I have known since childhood that I wanted to make comics. I started making doodle comics in high school (or “scribble comics” as I called them) about the lives of me and my friends. I didn’t get serious about making them until I was in my mid 20s and went to a meeting for the DC based comics collective Square City Comics. I then went to the Center For Cartoon Studies to get my MFA, though I knew that I never wanted to make comics my career (I had just been fortunate enough to pursue it as my passion).
The first assignment of senior year at CCS was to make 16 pages of comics about anything you wanted. This was a departure from all previous assignments, which had very specific guidelines. This was my first chance within the program to completely do my own thing. The goal was just to get you to make comics and figure out what you would make for your senior thesis. I had been doing autobio comics in a sketchbook -again, little doodle comics- so I decided to draw them again in color and make them into a zine.
That was the first of three volumes (so far) of a series called Everything’s Fine. They are uplifting and relatable autobio gag strips about anxiety and depression. The first volume was about all of the stress I was feeling while at CCS the previous year. I have dealt with these conditions since childhood. Writing autobio comes very naturally to me, and since my anxiety is ever present (my depression comes and goes), it is a frequent topic in my work. People have all sorts of theories on the creation of my avatar used in the series- how it’s a representation of me being closed off from the world, that the abstraction in form is an attempt to remove myself from the work, etc. These give me way more credit than the actual origin: I doodled the avatar one day, then drew it eating McDonalds, thought “Huh. I like McDonalds. I guess this is me now,” and having been drawing myself that way ever since. Drawing myself normally is literallythe most boring thing in the world for me to draw, so I use this avatar to spice things up a little.
Not only is sharing my experiences cathartic, the act of making comics is therapeutic. I am someone that is either freaking out about the future or dwelling in the past. When making comics and art, you have to be present, which is something I struggle with. Creating comics is a form of self care for me. I feel better and calmer after I spend some time making them. I share a real piece of myself in my work, so if you like my work you tend to like me too. The connections I’ve made with people who read my comics (mentors, friends, and fans) and the peace I feel while making them are the reason they are my passion and I hope to never stop creating.
To find more of my work, visit my website.