Hi Hanji! Tell us a little about you, where in Maine do you live, and has Maine always been home?
I am a Korean Taiwanese animator living in Rockland, Maine. I grew up in South Africa during apartheid in the 1980s, and after that I pretty much lived in Taiwan up until 2007, when I moved to Maine.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as an Asian American living in Maine?
The sense of never fitting in. I’m an introverted person, but because I’m Asian, it seems like wherever I go, I stand out. That’s quite stressful for me. We raise our 4 year old bilingually, but often when I’m in public with my daughter, I purposely speak English to her because I don’t want to draw any attention to us, particularly her.
You’re big into animation and attended the Maine College of Art and Design. What’s your advice to young Asian Americans exploring career options?
I graduated from MECA&D in 2014 and now teach animation there as well. My advice to young Asian Americans is to find your passion. Often we get sucked into a certain mold for career choices. Find your passion and pursue it.
In a recent interview, you mentioned that some folks were surprised to find out that someone of Asian descent was the co-creator of a popular animated comic. What’s your message to Mainers?
We notice the difference in how our fans interact between me and Andy. I once even had a fan ask me to hold his could so he could go out and smoke. Often I’m seen as the submissive Asian woman and treated as such when we show our cartoons in more rural areas in Maine. As for what message Id like to send to Mainers, I guess I’m still figuring that out.
Thank you so much for doing this interview. Where can folks go to find your work and get connected with you?
You can find me on