I’m not saying that Dailen is my favorite artist. It wouldn’t be fair to the other artists. It’s hard to choose a favorite of anything – child, movie, rockstar, etc..For example, I can’t choose a definite favorite illustration by her.
She does have spectacular works of Game of Thrones, adventure time and marvel comic book characters. There’s one illustration that I almost love more than the others but I can’t say that I love it more than the illustration of the Khaleesi. She also has fabulous original pieces of art.
What are you working on now?
Oh, a bit of this and that. Currently, the project I am most excited to work on is my upcoming comic, called Liminality. It’s a mystery-adventure-soft horror story set on the backdrop of a world where magic has been recently introduced into our modern society. I’m in the pitch-bible stage and it’s been such a thrill to watch all of my threads start to weave themselves together into something coherent.
Who has influenced you the most as an artist?
I don’t think I could name just one! Stylistically, I spend a lot of time looking at Alphonse Mucha and some of his contemporaries–Megan Lara and Helen Mask, specifically. But I’m also hugely influenced by the light and color handling I see with artists like Claire Hummel, Joy Ang, and Justin Oaksford. In a broader sense, I have to give a shout-out to Jenny Parks–our art looks nothing alike but she’s been an incredible friend and mentor, and I don’t think I’d even be doing interviews like this if it wasn’t for her. She’s really helped me get my foot in the door in comics, and even more than that she’s helped me figured out that this is the direction I wanted to go. I only had a vague idea when I was in college.
Who is your favorite female superhero/villain/comic book character?
Actually, I’m gonna have to go with Sailor Moon! Usagi is such a beautiful, multifaceted character; she’s allowed to be clumsy, and jealous, and silly, and childish, and it never detracts from her status as Purehearted Savior of the Universe. I think she’s a wonderful model for other female characters. Her heroism never hinged on any kind of perfection–only on her belief that she could and would save everyone.
Do you think people expect a certain type of art from you since you are female?
That’s actually kind of a difficult question–personally, I have trouble parsing which peoples’ expectations of my art are based on my gender, and which are based on what they’ve seen of my work so far–which is, largely, on the more delicate, “feminine” side of the aesthetic spectrum. That said, I have seen it happen to other women–especially online; when gender may not be as obvious, a lot of people may assume you’re a man by default if you post art and little else about yourself. I may have to get back to you after posting some of my more gruesome work and gauging the reaction, haha.
How often do you go to comic book conventions? Do you enjoy conventions?
I travel the country and attend cons professionally, and I love it! Last year, I attended 7 conventions, and this year I’m aiming to attend close to double that. As much as I miss my dog and my bed, I like to be able to connect with fans and clients face to face.
Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Very much an introvert. After each convention I finish, I need more than a few days to myself to recharge. I work a lot of long hours at my desk by myself, but particularly since I adopted a dog I rarely get too lonely or stir-crazy.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Definitely from the artists I mentioned earlier, but I have a lot of other sources as well. I’m finding that my work reflects a lot of my interest in tarot illustrations, tattoos, nature, mythology, and history. I spend a huge amount of time on the Met Museum site browsing through old art and textiles.
What do you do if you have writer’s block?
Usually, my answer is taking a break, actually. I read a quote some time ago about remembering to respect the laws of dormancy in nature–I’m more deciduous than evergreen, so to speak, and when things aren’t working I try to switch gears creatively (drawing, crafting, etc) or to immerse myself in things that inspire me to give me some time to rest. After that, things usually start up again on their own.
Have you had any interesting or awkward experiences since you’ve been an artist/writer?
I’ve definitely had people try to quiz me on my knowledge of franchises that I’ve done fanart pieces for–can I name all the House Stark dire-wolves and their human counterparts, for instance? The answer is: of course I can. That’s one that I definitely think stems from the fact that I’m a young woman; I’m not what people expect a geek to look like and it can be awkward when strangers try to gauge just how much “cred” I have.
Beverage of choice?
Maté tea and Cinnamon Dolcé Coffee. I like my tea earthy and my coffee as blonde as a Barbie doll.
When was the last time that you dressed up for Halloween?
Last year, actually! I went as a werewolf. I wanted to dress up again this year, but I was busy and it didn’t come to fruition. I was going to dress my dog up and everything, so I’m disappointed that it didn’t happen.
What do you want people to know about you?
Just that I’m here, and hellbent on telling a story or two.
What was the first thing that you were proud of drawing/writing?
When I was in the seventh grade, I starting writing an epic werewolf adventure-YA romance novel, and I wanted it to be my debut into novel writing–something I wanted to do before I decided on a career in the visual arts. I worked on that thing well into high school, and lately I’ve taken to scavenging the good stuff from it to use in other projects. It was my first baby and it still has a special place in my heart.