Welcome to another edition of The Comic Pros Say:!
deviantArt is a community filled with great artists, including professionals and semi professionals. The purpose of these interviews is to give you a better approach to some of the professional artists on the site and give you inspiration, learn and simply know them better!
In this occasion I have the honor to present you Marilyn Cole, ^Katmomma
Well hi there My name is Marilyn Cole and I'm a 20 year old freelance Illustrator, art enthusiast, and full time college student in her junior year as an Art Education Major (meaning I'm studying to be an Art Teacher in the American Public School system or university level). I've been drawing since I can remember and it's always been one of my favorite things in life to do other than spending time outside and enjoying the world around me.
Most of my work posted here on deviantART is illustration and concept art, everything from realism to very simplified, stylistic shapes. I'm very eclectic in the sort of artistic things I like to do. I very much love singing and playing guitar and piano, and recently I've found a love for building things in 3 Dimensional form (I have yet to update my gallery with these pieces but soon I promise!).
I think what introduced me to the realm of illustration was my tenacious urge to draw caricatures throughout grade school. I've always found fun in capturing expressions and interpersonal relationships through the gesture and form of facial and body expression. And of course, I love making people laugh so naturally it became one of my all time favorite genres in visual art.
Do you have any kind of formal formation related to your art making? If so, how much important do you think it is to young artists to have one?
Art has always been a hobby for me but something I really love to do. So naturally, I wanted to continue to expand my knowledge of the discipline, and this is where I began to take interest in learning the textbook Elements and Principles of Art and Design. It is this knowledge that ultimately takes your artwork to the next level in both caliber and professionalism. Studying to be an art educator, I think it's very important for young artists to be introduced to the basics as early as possible. Drawing in particular, is something that takes a lifetime to learn. I also think it's important for young artists to be discouraged from the mindset that everything has to be perfect because nothing in life is perfect. Art is inspired by life, so it does not have to be perfect. Rather than focusing on perfection, young artists need to develop their understanding of the elements and principles. It is these elements and principles that define a strong piece of visual art. Strength in visual composition outweighs perfection in every sense.
You might recognize The Tortoise and the Hare as a classic Aesop fable, where the Hare is defeated by the Tortoise because of his overconfidence. But in this adaptation, there is a lot more substance and a twist to the plot. Basically, The characters are far more detailed in their interpersonal relationships and personified behavior, the setting is much different and given a 1930's time period, and the story itself revolves around the Hare. Jack (the hare) is an elitist and a loud mouth-- far prouder of his accomplishments than he should be. The Tortoise (Terrace) is sick of being disparaged and made mockery of because of his failure to beat the hare. In desperation, he consults the Fox Witch (Madame Agnes Fox) for a way to stop the hare from winning the last race in their bet. Upon eating a donut laced with a vanity curse from the Fox Witch, Jack is transformed overweight and is faced with the challenge of competing in the race humbled by his new figure. Throughout the story, Jack and his devoted wife, Bernadette, learn a valuable lesson in humility, and Terrace will come to understand that strength isn't everything.
Okay, what was it about the Tortoise and the Hare in particular that inspired you to create your own unique rendition? I thought that, if anything, you would have chosen a story about cats! You do love drawing cats a lot... XD
Believe it or not, my interest in taking a new spin on the Tortoise and Hare branched off of a rather silly comic I did with my neighbor. The idea was that instead of the hare falling asleep during the race, he gets too fat to win the race by means of an unfortunate curse due to his overconfidence. But I thought about the story more, and how it was a perfect breeding ground for some fun and complex character relationships and from there, a story began to develop.
And I do very much still love cats and I do have a story with felines I've worked on for several years and hopefully that will surface in y career again. I think what drove my interest in the Tortoise and Hare was how closely I pulled so much from myself into it. The story really encompasses so much I value in life, such as friendship, close bonds, unconditional love, loyalty, hidden meanings, and perseverance. I haven't felt this close to any other project so far, and I think that is what helped me drive it to completion.
During the process of writing a story, the story itself can change in many ways. Things like setting to characters to events can change dramatically making the final product look nothing like the original idea. So my question is "What was the biggest Change during the development of 'The Tortoise and the Hair' and what was the cause of this change?"
Fortunately, there wasn't much backward work I needed to do for this story, because rather than rely on a chain of events-like set up, the plot was guided forward with the interpersonal relationships of the characters. The story was written in installments, and before each installment, my contributing partners (Dan O'Rourke & Chelsea Post) and I would discuss the different directions the story could go in. Perhaps the biggest of these discussions was regarding the ending of the story: would Jack break the curse? / how would he do it? / would he go back to being the same? / how would his wife react to whatever happens? I think I spent a good month developing this and how it would tie into the foreshadowing throughout the rest of the story. It was definitely a difficult puzzle to piece together, but what I hope to be a sweet and fitting ending was developed.
There were only two major backwards changes. One was changing Binita's eight sons to only six. The other was changing Tortoise to being called by his first name (Terrace) when referred to by the narrator.
It seems that the TatH FABLE was just the springboard for your version of TatH. How did you try to extend the story to the point that it becomes original again and keeps the audiance guessing?
The story itself is original for the most part considering that really the only things that tie it back to the original Aesop Fable is the involvement of a tortoise, a hare, and a competition (the race). Other than those basic underlying constraints, the rest of the story is very original. I found that extending the story into new territory wasn't as difficult as keeping to the constraints. This is mostly because the story revolves more around the character's relationships to one another, rather than the plot.
I enjoyed drawing fat bunnies. I have no idea why but after drawing so many concept pieces of Jack overweight, it just grew on me. And over a seven month period, I've now become quite known for being "that girl who draws fat bunnies." XD
1. Consistency is the most challenging thing to accomplish. Make sure you are aware of every detail to avoid disrupting consistency.
2. Do something close to your heart and you are passionate about. Passion and perseverance finishes projects!
3. Have brainstorming sessions with a friend or two. There's nothing more valuable than a collaborative effort, even if it is your project. Nothing exceptional in this world comes purely from one mind only--- even the world's geniuses need feedback and criticism.
If you could meet any famous artist/cartoonist/animator, dead or alive, who would it be, why, and what would you do or talk about?
Norman Rockwell. Firstly, I think I'd give him a big hug. And then I would sit down, smoke a cigar, and talk about srsbsns regarding the philosophy of art and illustration.
Casino Royale (2007) Daniel Craig makes one dangerously sexy James Bond.
Bambi (1942) My favorite Disney film of all time.
Forrest Gump (1994) This movie so touching- and will make me cry every time I watch it.
Chamber of Secrets .and The Half Blood Prince XD I can't pick they are both great!
Lol I think I'd want to be a bunny . I blame this book for my bias XD
I know I should know this already, but what programs do you use for digital? And which specific tools in the software do you use for shading and highlights?
I use Adobe Photoshop CS2 with a Wacom Intuos 3. The only tools use in the program are the brush and the eraser. I have several custom brushes made to use the tablet's sensitivity to apply different amounts of pigment depending on how hard or lightly I press. I use normal, multiply, and overlay layers for rendering in color.
Mastery? That's quite a challenge to tackle in a lifetime of learning. If I could be highly skilled in an art discipline other than the one I'm most comfortable with, I'd want to be skilled in metals.
~shikokumaji told me about deviantART, so I decided to join for fun. I'm still here because of all the wonderful people I've met and I really love being part of a community of people who can relate to everything artistic out there.
Seeing other artists with greater knowledge than my own has certainly inspired me. And meeting other enthusiastic artists around the world is a pleasure and an inspiration as well!
Everything tastes better with awesomesauce
Also- thank you all for being so wonderful and supportive. I wouldn't be as motivated to continue my career in art without you ladies and gentlemen. Thank you!
We thank Marilyn for his time and dedication!
If you want more information of how you can get your copy of The Tortoise and the Hare, be sure to check her journal