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Featured April 2019

An Interview with Joe Sumay Thee

We met Joe by chance through an acquaintance who worked with him in the past. He came highly recommended. His style of work also was something we found to represent our stories and ideas perfectly! After 5 years, he has continued to share his great talent illustrating our books! The funny thing is, we have never met in person. We only talk and communicate through email, Line and Facebook. We will meet one day and share stories but for now, Joe was kind enough to give us an interview so we could get to know him a little better.


When did you decide you wanted to be an artist?

I’m an illustrator or a children’s storybook writer right now, to be an artist I feel I need to gain more an experience.

What kind of drawings did you do as a child?

If I don’t count all the stickman drawings, it would be my favorite cartoon characters like Dragonball Z or Disney cartoons.

What is your favorite style of art do you enjoy?

If it isn’t children’s picturebooks or storybooks, my favorite style is Pop Art.

Favorite artist? Why?

My favorite artist is Jimmy Liao from Taiwan. I like the way he makes lines and his use of bold colors. His work looks calm and his imaginary viewpoint has wonderful  possibilities.

What is your favorite medium? (pencil,paint…?)

I like pencil or colored pencil drawings. It always looks warm, this technique takes time and determination.


What is your favorite style to work with? ( portrait, cartoon,..?)

My favorite style is also pencil or colored pencil drawings.  Not really portraits but I want to make pictures that involves stories that everyone can understand and at the same time use their minds to explore and imagine.

Proudest works that you made?

My proudest work  is not one of my illustrations, but a handwriting font design for MomDusdi Paribatra Na Ayudhya, who wanted to publish her contributions in an education book. It was about her teaching experiences which she offered to King Rama 9. At that time, she was too old to write the book by herself, so they contacted me to design the handwriting font for this book before she passed away.


What do you think of new technology…( using mouse and pen or computer)?

Absolutely cannot deny that these tools are really helpful to work with, and it looks good but I still prefer to use pencil or colored pencils if I can choose to.

How long did it take you before you felt confident as an artist ? Were you always happy with your work?

I’m not sure to call myself as an artist but i’m always happy to do work which is my style.

Best mentor/ teacher you had..

Everyone, especially my clients who gave me good feedback. All the feedback they gave me were my teachers.

Future project you want to work on?

To make stories online or miniature toys from a story that I have made.  Maybe a Youtube channel about stories is coming soon!


Thank you Khun Joe! We are so grateful for your talent and friendship. We will continue this conversation in the future. Until then, hope everyone got to know Joe a bit better. Without him, Helpful Villagers would have never gotten its start!