reading a book or talking a walk outside. I spend so much time inside, that anytime I can break away from my work, it’s a nice treat.
Connect with Glenn on Social Media
|Mortal Coil Website|
Where to buy
You can purchase Glenn’s first coloring book for adults, Lolita Fashion here.