Why did you start this comic?
Hi, I’m Jessica Emmett. I started this comic as a creative outlet for all the small inconsequential random thoughts that float around in my mind. This comic was formally called Stray Thoughts Comics, but I changed it in 2015 to Geeky Adoptee was just a bit more direct =), some content on the site might reflect that.
So this is not your first online comic?
No, this is my second. In 2009 I found myself needing a project to take my mind off a number of life changes. I find myself thinking, “Huh, now what?”. I needed something fun to do. So:
Adoptee + Art + Fun = Adopted the Comic (www.adoptedthecomic.com)
Why adoption, that’s not funny?
In my early 20’s, when I was trying to look for relatable adoption resources. I have been lucky enough to come across people from all corners of the adoption triad community from all over the world and heard their stories and experiences. I previously ran art workshops with adopted children and I currently help advice and designed website for two big international communities Adopted Vietnamese International (AVI) and Hong Kong Adoptee Network (HKAN). I have a deep respect for adoption issues, yet I had always felt that were was something missing. I wanted to offer a different view point that would compliment the more important serious resources out there already. Most of all I think it is vital to be able to laugh at ones self, it’s part of the healing and accepting process. So from 2009-2013 I worked in collaboration with another Vietnamese adoptee (Bert Ballard who did much of the writing) on Adopted the Comic which got a great response and support from the adoption community, more than I expected. So I wanted to carry on with adoption comics as part of Geeky Adoptee even though the other short comic project had come to and end.
What’s your adoption story?
In short I’m a transracial Vietnamese adoptee. My birth parents where Vietnamese refugees that fled to Hong Kong after the Vietnam War. I was born and adopted by British white ex-pat parents and raised in Hong Kong until I was 16 before moving to the UK. Now i’m living in Singapore. If you want to read more about my adoption story and learn more about my past involvement in adoption, please go to my main artist website:
What’s your “job”?
I’m a freelance illustrator & artist.
I started out doing photography and media at uni, with a focus on conceptual art. I did a number of exhibitions and funded residency/schemes. I moved on to do art workshops & talks/panels in the adoption community as well as being involved as a committee and advisory member on 3 different adult adoptee community groups.
In 2009 I wanted to focus more on my freelance art and moved towards design & illustration. In 2011 I was approached to illustrate a children’s education book, Learn Thai: Book 1: Through Stories, Grammar & Exercises (by Karine Jones), which was published in 2013 [HERE].
After Adopted the Comic & the Learn Thai book I realised I wanted to pursue illustration on a more full time basis. You can see some of my current illustrations here: www.jessica-emmett.com/illustration
While I am proud to be an adoptee, I definitely don’t thinking about adoption 24/7, far from it. With Adopted the Comic (my first online comic) I was obviously restricted to doing comics about adoption, and to be honest there were other ideas I had.
I confess I’ve always been a bit of a geek… though I hesitate to label myself “geek” as it has very different meanings to different people. Neither can I claim that I know much about anything in depth. All I know is that I’ve always embarrassed technology, I like playing computer games, I enjoy sci-fi/fantasy while working as a digitally artist. It will be interesting to explore this side of my work in illustration.
You may find an archery comic occasional. I trained as a level 1 archery coach in the UK. However I had to stop due to injury, but every once in a while I still have a comic idea.
Why do you use emoticons?
You can read more about my use of emoticons on the Emoticons (text based) post.
How often will you update?
This comic is a fun side project, and I want to try and keep it that way. So I will update when the whim takes me, that way I wont burn out while also juggling life and work. The down side of having so many comics in one, I can’t grantee which topic I will do next. I just want this to be an organic process.
Can I use your comic?
In general I don’t have a problem with the comics being used, without permission, for things like social networks, blogs, personal use etc… as long as it is not for profit and not used to indorse/publicise your organisation, group, products, merchandise etc… basically not for commercial or publication use. I do ask that you credit the comic appropriately. If you are in doubt or want to request to use a comic or find out a rate please get in touch by go to the Contact page.
Do you take requests or do commissions?
In general, it’s difficult to prioritise free comic requests. I I do take on actual professional commissioned illustration work and if that is in comic form or not is or for person or commercial it’s no problem. It is best to contact me as far ahead as possible to avoid disappointment.
What’s your drawing technique?
I draw completely digitally from start to finish. I use a graphics tablet (best purchase ever) and draw directly into my computer using Photoshop. I start out with a super rough sketch of an idea, normally even as basic as stick men. Never underestimate the power of stickmen! =D I then make a more detailed sketch which I will end up tracing. I add two levels of ink/lines, the first is the main thin lines then a thicker line that gives it my style =).
I’ll prob not colour too many of the Stray Thoughts comics to save time. I may also trow up so rough unfinished work just so it’s out of my mind =).
(This is a self portrait, I’m not normally blond but I was at the time of drawing this, so there you go =P ).
So you’re dyslexic?
Doing a comic alone is some what terrifying as I’m actually pretty dyslexic. Dyslexia does not hold me back from doing things, far from it, but no doubt there will be spelling/grammar mistakes on this site and in the comics… just be kind =)