I started when I was a teenager. My cousin collected them and I read comics like Gen 13, Catwoman, Wildcats, and so on. I enjoyed them all but when I got into college I get heavy into ElfQuest. It has a great storyline, memorable characters that evolved with the story and beautiful artwork. ElfQuest also helped launch self-publishing comics and yet no one really knows about it which I find incredibly sad.
These days I’ve picked up Fathom but I’m not a heavy collector. You’ll find I’m not as “in-the-loop” as others because collecting comics is pricey and it stock piles. I simply don’t have the space to put them and Bree eats/destroys any book in her path. But I’m trying to collect the Fathom comics for now.
Good ol’ fashioned grunt work! I try to be as traditional as possible with the exception of coloring. I sketch out everything with my mechanical pencils. I use tracing paper a lot to lift my lines, I have a very heavy hand and most of my sketches tend to get smudged beyond belief so I lift the lines I want to preserve using tracing paper then transfer them onto bristol using a light table. I will draw an image about 4 to 6 times if necessary. And I’ll add onto an image using several layers of tracing paper, why? It’s cheap and bristol baord is expensive.
I ink with ink pens. Right now I use Copic pens because they dry pretty quickly–downfall? They’re wicked expensive.
I color in photoshop using a wacom tablet. No special brushes–just the basic ones (3 brushes total). If I want texture I’ll apply it using a download from CG Textures (free texture website) or simply painting it by hand–mostly the latter.
The dreaded word: Practice. I recently posted a picture of my “art” from 3 years ago and had it side-by-side with a redrawing of the image from a few days ago. The difference is drastic. It doesn’t even look like the same person drew it and frankly my drawing “skills” were pathetic 3 years ago. How did I improve? I found my motivator and got out of my comfort zone, after doing this going back to my comfort zone wasn’t a challenge and I saw what I could accomplish given time and a lot of work.
Plus I put post-its on my drawing table saying “You can DO THIS!” As cheesy as it sounds, it helps when drawing something like an alligator for the first time.
5. What was the biggest professional influence on your work?
I know this is going to sound so silly but my family. My mother was a professional graphic designer and she taught me all about the fundamentals of artwork, to this day she’s still critiquing my work. I also have an art professor as an aunt (she teaches college level upper grad students) oh and she HATES comic art but is willing to critique me if I ask. My father was an architect and I have all of his old drafting pencils and templates, I begged for them because you can’t find them anymore–everyone uses computers.
I do have artists I admire and envy but they didn’t teach me or influence me as much as my family who were professional working artists.
6. Any advice for a young artist, especially a girl?
Draw what you love and be proud you rock because you can draw, color, ink, write–whatever your ability. Don’t ever be ashamed of your talent and passion and it’s hard work being a cartoonist and a female. This is a heavily male dominated field so a lady rocking it out is pretty awesome, go turn some heads.
7. Why did you want to become an artist?
I didn’t. *chuckles* Yeah I didn’t initially. I threw in the towel in college at age 20 thinking I knew what I wanted. I thew away a full-paid art scholarship to pursue theatre, oh yeah I was going to be a STAR and well, you can see I’m using my degree. (nope) I didn’t start drawing until I was done with college and even then I wasn’t good at it.
Just recently, in the past 2 years did I get really serious about this and started calling myself an artist. Why? Because I saw I was good at it if I tried and I loved every second of it. As long as I keep doing this and loving it–I’ll never stop.
My daughter and my husband. Now I’m not saying go out, get married and have kids, they’re just my personal motivator. I had my daughter a little over a year ago, if you look at my work from that time you will see it sky rocket in technical level. She really motivates me to teach by example and Shane, my husband, is my rock because he knows my quirks and habits. He can spot when I’m procrastinating and will chase me into my studio to finish working on a project. Yes I have family that loves everything I do but these two are my inspiration to improve with everything I draw–even doodles.
Ooo, this is a tough one. Any female villaness! Why? To put it simply they have brains, beauty, and they are the BEST dressed always.
Sorry Power Girl, your costume is too obvious.
10. What have you done to get you work noticed?
Talked! I will talk to anyone and in doing so I’ve talked to and stumbled across some great people who in turn took notice of my work. I’m a happy-go-lucky person and looooove talking art so get me started and I won’t shut up. Plus I’d like to think I’m passionate about my work and it shows. No, I have not gone about and handed out my business card, I don’t even have any which is BAD.
11. How often do you draw?
Every day if I can help it. I do have a part time job and I am a mother so I delegate at least 3 days of the week to draw. If I’m working on a project I’ll draw every night when I have spare time and everyone is fed, child is sleeping and husband is playing video games. Like most mothers I time manage everything.
To eventually be a published Illustrator. Once I get there I hope to reset my goals to something more grand but for this moment in time I want to get published with a company as a comic cover Illustrator and get consistent work flow. I’m working on this now and it is my main focus, it will happen just takes time.
no images were found