Brooklyn based illustrator Hammond talks about his successful comic ‘monkey and peach’ and how he uses his skill to portray his love of line works, painting & symbolism.


Brooklyn based illustrator Hammond talks about his successful comic ‘monkey and peach’ and how he uses his skill to portray his love of line works, painting & symbolism.


There's a lot that goes on in comics that's more than just drawing, so it was a pretty challenging mountain to climb.

Tell us a bit about yourself - where you are from, and some basic introduction for our readers.

Hey, my name is Hammond, aka Hammling, self-taught illustrator and co-creator of the graphic novel "Monkey and Peach". I was raised in Chinatown, and later moved to Brooklyn, NY. I've worked designing graphics for clothes for OGNYC, illustrated a piece for Procreate, and currently working on a couple of graphic novel projects, including "Glow" by Ray Chou and Vincenzo Ferriero.

Japanese illustration minimal anime
Hammling's Submissino for Inktober 2019

What got you into illustrating?

Growing up I wanted to try everything, and got my start drawing characters from my favorite games and TV shows: Final Fantasy, Pokemon, Dexter's Lab, Megaman to name a few. I would imitate the artwork that I saw in booklets and on the TV screen, drawing them on loose leaf or black marble notebooks with pencil. As I got through high school, I slowly kept pushing myself to improve in aspects of illustrating that I wasn't satisfied with, whether it was anatomy, perspective, colorspace, etc. I even ended up doodling muscles and bones in anatomy all the time in class, which my professor was cool enough to give me credit for instead of doing regular work.

Your art identity is that of beautifully detailed black & white anime and Chibi - what made you go down this route of style?

I think the style I'm most comfortable with is line-work and inking, stemming from all the days I spent imitating my favorite artworks with a pencil when I was a kid. Now, I mostly spend my days illustrating, inking and coloring sequential artwork for comics - which means most of the artwork I do lately is lined artwork. I do love styles outside of that though; I love trying to paint like Bob Ross, painting semi-realistic fantasy artwork, and trying to design symbols/logos occasionally even if I'm not the best at it.

chibi cat illustration
Chibi Cat

What kinds of commission requests do you usually get, how often and types of clients? Our readers would like to know about it.

I get all kinds of commissions - designing logos, t-shirt graphics, sport jersey design, album covers, portraits, fan art, and from all types of clients. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to be commissioned by Procreate, but usually I get commissioned by people from all walks of life. Lately though I've been doing comics, which takes an insane amount of time, so I haven't had much time to take any other commissions.

What work/project are you particularly proud of?

I'm proud of starting my own creator-owned comic with my friend David Chun - "Monkey and Peach" It was a hurdle, from conceptualizing and creating all the characters and settings, story-boarding, revising, inking, coloring, lettering. There's a lot that goes on in comics that's more than just drawing, so it was a pretty challenging mountain to climb.

Tell us about your process, journey and success of your KickStarter campaign - Monkey and Peach.

It started off as just a thought, that my friend David and I start our own creator-owned comic with him as the writer and me as the artist. It wasn't as easy though when we started the journey. Including creating the comic, we had to design our campaign as well - how to make the campaign appealing to backers and convince them to back our project, filming for our campaign video, researching what type of rewards: t-shirts, pins, stickers that would interest backers the most, and finally advertising and finding an audience. All while actually creating and illustrating the comic itself. Luckily, we had a supportive group of friends, and were able to reach an audience that graciously backed our project, funding it over 181%.

I'm grateful for all the challenges that it brought though - there were so many lessons that we learned from launching this campaign. It helped improve my artwork too, which I imagine drawing 36 pages from scratch would do, but in aspects I wouldn't imagine like designing symbols inspired by "kamon" or Japanese family crests (thanks to David Bettencourt, our graphic designer who went above and beyond studying them, as well as helping us design our campaign and editing our video alongside Will Ng). So despite all its challenges, I'm ready to do it again and excited for what I can learn next.

monkey and peach kickstarter
Monkey and Peach

Do you have setup or workspace ideas you can share? It could be an inspiration for illustrators to get their creative juices flowing. Feel free to share an image with us if you like!

I think if your setup improves your flow best and gets you working efficiently, then you're good to go. I'm a bit embarrassed by how my messy my workspace is, but I always have my pens, ink, and space for coffee at all times in front of me. On my monitors I always have references for what I'm drawing, and can't forget the music too.

What's your design process, and what tools do you use for your work?

When I'm coming up with new ideas, I usually brainstorm on the go because ideas seem to pop up when I'm away from all my art stuff, or luckily in bed right before I'm about to fall asleep. When they do come, I make sure to always write notes or else I'll forget. When I get to designing, I always to quick thumbnail sketches first so I can get a feel for how it looks on paper without investing too much time into it. After doing a few thumbs, I flesh out the ones I like best, refining until I figure out what direction I want to go in. Next, I go through all the inking/coloring stages, making sure I get feedback if I need to revise/edit, and finally publish. The tools I use most are iPad pro & Procreate, Wacom Cintiq 27qhd & Photoshop on my PC. For traditional artwork, I love using a Nib pen and ink on Bristol paper, along with Copic markers.

Would you like to plug in something for the readers? Your website, your ebook or maybe a course?

Sure! If you'd like to check out my work, you can find me at

My Shop:

For breakdowns, video processes, insights and hi-res artwork:

No items found.

You might also like...

View All Interviews