Portrait of an Artist and Her Portrait

Portrait of an Artist and Her Portrait

How long have you been making art/comics/writing?

I started seriously pursuing art (as in, trying to become the most awesome artist possible) about ten years ago, when I realized it would make me popular with the other kids. About 6 years ago I realized that I really wanted to tell stories and started my first comic project, Urban Fey. Since then I’ve done work in both comics/illustrations and fine arts.

Do you have a comic available currently, and what is it about?

I have several comics available right now! My longest running project, Urban Fey, is available both online (urbanfey.net) and in print. It’s an urban fantasy story about city fairies trying to negotiate with their more traditional nature cousins. It features lots of political intrigue, action, romance… and somebody gets poisoned. Good times.

In addition to Urban Fey I have two minicomics out, Clip! and Basilisk. Clip! is a series of rough, straight-to-ink autobio comics I did about everything from a beautiful spring day to a sexist jerk I used to know. Basilisk is a more polished book and features some experimental shorts as well as some of my fine arts work.

If you were a My Little Pony, what would your cutie-mark be?

A fist. Probably with brass knuckles, but they’d be pink or rainbow colored since it’s MLP.  I like the martial arts (I have a black belt) and I also believe in the power of metaphorically punching my way through art block or anything else that stands in the way of awesome. Also a pony with a human first for a marking would be kind of weird, and that suits me too.

Where do you go for inspiration?

I am heavily inspired by things in nature, even if it’s for projects that aren’t nature related. I like to look at weird bugs, plants, and fish (the Shedd Aquarium is possibly my favorite place in the Midwest). I think nature is beautiful and complex and weird and seeing it makes me want to make my own beautiful, complex, and weird things.

What was your favorite cartoon(s) /comics as a kid?

I actually didn’t read comics much until I was a teenager. I found a copy of Craig Thompson’s Blankets and it opened my eyes to what comics could do. After that I devoured anything from manga to american indie stuff. The comic that influenced my decision to make comics for myself was Amy Kim Ganter/Kibuishi’s webcomic Reman Mythology. It’s since been taken down, but it was a beautiful fantasy story with charming characters and art. I wanted to see if I could create something fantastic and touching like she had.

Fave cartoon and/or comics now?

Currently I am a big fan of Templar AZ, Dar, any of Jeff Brown’s books, and Lucy Knisley’s Stop Paying Attention. For manga I like gender bending stuff like Wandering Son and (a somewhat guilty pleasure) Otomen.

What motivates you?

I’m motivated by my audience, the chance that maybe I could make something that other people could enjoy, laugh at, or maybe even give them something to think about. I also just enjoy observing the world and trying to capture it.

Do you take commissions?

I do, you can contact me a rheaewing@gmail.com for more info.

Portfolio or personal website?

Currently mysticsheepstudios.com, and RheaEwing.com has recently launched!

Fav medium or art tools?

INK. I love ink and like to sketch/doodle with a pen whenever I can. I can’t say I’m the best inker, but there’s something about putting ink to paper that I just can’t help but love. For color I prefer to work digitally, scanning my inks and coloring them in Photoshop.

One thing you wish you’d known before getting into this hobby/work?

The long hours. Finishing a comic page takes a long time, especially if you’re not the fastest artist (I’m not). I enjoy the work but sometimes I look at the number of hours I put into something someone is only going to look at for a few seconds and it’s a bit distressing.

Slogan or Catchphrase.

“I got this” and sometimes “Less worrying, more ass kicking!”