“I refrain from calling myself a graphic novelist, since I’ve written one graphic novel. But I would say I got started as soon as I drew my first picture.”
What first got you interested in art, graphic novels and illustration?
I was always interested in arts and crafts and drawing. I would love drawing cartoonish profiles in my notebooks.
One of the clearest memories that I have is my mother making a woman’s profile from the number 3, by adding an eyelash where the two bowls of the number meet, and lips to the bottom bowl, and a wisp of hair to finish off the look. I used to be so fascinated by that!
Apart from that I remember reading Archie Comics, and if I were lucky, the issue I was reading would have a how-to-draw a particular Archie Comic character.
How did you get started as a graphic novelist?
I refrain from calling myself a graphic novelist, since I’ve written one graphic novel. But I would say I got started as soon as I drew my first picture. I think when it came down to it, it was just deciding, okay, I want to do an illustrated book and this is what I want to talk about, and then you dive into the process.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I have always struggled with having a routine of any sort. One thing that I have realised, is that writing or drawing is all about the practice. I keep trying to develop those practices. The longer you stay away from the work, the more daunting it becomes.
What is the creative journey from the idea to the finished product?
My process is a mixture of digital and analogue. The first thing was to decide the theme. Then comes mind-mapping, lists and brainstorming. Then I conducted surveys. Then I made a moodboard of inspirations, this can consist of visual styles, color schemes and content, even fashion trends.
I finally got to making my characters, which were quite a few drafts, this was on paper. Simultaneously I would also list out the different instances in Sarah’s life and just mapping out the entire book. Then I start taking things to the computer.
Friends and family would pose for me to draw various postures. I would roughly draw out scenes on paper and work on them digitally. The final prototype involved printing, sticking and binding. This is obviously a brief explanation, I am completely skipping the blood, sweat and tears!