Every aspiring artist claims that they’ve been drawing ever since they could hold up a pencil, but I’m here to tell you that it’s true, at least for me. I have no idea where my need to create pretty pictures on paper came from, because it’s not like it runs in my family or anything. I’ve just always done it, and known it’s what I wanted to do with my life, if ever given the chance. There’s nothing in the world I’d rather do than sit somewhere comfy and draw.
When I was nine I took my first real “art class” at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was one of those weekend programs that was rather expensive; I was lucky enough to have parents who were willing to shell out the dough for my crazy little habit. I can’t remember why I decided to take “The Comic Solution I” to start with, but that’s what got me hooked onto comic books and cartoons in general as an art medium. I read my first comic there, which happened to be “X-Men 1” illustrated by Jim lee, and it’s all history from there.
Since then I’ve migrated into more fantasy illustration, mostly because I started reading fantasy novels in high school and was impressed with the cover paintings. (Think Larry Elmore via Dragonlance Chronicles) My tastes in comic book genres evolved from superhero sagas to fantasy adventures to reflect this change, and I find it exciting I can blend my love of the fantasy epic and sequential art.
Naturally, when I attended college I majored in art. In May of 2006 I graduated from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art and Design. In October of the same year, I married my best friend and partner in crime, Rory Webb. Since we’re both fantasy geeks, we had an awesome medieval wedding. We purchased our very first house in Grand Rapids, Michigan a year later, and we now have three kids who definitely keep us busy.
Comic site: www.legendsofaukera.com
Illustration portfolio: www.mandapandarawks.com