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MOK: There are many side and ¾ back views of you, but as usual, there aren’t really any direct views of your face. Like the withholding in the text, what does it mean to you to sort of withhold your gaze from the viewer?
ODOMO: I didn’t want to draw my face a million times. And everyone is like “god, cartoonists are just so in love with their own faces and love the sound of their own voice”. Well so what? Fuck you. I’m still drawing myself and making it about ME, but like trying to keep it visually interesting and not too same-y.
Backs of heads are like… allowing a little bit of intimacy between me and the reader / viewer but like… stopping them before they get too close. I’m setting the boundaries. For me, the back of the head view is like… there’s a person standing there and you want to reach out to them, but you can’t.
The withholding thing… that’s fun too, haha. That’s more in my writing than my drawings. I love scratching something out and making it so no one will ever be able to read it. I started using paint, too, so there’s like sometimes an entire pages that I end up covering up and wiping out. It’s my book, I can withhold what I want. I can have blank pages if I want. I like the way it looks.
Annie Mok and Mare Odomo over at TCJ.
More Annie Mok, with Natalie Andrewson for Hazlitt.
KING OF THE FLIP