This piece is the second of a monthly series giving nascent creators a chance to share and document part of their artistic journeys. We’ll be following four individuals—writers, artists, writers/artists—and spotlighting each on a rotating basis throughout 2019. Future installments will take more of a traditional journal format, giving creators a space to share thoughts and comics. For the intro, however, we’ll get to know each participant better through a question and answer.
With all that in mind, we’ll cede the space now to our second creator, Jeffrey Brown, a writer/artist from Live Oak, Fla., which is located in the northern part of the state between Tallahassee and Jacksonville. Jeffrey is as passionate and hard-working of comic writer/artist as there is. Check back the last Friday of next month for a look at our next participant!
Q: Tell us as much as you'd like to share about yourself...where are you from? How old are you? What is your life as an artist like?
A: Hello, my name is Jeffrey Brown (not to be confused with that other Jeffrey Brown), and I live in a Live Oak, Fla. My life as an artist thus far has been getting up in the afternoon or evening, sketching stories for my comics in my notebook, writing a rough outline of a plot, and when it’s good to go...pencil, ink, and color a page a day :). I take breaks in between projects to read my favorite books, chill out on Twitter, watch movies, and listen to my favorite podcasts.
Q: What are your aspirations for making comics and what is your biggest motivation to get there?
A: My aspirations for making comics are simply to be a storyteller. I want to make the kind of comics I like to read. The thing that really gets me excited about making comics is that I have the freedom to let my imagination run wild. My goal as a cartoonist is to write and draw comics that will be timeless years from now. That’s really what motivates me. I want to leave a legacy behind with my work.
Q: Where do you see yourself right now in terms of your career trajectory?
A: My career is still a work in progress. Hopefully, I see myself making a decent living as a cartoonist some day, maybe getting the opportunity to work on interesting projects with talented writers in comics. I also want to one day work in animation, but my goal right now in life is to be recognized and valued for my talents as a young cartoonist. I want to keep putting weird and interesting stories into the world through my comics.
Q: What are some of your short term goals and what are some of your longer term goals for 2019?
A: To be honest, my short term goals for 2019 is to just build steady sales of my art and comics. I’d also like to Get my comics and art published in various publications. I want to make an income through making my art. I’m really thankful for the little victories I have had thus far but I am hungry for more. One day, I’d also like to win awards.
Q: How much time each week do you spend working on comics and what do you spend that time doing?
A: A typical week for me making comics is something like this: on Monday I will write out a short outline of the plot, starting with the style of writing, and then I draw thumbnails in my sketchbook as my first draft. If I like what I scribbled out, I then get to work on my PC and sketch out from my thumbnails the sequential pages from my story (lately my stories have been like 16 pages), and then after doing rough sketch layouts I proceed to ink a page a day. If it’s a comic in color, I usually do that last after inking and lettering. I try to spend at least 2 to 3 hours on a page inking and coloring. I do take breaks in between, and I spend that time on twitter, listening to podcasts, playing retro games and watching movies.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges--both logistically and emotionally--when it comes to making comics in your life?
A: I’m currently working from home, which is a both fun and a challenge. The fun part is right now I get to focus on my work and just create. The challenge is that right now I don’t have enough money to go out and travel. Ever since I got sick recently and lost my job at a BBQ restaurant, I decided to stop waiting for the right time to pursue my passion for creating comics. I decided to go for it. Right now I feel good about myself and what I am doing. Work that day job for two years was emotionally exhausting for me. It was a rough two years for me (lol). Right now, I feel like I’m emotionally in a better place. Right now, I enjoy spending my time pouring my heart and soul into making comics. I enjoy putting pen to paper and having fun and sharing that with the world. Doing this truly brings me joy.
Q: Finally, tell us about the piece you've shared here today…
A: I’m currently working on the fourth issue of my mini comic, The Misadventures of Izanami Grey. It’s about a brilliant scientist who has empathic vampire powers that occasionally turn her into a mutant Were-Bat monster. In this issue Izanami and her boyfriend Kieron are on a mission to rescue the president. They must find him alive and bring him back to the states to be prosecuted for his many human rights violations. Chief among his many crimes was denying humanitarian aid to the people of the fictional island nation of Gene-Verte, who now have the president and are also about to put him on trial to punish him for his grievous crimes against them. I can’t say any more, so please buy a copy of my comic to check it out for yourself over at Gumroad:
You can buy The Misadventures of Izanami Grey through the following links:
Issue 1 : https://gum.co/izanamigrey
Issue 3 :https://gum.co/Genverte
Issue 4 : https://gum.co/Genverterex
Check back next month to meet the third of four creators participating in this series!