Art Pulse,  Featured Artists

Artist Spotlight: Turtle Wayne

Wayne Chan, or Turtle Wayne as he is known on Instagram, at Sakura of America, or in any cafe where he brings his portable studio (a small drawing pad and his go-to drawing supplies), can draw you any kind of turtle you would like. Turtle Raindrop, Turtle Alpaca, Tired Turtle, you name it, and if he hasn’t already drawn it, he’ll create it for you! I learned this at Dealer Workshop when he drew a Turtle Hermione for me and a Turtle Shakespeare for Account Manager Cassie Brehmer. Intrigued by his intense focus on turtles and curious about his general artistic journey, we reached out to learn more.

When did you first start making art? 

I first started making comic art when I transferred to private school in 8th grade to entertain my new classmates and the girls I had crushes on.

What is the appeal of turtles? What is some feedback you’ve gotten from fans?

The two most asked questions from fans are: Why turtles? Can you draw me into a turtle? Turtles are cool. Turtles live long, go slow and have everything they need on their backs. That is something I aspire to be, do, and have. 

What kinds of things were you into before turtles? 

Before drawing turtles, I was drawing a lot of autobiographical comic strips (Fuz and Soysauce, for instance) to pass the time.

How do those things still show up within the turtle theme?

I still draw from my life for subject material, but now I also turn what other people want or say into a drawing.

What do you like about drawing? 

Drawing is my cure for boredom. I also like people’s reaction to something being drawn just for them.

Where do you draw / when do you draw?

I can draw anywhere, anytime, and for anyone. I have drawn in cars, trains, planes, helicopters, boats, and even while running on a treadmill. I draw when the mood strikes or when I want to connect with somebody.  My favorite thing to do when I have free time is draw at bars. I can draw the bartenders favorite animal into a turtle by the time they make me a drink.

Wayne’s portable studio!

What are your current go-to supplies?

For drawing turtles I use Pigma Microns 01, 03, and 05. When I use my left-hand the ink doesn’t smudge and always hold up against the Prismacolor markers I use for the colors.

For drawing murals I use Decocolor and PenTouch paint markers.

My portable on-the-go studio has these three go-to pens:

1. Sakura Identi-pen – Is dual tipped so I can do quick sketches and fine details with one pen!

2. Sakura Micron PN – Has durable and flexible nib for drawing details and for writing down my thoughts. I also use it to show people what my company makes since not everyone is familiar with Sakura of America.

3. Sakura Pigma Sensei 06 – Similar to Identi-pen nib but has Pigma Ink like Micron.

While Wayne’s mural work incorporates turtles here and there, his creative universe expands to everything and anything! His doodlework has transformed walls at galleries, restaurants and offices (Facebook’s HQ, to be specific).

More of Wayne’s Doodlework:

How did you get involved with Sakura? What kind of work do you do there?

In 2014, Michaela, a Marketing Assistant/MarCom Specialist at Sakura of America, emailed me to see if I wanted to do a Micron giveaway on my Instagram to help celebrate their launch of @sakuraofamerica on Instagram.The Sakura of America office is about a mile away from where I live so I ended up visiting Michaela and meeting everyone at Sakura of America. I worked with them doing a few videos for Sakura’s YouTube channel and every other month or so we would have lunch together. In 2017, Michaela asked me if I knew anyone that would like to work at Sakura of America since one of their marketing team members had to move. I told her I would like to work there and I’ve been there ever since.

What do you do for Inktober?

I have drawn my turtles based on the official Inktober prompts. I also created a character based on Sakura’s cherry blossom logo to do the Inktober prompts on @sakuraofamerica on Instagram for the past 3 years:

What motivates you?

Seeing and supporting artists motivates me a lot.

Who are some artists you are inspired by and why?

Tell me about a project you are excited about right now.

Sakura of America sends me to the annual National Art Education Association conference where I man the booth where we meet and support Art Teachers with art supplies and product knowledge. I met Phil Chun and Angie Chi who started Clay House Art in Burlingame, CA at the conference this year and now I’m their first studio artist. I’m excited to explore with air-dry clay and use it to add color and 3D elements into my mural work. The gallery/studio/workshop also has classes so I’m excited about eventually sharing my art and experiences with everyone there.

Special thanks to Wayne for making time to chat with us about his creative motivations. Do you know an artist Art Dog needs to spotlight? Reach out to us at artdogblog (@) and let us know!

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