As the comic book industry is growing and changing, more female artists and writers are being noticed. WinC, the Women in Comics NYC Collective International is an “artistic and informative initiative educating communities about the role and merit of women working in comics”. Since beginning in May of 2012, WinC has been aiming to diversify the comic book world. I love what they represent.
I had the pleasure of speaking with artists at the 2nd annual Women in Comics Convention presented by WinC. It can be a lot of fun buying artwork, not only are you supporting their hard work; but you get to view different styles and interpretations of characters you know, and learn about new indie comics. It’s great getting the chance to speak with artists about their passions, learning what kind of art they like to produce and their inspirations.
Who to check out and why
Share your PASSION
Julie Anderson is a talented illustrator and storyteller. Her custom Dragon Ball Z sneakers caught my attention immediately! Her influences include fine art, comics, anime, and American cartoons; her gateway into the cartoon and art life. She’s inspired by seeing other people creatively express themselves, watching a good animation/ movie, and talking to people. Julie feels she most identifies with anime/manga and her art itself may not have strong style elements to it, but the story structures and the overall character development is what she pours her influences into. She’s been working on her dream passion project VE Dead Breed.
-Do you have any advice for upcoming artists? Or experiences that you wish you received advice for?
Julie: Believe in yourself, you’re not alone on this art journey. Even though you may not see through self-doubt and shyness, you will always have a support group. Also you’re never too good to learn and improve your craft.
-What superpower would you have and why?
Julie: I would want the super power to be a RPG player, just the web comic called The Gamer. As I live and grow as a person, I can improve my skill set to and my states like that of a RPG.
“My aim is to illustrate concepts/stories that materializes your imagination to a product.”
Barbara Ang is another talented and motivated artist who is full of amazing advice for upcoming artists. Her inspiration includes comics, pop culture and cats. Her work references superheroes, cartoons, and movies. Recently she has been drawing cats and tends to tailor them to how she is feeling. She say it’s good practice for drawing different facial expressions; she also enjoys creating cat versions of characters and mash-ups. Barbara is a big fan of Skottie Young’s style because of his messy sketches approach; they’re confident and unapologetic. She feels that as someone who is still new to this, that it’s easy to be timid, and that she produces her best work when she doesn’t hesitate. Ink and brush pen are her go-to. Her dream project at the moment is to self-publish, possibly to write and illustrate a children’s book. She always made it an effort to give her nieces and nephews books for their birthdays and Christmas, so she would love to make her own.
-What inspires you, and how did you first get into comics and art?
Barbara: When I can I like to incorporate things that are familiar from my childhood. It’s pleasant and nostalgic for me and I notice that it also resonates with a lot of people, which is exciting to see.
When I was a kid I loved tracing. I didn’t really do any serious traditional drawing until my senior year of college, but I think those hand motions might have been the foundation.
I think the big turning point event for me was when my friend passed away this last October. As an outlet and a way to distract myself I started participating in Instagram’s “Inktober,” where you produce an ink drawing start-to-finish every day and post it. I continued doing it even after the month was through, and here we are, almost six months later. It became a serious commitment for me. I left my job as an engineer to be an artist and to work for myself. I knew that if I wanted to try something bold and new, now was the time to do it.
– Do you have any advice for upcoming artists? Or experiences that you wish you received advice for?
Barbara: I’m still a new artist myself, but here are a few things that have worked for me so far:
– Be persistent.
Keep looking for different opportunities to share and showcase your work. I’m always on the hunt for shows small and large.
– Do research.
If you’re going to do a show, learn as much as you can about the event, organizer, and expected audience. Weigh how much you’ll be investing (i.e. registration, cost of printing, travel, etc.) to what you expect to gain. Gains don’t necessarily have to be monetary, but be wary of events that are poorly promoted. You might find yourself in a hall with no one but other vendors.
– Figure out what your goal is and what works best for you.
Everyone will have an opinion about what you should be doing with your art and how you should be presenting yourself. Keep an open ear and identify what helps you and what doesn’t.
– Stay hungry.
And not in the starving artist kind of way. There’s a wealth of knowledge out there and always room for improvement. I love watching other artists’ process videos and implementing techniques I’ve learned in my daily drawings.
WinC also has some more upcoming events and workshops all over NYC, and they are expanding! I recommend anyone interested in comics and art to attend. Especially artists or writers looking to learn more about the industry, or ways we can help diversify the industry. The collective currently has over 110 members worldwide and is still growing. WinC has been hosted by numerous venues and conventions, “most recently they’ll be adding NYCC to that list!!”