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Photo credit: YOUTHOPIA/ARDINI INSYIRAH

Illustrating the popular comics of Tori and Samuel with Bobblejot

Phoebe Im shares the story of how her well-liked corgi and munchkin cat comic duo came to be.

Ardini Insyirah
Ardini Insyirah

All smiles and giggles especially when there’s music.


Published: 11 February 2021, 9:59 AM

If you are looking for cute and heartwarming content on Instagram, you need not look much further than Bobblejot, the well-loved comics of a corgi and munchkin cat, Tori and Samuel. 

The lighthearted comic series captures the quirky adventures of the two best-friends as they Interact in a human-like manner while baking cookies, exercising and watching Petflix.

Run by Phoebe Im since 2018, the account now has over 295,000 followers who show plenty of admiration for the illustrations of the adorable duo. 

“I would doodle and then I would post it and I realised that the reception was actually quite good…So that’s how Bobblejot came to me,” said 30-year-old Phoebe, who never expected Bobblejot’s following to grow to what it is now.

Coming from an artistic family, with a dad who paints and a mom who used to illustrate books to teach Phoebe her ABCs, it is no wonder that her passion for doodling started from a young age.

In fact, she was experimenting with a manhua style of illustrations, which is something commonly seen in anime comics, before she started the Bobblejot account.

 

Tori, the corgi (left) and Samuel, the munchkin cat (right) in one of the comics. PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/ @BOBBLEJOT

“I was actually very adamant on sticking with the anime and manhua style, but then my husband came along and was telling me how this comic style is actually really cute and it has something good going for it,” said Phoebe.

After much consideration and a push from her husband, she started posting her comic illustrations of the duo on Instagram, and the rest was history.

In the early days of Bobblejot, Phoebe only produced comics with Tori alone before deciding to give the character a best friend. The illustrator wanted to match the tiny legs of a corgi, so conceptualised the munchkin cat, Samuel. 

Interestingly, the characters Tori and Samuel are a representation of Phoebe and her husband, Joshua, and their everyday encounters. For example, the comic of Tori and Samuel hiccuping is based on a real experience between Phoebe and her husband.

“When we’re having our dinner or just sitting around, my husband would be like ‘hey, how about this!’ Or when something happens in our lives, we think ‘oh that would make a really cute story’,” shared Phoebe. 

 

Not only do her followers love the cute personas, they are also fond of the relationship that these characters have with each other. PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/@BOBBLEJOT

Three years down the road, the comics of the adorable duo now have a huge following and Phoebe has made it her full-time job. 

Besides the weekly comics on Instagram, Phoebe also releases exclusive content on Patreon, which include comics and wallpapers. Bobblejot also has a merchandise store for enamel pins, keychains, stickers and even plush toys.

The support from her followers is undeniable and has become Phoebe’s encouragement in her journey as a comic illustrator. Positive interactions with her audience bring her lots of joy, especially when she sees people showing appreciation for her work and sharing it.

“There were a couple of comments that actually said ‘I’m actually sharing this with my mom’ or ‘I’m sharing this with my kid’, and there are times when people give us ideas and they are really excited for it,” Phoebe said.

 

Bobblejot maintains good relationships with their audience with replying comments and appreciation posts like these. PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/ @BOBBLEJOT

Of course running Bobblejot is not always glamorous. 

One of the significant challenges she faces is having no weekends. Apart from Bobblejot, she also takes on freelance projects to supplement her income. Between these projects and the ones she has going for Bobblejot, trying to figure out what to prioritise is something Phoebe struggles with.

Other times, when she faces creative blocks, and can end up stuck on the same picture for up to five hours. 

“What helps me a lot is to take a step back, to actually take a break and work on something else first. That’s actually what I encourage a lot of people to do as well,” Phoebe said.

 

Phoebe and her husband, who is one of her motivations running Bobblejot. PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/@BOBBLEJOT

 

Throughout these glamorous and not-so glamorous times, her husband’s enthusiasm continues to be a source of motivation for her. Her new ideas are often greeted with excitement from her partner, which encourages her to keep going.

“It kinda makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile with the comics and it really encourages us to keep coming up with new content that will put smiles on people’s faces,” shares Phoebe.

She believes that when someone is pursuing something they’re passionate about, the people around them can feel that passion and naturally opportunities will come their way. While the journey may be tough, she trusts that these challenges are only temporary.

“Just keep pushing through and I really believe that if you’re passionate enough about something, eventually you will be able to get somewhere. Somewhere where you imagine yourself to be,” said Phoebe.


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