Since its debut in February 2018, Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint has gained incredible popularity and evolved from its original webnovel into a wide variety of mediums. The five-volume webnovel is divided into episodes, which are further divided into chapters, each published online for fans to read and enjoy. After consistent success and tens of millions of views, Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint was released as a physical book and e-book, gaining additional official support and translations from the original Korean into Chinese, Thai, and (most recently) English. The book and e-book contain revised versions of some parts of the original webnovel due largely to conflicting memories of the same events from the authors.
One day after the end of the webnovel in 2020, Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint announced a webtoon adapting the e-book version of the story. This webtoon, with art by Sleepy-C, is produced by REDICE Studio, published by Naver Webtoon, and translated into English by LINE Webtoon. Contrary to some popular misconceptions, Sleepy-C isn’t one person, but a team of artists who together handle the art for the Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint webtoon as well as some of the most popular Korean comics around the world. At Anime NYC we got the chance to speak with the head artist from the team, who wishes to remain anonymous and not share her name or photo. She and her team’s work in adding stunning visuals to the Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint story have captured fans and boosted the viability of the series worldwide. This was the first North American convention for the head artist of Sleepy-C. We asked her about her own personal journey as an artist as well as the success of Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint.
An Artist’s Beginnings
Before getting into the present and talking about Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint, I wanted to have a better understanding of how the head of Sleepy-C began drawing, got involved with the project, and entered the industry writ large.
“Well, I collected […] comics in my early childhood because my home environment [was] very open to comics, caricatures, and things like that. Because of that, when I was able to grab the pen or pencil, I started to draw. That is my beginning stage; […] my drawing [career] is not completed yet. However, I get a lot of compliments from my friends. Because of that, there’s a lot of encouragement.”
She also took us back in time a bit to explain how she first got involved with the webtoon as well as to give some more context on how Sleepy-C and she individually fit into the broader context of the project.
“Sleepy-C is the name of the team; the Sleepy-C team belongs to Studio 3D2S. Studio 3D2S is in charge of making the artwork for REDICE Studio. Before I became a part of the ORV [Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint] team, I was working for 3D2S and I was part of their Tomb Raider King series. While I was working on the webtoon Tomb Raider King, the main director was a good evaluation of my art. I was able to become a part of the 3D2S team and I became the main artist of that team. I really appreciated that and I really have a grateful heart for [it]. He gave me such a good opportunity.”
Now, as the head of Sleepy-C, she orchestrates all of the moving parts in the Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint project according to her unique vision and direction. Functionally she is both the key artist and main director for every other team. Obviously, there’s a lot of pressure with a role like this, especially since she’s also a fan of the series herself and wants to do it justice. Luckily, it’s something she grew more comfortable with over time.
“Yes, of course, under the big title, there was pressure on me in the beginning stage. But, now I’m getting used to it, so I have a little confidence about it. Whenever I come across a highlight scene or certain important part[s], I always have some burden, because I really want to […] give pleasure and satisfaction to my reader.”
“When I start[ed] with this work, I didn’t know about the original novel. After I’d participated in this team, I read the novel, but the original novel itself was very famous and top-notch […] in Korea, right? So because of that big title, I have some burden”
The Creative Process Behind Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint
When it came to the creative and production process specific to webtoons, the head of Sleepy-C was happy to explain to the members of press how everything worked, down the the details of team meetings and individual planning sessions. She’s met the original authors singNsong, the married couple who co-authored Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint, a couple of times, and communicating with them is also a part of Sleepy-C’s artistic process.
“In general, we have no problem with communicating with the original author of the novel, and when I prepared the artwork, I kept communicating with singNsong, the author of the novel, and then we developed the characters accordingly. The authors really respect our team’s artwork, so there’s no big trouble or problem [developing] the characters.”
“There are many different stages in the process. The writer finishes her job, and then after that, the Sleepy-C team begins the artwork. And then every team just gathers together and we do the production meeting. [There,] we set the direction of the episode. […] And then the drawing team and coloring team draw the characters, and then the background team puts such a wonderful background on that. And then after that, the producer just adds to the script. Later on, the polish team—the finalize team—they finish the first stage of that complete work. After that, we have another meeting with the CEO, and then if we need to correct or modify something, we do. And then finally, the entire artwork will be presented to the readers. That’s the process.”
This is obviously a very involved process, but it seems like the Sleepy-C team really collaborates well and makes it an enjoyable and fulfilling one.
“When we work on the highlights of the episodes, or the final parts of the episodes, we always meet with our team members. We always put our best effort in. That’s very interesting to me and doing that is always very interesting.”
In addition to understanding the creative process itself, I also was curious about two things: One, whether the head of Sleepy-C would herself be interested in experiencing the premise of a novel in real life like the protagonist of Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint does, and two, whether she hoped to see Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint animated someday, and by whom. Somewhat appropriately, she says she’d like to experience Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint herself, especially since she has knowledge of the story as the main character does. As for the animation:
“I would be so grateful if someone animated this. I don’t mind any [specific] studios or directors. My main focus is that whoever [it is] is really into the novel or the webtoon, someone who knows all about the characters and stories of Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint… [if they animate it] based on that knowledge and experience that is more gratifying and great for me.”
A Message to Fans from the Head Artist of Sleepy-C
Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint has exploded in popularity all over the world and thousands of fans even stopped by for a live drawing session and Q&A panel with Sleepy-C and Yen Press imprint Ize Press. Witnessing all of that excitement and adoration has been a shock for the head of Sleepy-C, especially as she heads to more international conventions for the very first time.
“I’ve always been working in the studio so I’ve never felt this way before. I’ve never felt this way before, but I definitely felt it [the love] when I participated in this event”
Wrapping up, we wanted to know what Sleepy-C might say to anyone who wasn’t around for this weekend. To fans who couldn’t make the trip to Anime NYC, she had this to say:
“Well, there’s always next time, right? So next time come see me and I’ll give you an autograph”
Images via Youtube