How I started The Hong Konger: A 2021 year in review

The Hong Konger has taken over my life way more than I thought it would and has defined my year. I never started it with a real agenda or business plan, it’s developed organically, with me taking opportunities that came a-callin’ and going one step at a time, trying to navigate a tricky balance between being deeply unwell with refractive autoimmune conditions and succumbing to my default workaholic setting.


I thought it would be interesting to do a Year in Review blog post, a tour of 2021 if you will, recounting how I went from someone who couldn’t even draw to someone publishing a book of 70 drawings a year later.


January 2021


Art: I have had an iPad since Christmas Day 2020. I am watching CNN coverage almost 24/7 because of the January 6 Insurrection while learning to use Procreate. I am stuck in bed sick with nothing better to do. I draw illustrations for a podcast I’m making with my friends, Veronica and Huber. The illustrations are not great, but it’s a good way for me to learn how the Procreate app works.


Health: My hepatologist who oversees my refractive autoimmune hepatitis mentions a monoclonal antibody infusion I can get called Rituximab. It’s used for multiple sclerosis patients and annihilates all B cells so your immune system doesn’t attack your body. I could try it, he explains, but there’s little evidence it works on autoimmune hepatitis. I also need to get the COVID vaccine first. I’m so over being sick at the moment that I’m willing to try anything.